Monday, 19 February 2018

True Olympic Country Standings

Ever wonder how the Olympic medal count would look if you weighted the medal colours or considered the size of the countries? I always have. So with the 2018 winter games I've decided to finally put together a comprehensive ranking based on a wide range of factors.

And here's what I found:                           Factors Considered:

       -Medal colour
       -Number of medals won
       -Country size (population)
       -Number of athletes per country (chances to win)
       -Wealth of country (removed economic advantage)
       -Medals won per athlete sent (winning efficiency)
       -Distribution of medals won over event categories (measures breadth of national              skill)
       -Distribution of athletes over events (spreading of athlete resources)
       -Distribution of medals to winners (diminishes effects of star athletes winning                    multiple medals)
       -Climate of country (reduces advantage of coldest  countries)
       -Abundance of winter sports terrain and facilities

           NOTES: Only countries with more than one medal & greater than 2.5 million population are listed in order to reduce outliers (sorry Liechtenstein ). Adjustment has been made for hockey teams given that they require ~25 athletes but can only ever win a single medal.

Now that's interesting, and quite a bit more accurate!

Here's the same data charted to highlight the distance between scores:


Norway: Norway had a great showing at the Olympics as usual.  One area where they need to watch out is that too many of their medals are concentrated in the hands of a few superstars.

Netherlands: the Netherlands exceeded expectations with most of their score coming from athlete efficiency- a small contingent of athletes winning many medals with very few repeat winners.  In order to improve they will need to branch out into events beyond speed skating- thise this will be difficult given their climate.  The Netherlands secured the title of best over achiever.

Switzerland: Switzerland overachieved and had a balanced games overall.

Germany: Germany was the only superpower to come close to meeting expectations.  With balanced success in a broad range of events, it's difficult to see where Germany can improve.  Efforts to improve might best be focused in areas such as curling hockey and snowboarding.

Austria: Austria managed to overachieve despite having high expectations coming into the games.  If they hope to improve it will need to be in areas off the slopes.

South Korea: the host nation had an over achieving games.  While some of their success can be attributed home field advantage and the host's ability to enter athletes into events, it was nice to see them win medals in for an additional events outside of the skating arena.

Sweden: Sweden narrowly missed out on sixth place, but can be pleased with its overall result.  One area that is lacking is skating events.

Czech Republic: the Czechs had a very strong showing, narrowly missing out on a hockey medal which likely would have moved them up a few spots.

Finland: despite a most of its efforts focused in hockey the Finns had a strong showing and can be pleased with their results.

Belarus: despite sending a very small team and being a relatively poor country, Belarus barely missed out on best overachiever status.

Canada: Canada had a disappointing Olympics, finishing 11th.  While Canada had a balanced effort with athletes in a broad range of events, they came up short primarily due to sending the second largest number of athletes to the games.  Canada would do well to reduce the size of its team and focus more of its efforts on winners.

Slovakia: Slovavia did well considering its size.  A larger team entered in a few more events might see them improve.

China: the Chinese nearly matched expectations, narrowly missing out on 12th place.  Expect to see the Chinese continue to improve in the future.

Japan: Japan had very well balanced games, earning broad success.  Slightly more was expected of them given their size and resources.

Italy: the Italians underachieved, primarily due to a couple of DNFs on the alpine slopes.

United States: the Americans underachieved and earned the title of worst underachiever.  Despite having athletes and success in a range of events, their expectations were high given the size of their country and the number of athletes sent.  The Americans need to improve at traditional core events.

Russia: the Russians had a disappointing games.  Too many of their medals were bronze and they need to win in a broader range of events given their size.

France: this historically strong winter game nation simply did not bring back enough medals for its size.

Great Britain: the British can be pleased with their results.  While not a winter nation they still managed a good showing.  Perhaps a focus on speed skating would lead to future success.

Australia: nearly meeting expectations, the Australians did well. Likely only up from here.