Alternative Olympics medal table – updated

Usain Bolt in celebration about 1 or 2 seconds...
His gold is worth less than one in the modern pentathlon (Photo credit: Wikipedia) CC Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 license

update of alternative medal table here

final version here

I’ve updated my alternative Olympic medal table (see details and the table from two days ago here). I explained how it worked in the previous post, but in brief the table gives equal weighting to all 36 sports at the Olympic (I decided something is a ‘sport’ if classified as such by London 2012), so it aims to show how successful nations are at doing well across a whole range of sports. In practice, this means a gold medal won in a sport where there are lots of events, like athletics, is worth less in my table than a gold medal in a sport where there are less events, like table tennis.

179 of 302 gold medals have been awarded, but only 165 (rounded) of the 360 points available to nations in my table have been taken. The difference is largely because basketball, beach volleyball, BMX cycling, mountain bike cycling, football, rhythmic gymnastics, handball, hockey, modern pentathlon, synchronised swimming, volleyball and water polo all offer only two gold medals, but these haven’t been awarded yet. These golds will not have as much of an impact on the real table as on mine, where each gold will be worth five points. This means mine is now more prone to change significantly than the real one.

China have increased their lead at the top, and have won gold medals in over half the sports where golds have been awarded so far. Their dominance is particularly strong in badminton and diving, where they have won all the gold medals so far (five in each). Badminton has finished, but there are three more golds available in diving. The USA are much weaker in my table than in the real one. Aside from the 16 swimming ones, giving them less than five points, their golds are thinly spread. The sport they are most dominant in is tennis, having won three of the five golds. Great Britain is actually ahead of the USA, with points coming in particular from canoe slalom, track and road cycling, and rowing. In both tables there is a bit of a gap between the top three and Korea in fourth. Going down, Canada and Switzerland replace Russia and Hungary in the alternative table. Canada and Switzerland have only won one gold each, but in events where only two golds are offered.

real Olympic medal table

rank nation total (golds)
1 China 31
2 USA 29
3 Great Britain 18
4 Korea 11
5 France 8
6 Russia 7
7 Italy 7
8 Kazakhstan 6
9 Germany 5
10 Hungary 4

alternative Olympic medal table

rank nation total (points)
1 China 37.03
2 Great Britain 18.83
3 USA 18.49
4 Korea 13.64
5 Italy 9.33
6 France 7.61
7 Germany 5.76
8 Kazakhstan 5.38
9 Canada 5.00
10 Switzerland 5.00

title edited 15/08/2012

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