Data in everyday life: Olympics

Drew LeisenFriday marked the beginning of the 31st Summer Olympic Games. More than 11,000 athletes from 204 nations will compete in 302 events to prove that they are the best in the world at their sports and to represent their nations on the world stage. Though every country has its strengths, only a handful of countries are repeatedly on top of the medal count boards. The countries that have dominated medal counts over the past five Summer Games (and almost all others) are: The United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, and France. We charted the total percent of medals won by each of these countries over the last five Summer Games to see just how these perennial powerhouses have done.

China, Russia, and the United States are consistently in the top three in all categories. These countries combined accounted for 38 percent of medals earned at the 2012 games, a whopping 369 out of 961 medals!  Great Britain has shown constant improvement over the past five games, earning 5 percent more medals in 2012 than in 1996. Another thing to note is how well the host countries do. The United States hosted the games in 1996 and not only led in total medals earned, but also led in bronze, silver, and gold medals won. China hosted the 2008 games and won about 17 percent of gold medals, leading by a large margin. In 2012 Great Britain continued a steady improvement in medals earned after hosting the games in London. The home court advantage still seems to apply, even during the Olympics!

Drew Leisen is a technical support intern at PQ Systems. He is a senior at Wright State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in MIS.

One thought on “Data in everyday life: Olympics

  1. I’m interested what the ranking will be after correction by number of inhabitants per country. Makes more sense. And extend evaluation to top 20 countries . . .

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