Monday, August 22, 2016

Olympic Efficiency Scores for 2016

Now that the Olympics are over, we can calculate the Olympic Efficiency Scores ("OES") for each of the top 10 countries in the medal count.  You will recall that what we do is we take data for each country's percentage of global GDP, which you can find here.  Then we figure out how many medals they would have won if their share of the medals had matched their share of GDP.  For example, there were 974 medals awarded at the Olympics.  In 2014, the last year for which data are available, the United States accounted for 22.43 percent of world GDP.  If their share of medals had matched their share of world GDP, the Americans would have won 218 medals.  In fact, they won 121, which gives them an OES of 0.555 -- much higher than the 0.424 we had in 2012.  Looking only at gold medals, we had an OES of 0.667 -- the highest we've had in a fully contested Olympics since the beginning of my data set, which goes back to 1969 (not counting 1984, of course).

With that background in mind, here are the OES scores for the top 10 countries in the medal count.  While our score has improved, only Japan had a lower OES than we did:

1.  United States:  121 total medals (46G/37S/38B) -- OES of 0.555
2.  China:  70 (26/18/26) -- OES of 0.631
3.  Great Britain:  67 (27/23/17) -- OES of 1.971
4.  Russia:  56 (19/18/19) -- OES of 2.545
5.  Germany:  42 (17/10/15) -- OES of 0.875
6.  France:  42 (10/18/14) -- OES of 1.135
7.  Japan:  41 (12/8/21) -- OES of 0.539
8.  Australia:  29 (8/11/10) -- OES of 1.706
9.  Italy:  28 (8/12/8) -- OES of 1.037
10.  Canada:  22 (4/3/15) -- OES of 0.917

So Germany, France, Italy, and Canada were pretty much on track.  The USA, China, and Japan under-performed.  And Great Britain, Russia, and Australia were the over-achievers.


  1. Our OES for swimming was 1.435.

    Our OES for track and field was 1.012

    Our OES for gymnastics was 0.991

    We won both gold medals in basketball.

    Now historically, the United States has viewed the Olympics as a swimming meet, a track meet, and a basketball tournament. In recent years, we've also started regarding it as a gymnastics competition. By those measures, the United States did very well in these Olympics, even using the OES.

  2. I like the stats out there about how colleges rank.

  3. Replies
    1. That's not how I roll. If you have the medal at the end of the Olympiad, then you are the medal winner. The only exception I would make would be if the IOC would give us the 1972 Gold Medal for basketball.

    2. I would be fine with the IOC vacating all of the medals won by a country in a given Olympics when one of its athletes was found to be cheating.

  4. Sweden will meet Netherlands in today's game played at Friends Arena, from Solna, Stockholm. In their last meeting, Sweden won the match with 3:2. I wonder if Louis van Gaal's team prepared us with a surprise for today. Based on the past results of the two teams, I would expect for this game to be quite balanced and finish in a draw. It should be interesting to see if Vincent Janssen will score during this match as he has a good average in terms of goals scored / match.