Medal Count

[Edit: updated again 8/18]

It’s time for counting medals again, and this summer, as you all know, has a smackdown for the ages in USA vs. China. And as exciting as that may be… it’s predictable and lame. We’ve got the country with the highest GDP vs. the country with the most people. Of course they are going to spit out a ton of medals.

Let’s take a look at the medal count from two other perspectives:

Medals per Population
1) Slovenia (1 medal per 507K people)
2) Armenia (1 per 600K)
3) Australia (1 per 648K)

41) USA (1 per 4.23M people)
58) China (1 per 19.8M people)

Medals per GDP
1) North Korea (1 medal per $370M)
2) Kyrgyzstan (1 per $1.74B)
3) Armenia (1 per $1.85B)

37) China (1 per $49.2B)
63) USA (1 per $192B)

8 thoughts on “Medal Count

  • 8/14/2008 at 5:19 pm

    Did you throw out outliers??

  • 8/14/2008 at 6:38 pm

    I didn’t throw anyone out. All of the top 3 nations have at least 2 medals, anyway. About 30% of medal-winning nations only have 1 so far, so if there are going to be any outliers, it’ll be from the 1-medal nations.

    And for what it’s worth, there are only 45 nations left that could earn 1 medal and place first on the medals-per-population ranking, and only 8 nations that could place 1st in medals-per-GDP with just one medal.

  • 8/15/2008 at 11:42 am

    8/15 UPDATE:
    North Korea, despite being stripped of a medal is still way up in medals per GDP. Armenia added a 5th medal (another bronze) to maintain its lead in the medals per population. Armenia also crept up to 3rd in the medals per GDP standings, too.

    Slovenia bumped out Mongolia in 2nd place in the population standings, too.

  • 8/15/2008 at 12:13 pm

    Go Solvenia! I have a friend from there and she was very excited to see they won a medal.

  • 8/16/2008 at 5:35 pm

    I just updated the post to reflect all medals won through 8/16. The only change to the rankings was that New Zealand replaced Slovenia as #2 on the population list.

  • 8/18/2008 at 12:38 pm

    I updated again for all medals won through 8/18. North Korea added another medal (to add to its insanely huge lead), but otherwise no change in the GDP standings.

    Slovenia added another medal to move up to #1 in the population rankings. Armenia bumped down to #2, and Australia remains a solid #3.

    With a lot of track and field events still to come, we could see Jamaica climb to the top. They’ve got four medals so far, and are sitting in 4th place in population and 5th place in GDP. They are in very good shape to pick up a few more medals. Two more medals would put them #1 in population. The GDP race is pretty much over for 1st, but two more medals for the Jamaicans would put them #2 there, as well.

  • 8/23/2008 at 3:43 pm

    So take a bow North Korea you economically backward, politically oppressive, belligerent nation you’ve earned the honor of frivolously spending your paltry national wealth on the highly coveted prize of an Olympic medal while your people starve


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