Medal Count

not4u13
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Medal Count

Post by not4u13 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:23 am

I find the medal count by country an interesting item for discussion. There are really a couple of different ways of looking at it. Do you look at the total number of medals or is the total number of gold medals the key? As of right now, here is the top 10 medal count according to Google. This list has the US at 7th place. Yes, we are tied with Russia, Canada and Poland with 4 gold, but we have fewer silver than Russia and Canada. But wait, US news agencies have the US as third in the medal count. The Netherlands is first with 17 then Russia and then the US. Russia and the US both have 16 and we both have 4 gold, but Russia has more silver. Germany, who is first in this list, falls to sixth.

So ... which is it? Which is more important in the medal count? Which country is actually leading? Is Silver just the first loser? Does it even matter?

1 Germany 7 3 2 12
2 Netherlands 5 5 7 17
3 Norway 5 3 6 14
4 Switzerland 5 1 1 7
5 Russia 4 7 5 16
6 Canada 4 6 4 14
7 United States 4 4 8 16
8 Poland 4 0 0 4
9 China 3 2 0 5
10 Belarus 3 0 1 4
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Re: Medal Count

Post by MDDad » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:32 am

The simplest solution is to award points for medal finishes, as is done in swimming and track meets. If one awards 3 points for a gold medal, 2 for a silver and 1 for a bronze, your standings would be:

1. Netherlands - 32 points
2. Russia - 31
3. Germany - 29
T4. Canada - 28
T4. USA - 28
6. Norway - 27
7. Switzerland - 18
8. China - 13
9. Poland - 12
10. Belarus - 10

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Fordama
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Re: Medal Count

Post by Fordama » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:43 am

I think you'd also have to come up with a way to measure more extremely in the events that only allow one entry per country--such as the team sports.

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Re: Medal Count

Post by MDDad » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:50 am

I agree. Arguably the most difficult medals to win are in mens ice hockey. Yet there are only three medals awarded in that sport, versus 147 medals in skiing and snowboarding.

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Re: Medal Count

Post by AsIfYouKnew » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:53 pm

I would advocate a scoring system more like swimming:
Gold = 7 points
Silver = 3
Bronze = 1

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Re: Medal Count

Post by not4u13 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:42 pm

I agree that some medals appear to be much harder to get and should be weighted more heavily if you are to rank countries based on medals earned. Hockey is really hard. Is snowboard cross gold the same? I think no.

With so many variables is it even really meaningful to compare the medal haul?
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Re: Medal Count

Post by Omar Bongo » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:34 pm

It all goes back to the original Olympics - the only award was an olive wreath, not precious metal (and only for the winner). Why? Because after a few days it whithered and died, signifying that winning doesn't make you the best forever, just the best at that specific moment in time.
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Re: Medal Count

Post by Wabash » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:50 am

OB, at one point in time the winners were also given oak trees. The medals were handed to the winners on the platform and not put around their necks. That changed some time after the 1936 Olympics.
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Re: Medal Count

Post by John Q. Public » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:56 am

not4u13 wrote:With so many variables is it even really meaningful to compare the medal haul?
Especially when medalling or not is a matter of the person who really is the best in the event crashing and taking himself out of the competition. You have to be an elite athlete to even make the competition (or be the only person in Thailand with a set of skis) and any of a handful of them could win from one day to the next. Winning a medal means a lot but it really just means you did the best that day.

And what does medal count even mean? I had nothing to do with Such-and-such winning the Gold Medal in Downhill Figure Skating, so there's no satisfaction in it for me. It means a lot to him but it says nothing about me. We only live in the same country. It doesn't mean I'm any good at it. Add up the medals any way you want but all it will say is "we" won or "they" won. It doesn't really mean a lot, except in cases like the programs the USSR had back in the '60s and '70s where it really was a national effort.
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Re: Medal Count

Post by not4u13 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:18 pm

Consider this too. Many of the top athletes from other countries come to the US to train. Russian coaches train US athletes. US citizens with ties to other nations receive permission from the IOC to compete for that nation because they were not good enough to make the US team.

What does it mean when Temu Selane of the NHL Ducks plays for Finland and knocks out Russia in the Hockey quarterfinals.

Maybe the US should be given an assist in some of these medals.
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Re: Medal Count

Post by MDDad » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:36 pm

not4u13: "What does it mean when Temu Selane of the NHL Ducks plays for Finland and knocks out Russia in the Hockey quarterfinals."

What it probably means is that the NHL players on the Finnish team were better for one day than the NHL players on the Russian team.

And Teemu Selanne is Finnish, so we should get no assist for the win.

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Re: Medal Count

Post by Omar Bongo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:28 am

"Maybe the US should be given an assist in some of these medals."

Or maybe we should just drop the country identifications, flags, national anthems, etc. which are another modern change from the original Olympic concept - it should be about the athletes and sport.
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Re: Medal Count

Post by not4u13 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:28 am

Good idea OB. It should be about the athletes. It is interesting though that so many report of the national pride they feel in representing their country.

I think you are missing the point MDDAD. Would Selane be as good as he is without the environment created by the NHL and the US? The question is, what is the point of ranking a country in the medal count if their only real contribution was that the athlete was born there.
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Re: Medal Count

Post by MDDad » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:24 am

Omar Bongo wrote:Or maybe we should just drop the country identifications, flags, national anthems, etc. which are another modern change from the original Olympic concept
If we are to return to the "original Olympic concept", wouldn't all the athletes compete naked?


not4u13 wrote:Would Selane (sic) be as good as he is without the environment created by the NHL and the US?
Very, very, likely. The talent that allowed Teemu to score 76 goals (the most ever by a rookie) in his first year in North America and the NHL, and the talent that allows him to still compete at the highest level in the world at age 43, would not have been hindered had he remained in Europe.

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Re: Medal Count

Post by Wabash » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:29 am

Not in the modern games. The competitors were clothed.
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Re: Medal Count

Post by MDDad » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:45 am

Damn! When Omar says "original Olympics", I assumed he meant the competitions 2,800 years ago, not the 1896 Games.

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Re: Medal Count

Post by John Q. Public » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:53 am

The Winter games would be mighty chilly that way.

The pole vaulting record might be a few inches lower, as well. And I don't even want to think about the hurdles.
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Re: Medal Count

Post by MDDad » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:03 am

When it comes to the physical "drag" during pole vaulting and hurdling, that's just another one of the million reasons they invented duct tape.

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Re: Medal Count

Post by seeinred » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:06 am

The US is leading the medal count!!!!
MMERUCKA!!! :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

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Re: Medal Count

Post by Omar Bongo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:52 pm

"Damn! When Omar says "original Olympics", I assumed he meant the competitions 2,800 years ago, not the 1896 Games."

That is what I'm referring to. The modern Olympic movement bears no relation at all to the original Olympic Games.


"If we are to return to the "original Olympic concept", wouldn't all the athletes compete naked?"

Don't you guys follow the news?

Olympic skier's topless photos cause storm in Lebanon

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26150735
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