Olympic Statistics


Thought I would do some statistical analysis of what’s going on in the Olympics, medal wise. Firstly, some facts, there are a total of 302 Golds available to be won at the Beijing Olympics. I am basing this all solely on Golds as there seems to be some weirdness going on with the number of Bronzes. Weirdness which I don’t understand yet.

I’ve taken a sample of the current top 10 medals table and used this to work out how many medals each nation should get. How many they should get is based on population. Population percentages are based, assuming that these 10 nations are the only nations, so all 302 medals are shared between them. This means that any numbers I present below are swayed, and to be accurate they should be lower.

Ok, so total Gold medals, how many should each nation win in total:

China 180
USA 42
Russia 19
Japan 17
Germany 11
Great Britain 8
Italy 8
South Korea 7
Ukraine 6
Australia 3

How many should they have at this point? (based on 145 Gold medals having been won):

China 87
USA 20
Russia 9
Japan 8
Germany 5
Great Britain 4
Italy 4
South Korea 3
Ukraine 3
Australia 1

And how many have these nations won? :

China 29
USA 18
Great Britain 11
Germany 9
Australia 8
Japan 7
South Korea 7
Italy 6
Russia 6
Ukraine 5

What do we notice? Of course I am going to focus firstly on Great Britain, a total expected haul of 8, should have 4 at this point and have already won 11. There are a number more events coming up (mainly cycling) which are almost certainties too. I am yet to see an indoor cycling race which we haven’t done well in. I’ve seen 2 races where a Brit didn’t win, one was the men’s points race, the other was the women’s pursuit final, admittedly the only person who could beat the Brit was another Brit. Looking at the rankings, we should be 6th but are in fact 3rd, another great sign. Only other thing to add is that China / USA have approx 600 participants in the games, we have 300 ish.

I don’t think there is any surprise that China are expected to be winning by miles, and are winning by miles. The USA’s current state seems very fake, helps when you have one guy who wins 8 Golds.

It would appear I’m not the only person to have similar ideas to this, check out some up-to-date stats which jhkim wrote a script for here. Other great insight from imnotandrei here.

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