final alternative Olympics medal table

I have done a final version of my alternative medal table (updated to include New Zealand’s extra gold medal in athletics at the expense of Belarus after shot put champion Nadzeya Ostapchuk failed a doping test). The alternative table gives equal weighting to all sports. Therefore, it should give a slightly better indication of overall sporting strength than the real medal table, which does not take into account that there are far more gold medals available in some sports than others. I’ve explained more about how the table works here.

The two superpowers of the West and East are at the top of the alternative table: the USA first then China close behind in second. After a big points gap Russia are in third, squeaking past Great Britain in fourth. After another big points gap come Germany, France and Korea, then after another substantial points gap Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands complete the top ten. Ten of the top 15 are European countries. African countries do not do well, perhaps because athletics, where most African gold medals came from, does not get many points in the alternative table (as there are so many athletics gold medals, each one is worth less). Brazil, hosts of the 2016 Games, are 12th, the second highest nation in the table in the Americas.

My alternative table is quite similar to the real table. The only difference in the top seven is that Great Britain and Russia’s positions are reversed, and Korea comes behind Germany and France. The nation that does best in my table compared to the real one is Latvia, who are 30 places higher due to their one gold in cycling BMX, which gives them five points. Switzerland, Norway and Mexico also all do substantially better in my table than in the real one. Jamaica, Ethiopia and Kenya do a lots worse, because all these countries only won golds in athletics.

rank nation total rank in real table difference
1 USA 48.82 1 0
2 China 46.73 2 0
3 Russia 34.63 4 1
4 Great Britain 33.77 3 -1
5 Germany 18.47 6 1
6 France 17.82 7 1
7 Korea 15.45 5 -2
8 Czech Republic 10.93 19 11
9 Italy 10.58 8 -1
10 Netherlands 9.80 13 3
11 Switzerland 6.67 33 22
12 Brazil 6.43 22 10
13 Kazakhstan 6.15 12 -1
14 Croatia 5.88 25 11
15 Norway 5.83 35 20
16 Australia 5.34 10 -6
17 Lithuania 5.29 34 17
18 Hungary 5.02 9 -9
19 Canada 5.00 36 17
19 Colombia 5.00 38 19
19 Latvia 5.00 49 30
19 Mexico 5.00 39 20
23 Ukraine 4.75 14 -9
24 Japan 4.42 11 -13
25 New Zealand 4.19 15 -10
26 Cuba 3.47 16 -10
27 Spain 3.25 21 -6
28 North Korea 2.71 20 -8
29 Belarus 2.67 26 -3
30 Iran 2.33 17 -13
31 Denmark 1.71 29 -2
32 Turkey 1.46 32 0
33 Romania 1.38 27 -6
34 South Africa 1.30 23 -11
35 Argentina 1.25 42 7
35 Serbia 1.25 42 7
37 Azerbaijan 1.11 30 -7
38 Sweden 1.00 37 -1
38 Venezuela 1.00 50 12
40 Poland 0.88 30 -10
41 Jamaica 0.85 18 -23
42 Ireland 0.77 41 -1
43 Georgia 0.71 39 -4
43 Slovenia 0.71 42 -1
45 Ethiopia 0.64 24 -21
46 Uzbekistan 0.56 47 1
47 Kenya 0.43 28 -19
48 Tunisia 0.29 45 -3
49 Algeria 0.21 50 1
49 Bahamas 0.21 50 1
49 Dominican Republic 0.21 46 -3
49 Grenada 0.21 50 1
49 Trinidad & Tobago 0.21 47 -2
49 Uganda 0.21 50 1

The tables below show in which sports the top four countries in the alternative (and real) medal table have won at least half the gold medals. For the Americans, these sports are mainly team ones. The finals for these were towards the end of the competition, which is why the USA didn’t do so well in earlier versions of the alternative table (see below for links). The Chinese won all five badminton golds and all four table tennis golds. Team GB performed impressively in track cycling, winning seven of ten golds. Russia came above Great Britain on the back of monopolising the medals in rhythmic gymnastics and synchronised swimming.

USA China Great Britain Russia
sport gold medals sport gold medals sport gold medals sport gold medals
Basketball 2 of 2 Badminton 5 of 5 Cycling – Track 7 of 10 Gymnastics – Rthymic 2 of 2
Beach Volleyball 1 of 2 Diving 6 of 8 Equestrian 3 of 6 Synchronised Swimming 2 of 2
Football 1 of 2 Table Tennis 4 of 4 Triathlon 1 of 2 Volleyball 1 of 2
Tennis 3 of 5 Trampolining 1 of 2
Water Polo 1 of 2

all previous alternative Olympic medal table updates:

Alternative Olympics medal table

Alternative medal table – updated

Alternative medal table… again

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