Posted by: barugon | 16 August 2008

Odd math in Olympic medals table

ODD MATH: I was just looking over the Olympic medals table and came to the conclusion that the mathematics involved were a little… well, odd.

Olympic medals

If you look at the official Olympic medals table (as of 16 August at 1745 GMT), there are two rankings for a country’s overall standing; either by their combinations of medals (rankings valuated by medal type), as well as their ranking by total number of medals achieved thus far. Of course I see nothing wrong in principle with having those two classifications, however the way in which the ranking by combination of medals is calculated seems a bit off to me. 😐

 

For instance, these are the OFFICIAL standings of the top 20 countries based on the total NUMBER of medals yet achieved (as of 16 August at 1745 GMT):

Rank   Nation   Gold   Silver   Bronze    Total  
1 United States United States (USA) 16 16 22 54
2 China China (CHN) 27 13 7 47
3 Australia Australia (AUS) 7 8 10 25
4 France France (FRA) 3 9 10 22
5 Russia Russia (RUS) 5 8 8 21
6 South Korea South Korea (KOR) 7 9 4 20
7 Germany Germany (GER) 8 5 5 18
8 Japan Japan (JPN) 7 5 5 17
9 Great Britain Great Britain (GBR) 7 3 7 17
10 Italy Italy (ITA) 6 5 6 17
11 Ukraine Ukraine (UKR) 5 2 5 12
12 Cuba Cuba (CUB) 1 3 4 8
13 Belarus Belarus (BLR) 0 2 6 8
14 Netherlands Netherlands (NED) 1 2 4 7
15 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan (KAZ) 0 3 3 6
16 Czech Republic Czech Republic (CZE) 2 3 0 5
17 New Zealand New Zealand (NZL) 2 1 2 5
18 Romania Romania (ROU) 2 1 2 5
19 Switzerland Switzerland (SUI) 2 0 3 5
20 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (AZE) 1 2 2 5

 

Subsequently, these are the OFFICIAL standings of the top 20 countries based on the COMBINATIONS of medals yet achieved (as of 16 August at 1745 GMT):

Rank   Nation   Gold   Silver   Bronze    Total  
1 China China (CHN) 27 13 7 47
2 United States United States (USA) 16 16 22 54
3 Germany Germany (GER) 8 5 5 18
4 South Korea South Korea (KOR) 7 9 4 20
5 Australia Australia (AUS) 7 8 10 25
6 Japan Japan (JPN) 7 5 5 17
7 Great Britain Great Britain (GBR) 7 3 7 17
8 Italy Italy (ITA) 6 5 6 17
9 Russia Russia (RUS) 5 8 8 21
10 Ukraine Ukraine (UKR) 5 2 5 12
11 France France (FRA) 3 9 10 22
12 Slovakia Slovakia (SVK) 3 1 0 4
13 Czech Republic Czech Republic (CZE) 2 3 0 5
14 New Zealand New Zealand (NZL) 2 1 2 5
14 Romania Romania (ROU) 2 1 2 5
16 Switzerland Switzerland (SUI) 2 0 3 5
17 Spain Spain (ESP) 2 0 1 3
17 Georgia Georgia (GEO) 2 0 1 3
19 Cuba Cuba (CUB) 1 3 4 8
20 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (ZIM) 1 3 0 4

 

However, if you look at the ranking by combinations of medals (as seen above), the calculations of ranking are perhaps not as complete or accurate as they could be. As it stands now, the official ranking is done by those with only  the most GOLD medals, and if a tie, then the country with the most SILVER. I could be wrong in my assessment of their calculations, but I don’t think so.

However, if you were to attribute a simple point value system, where GOLD was 3 points, SILVER was 2 points, and BRONZE was 1 point, you would end up with a very different rankings table that more accurately reflects the overall medal achievements of each country.

Here is MY RANKING of countries based on ‘score’, which is determined by a 3, 2, and 1 point value system for each medal (as of 16 August at 1745 GMT):

Rank   Nation Gold Silver Bronze  Score 
1 China China (CHN) 27 13 7 114
2 United States United States (USA) 16 16 22 102
3 Australia Australia (AUS) 7 8 10 47
4 South Korea South Korea (KOR) 7 9 4 43
5= Germany Germany (GER) 8 5 5 39
5= Russia Russia (RUS) 5 8 8 39
7 France France (FRA) 3 9 10 37
8 Japan Japan (JPN) 7 5 5 36
9 Great Britain Great Britain (GBR) 7 3 7 34
10 Italy Italy (ITA) 6 5 6 33
11 Ukraine Ukraine (UKR) 5 2 5 24
12 Cuba Cuba (CUB) 1 3 4 13
13 Czech Republic Czech Republic (CZE) 2 3 0 12
14 Slovakia Slovakia (SVK) 3 1 0 11
15= New Zealand New Zealand (NZL) 2 1 2 10
15= Romania Romania (ROU) 2 1 2 10
17= Switzerland Switzerland (SUI) 2 0 3 9
17= Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (ZIM) 1 3 0 9
19= Georgia Georgia (GEO) 2 0 1 7
19= Spain Spain (ESP) 2 0 1 7

 

While the top two competitors (China and USA) remain unchanged in their respective positions, there is a significant shift for other countries, such as Australia, Germany, Russia, France, and Cuba. Of course I could be totally wrong in my assessment of the official standings, and there is no reason to suspect that the ranking calculations were malicious… far from it. That said, it is odd that the rankings would simply follow the number of GOLD medals for each country, while essentially ignoring the value of the SILVER and BRONZE medals also achieved – following such a method seems less… well, Olympic. But, that’s all I have to say about that! 😉

バイバイ!

Barugon (^_^)

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