Monday, August 6, 2012

Weighted Olympic Medal Count 2012

In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games currently being held in London, England, I decided to create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet template for the medal count. There are two primary methods most websites appear to be ranking the 2012 medal count. Sites like Yahoo rank countries by the total number of Olympic medals won. Other sites, like the International Olympic Committee (or IOC) rank countries by their gold medal count. (And others, like this one from Forbes, rank by other factors like per capita or GDP.)

If you rank by gold medals countries like Great Britain and South Korea look really good. On the other hand, Japan has 27 medals, ranking fifth overall, but only TWO of them are gold. I’ve devised my own ranking system to give each Olympic medal a weight where the silver is worth half a gold medal and a bronze is worth only a quarter of the gold. Based on this new scoring system, the Olympic results suddenly become quite interesting.


I looked at the Olympic Game results for the top twenty countries medal counts up through today (Monday, August 5th). The top four countries actually remain in the same order but Japan drops from fifth to eighth. South Korea jumps up from 7th to 5th due to 11 gold medals. The biggest increase is Kazakhstan which shoots up from barely making the list at #20, almost all the way into the top ten at #11.The biggest fall is by Canada from 12th to 16th. Oh, and if he were a country he’d rank 14th overall because Michael Phelps' medal count at these Olympics Games is four gold and two silver.

I’ve shared my Excel spreadsheet on Google docs and listed out the Olympic medals by country (as of the morning of August 5th - I will try to keep this updated but no promises!). How would you weight each medal against the others? Comment below and share any of your more interesting Olympic medal counts!

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