Olympic Medal Landscape 2012-2016



In this post I share my version of the topography of the Olympic medal landscape. I use three data points: performance in London; a prediction of performance in Rio (by Gracenote); and actual performance in Rio.

I share some data too in regard to Great Britain’s performance in Rio.

The Gold Standard

The United States won 46 gold medals in London in 2012 (and a total of 103 medals). In Rio, the United States won 46 gold medals again but exceeded the total medals won in London by 18 medals.

They have set the gold standard scale for my visualisation. In Rio, Italy moved into the top ten medal winning nations (9th). The predictions for Rio did not have Italy this high up the medal table.

Brazil finished thirteenth on the medal table. My topography for eleven nations in rank order is:












My data for these charts can be found here.

Great Britain

Great Britain is the first team in the history of the Olympic Games to improve its position on the medal table in the first Games after hosting the Games. Great Britain won a total of 69 medals in Rio (27 gold, 23 silver, 17 bronze), 2 more than in London (29 gold, 17 silver, 19 bronze).

My data about performances after hosting the Games can be found here.

There is a fascinating story to tell about Sweden’s performance in Antwerp in 1920. After a gap of eight years during the First World War, Sweden equalled its achievement as host in 1912 on the medal table (2nd) and won one fewer medal (64 compared to 65). That performance is the highest % of medals by a team won four years after hosting the Games.

Photo Credit

Rio de Janeiro (Sama093, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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