Sochi 2014: And the winner is…

The winter Olympiad at Sochi (Russia) has just come to an end. A total of 88 countries plus the independent Olympic athletes were represented. Among those 88 nations, 26 obtained at least one medal (approximately 30 %).

The official winner, both in number of gold medals (13) and total number of medals (33) was the host country, the Russian Federation.

It is not that I care much about counting medals, but as it can give a hint about the actual promotion of sports per country, I have re-ranked each country according to the number of medals (both total number of medals and number of gold medals) per million citizens. This is the result:

NUMBER OF GOLD MEDALS PER MILLION PEOPLE RANK

Country Gold Total Population Gold per million Medals per million
Norway 11 26 5,109,056 2.153 5.089
Slovenia 2 8 2,061,721 0.970 3.880
Switzerland 6 11 8,112,200 0.740 1.356
Belarus 5 6 9,468,100 0.528 0.634
Netherlands 8 24 16,839,100 0.475 1.425
Austria 4 17 8,501,502 0.471 2.000
Canada 10 25 35,295,770 0.283 0.708
Sweden 2 15 9,644,864 0.207 1.555
Czech Republic 2 8 10,513,800 0.190 0.761
Slovakia 1 1 5,415,459 0.185 0.185
Finland 1 5 5,450,614 0.183 0.917
Poland 4 6 38,502,396 0.104 0.156
Germany 8 19 80,619,000 0.099 0.236
Russian Federation 13 33 143,700,000 0.090 0.230
France 4 15 65,820,916 0.061 0.228
South Korea 3 8 50,219,669 0.060 0.159
United States 9 28 317,581,000 0.028 0.088
Ukraine 1 2 45,426,200 0.022 0.044
United Kingdom 1 4 63,705,000 0.016 0.063
Japan 1 8 127,180,000 0.008 0.063
China 3 9 1,360,720,000 0.002 0.007
Latvia 0 4 2,005,200 0.000 1.995
Croatia 0 1 4,290,612 0.000 0.233
Italy 0 8 59,943,933 0.000 0.133
Australia 0 3 23,390,492 0.000 0.128
Kazakhstan 0 1 17,165,000 0.000 0.058

TOTAL NUMBER OF MEDALS PER MILLION PEOPLE RANK

Country Gold Total Population Gold per million Medals per million
Norway 11 26 5,109,056 2.153 5.089
Slovenia 2 8 2,061,721 0.970 3.880
Austria 4 17 8,501,502 0.471 2.000
Latvia 0 4 2,005,200 0.000 1.995
Sweden 2 15 9,644,864 0.207 1.555
Netherlands 8 24 16,839,100 0.475 1.425
Switzerland 6 11 8,112,200 0.740 1.356
Finland 1 5 5,450,614 0.183 0.917
Czech Republic 2 8 10,513,800 0.190 0.761
Canada 10 25 35,295,770 0.283 0.708
Belarus 5 6 9,468,100 0.528 0.634
Germany 8 19 80,619,000 0.099 0.236
Croatia 0 1 4,290,612 0.000 0.233
Russian Federation 13 33 143,700,000 0.090 0.230
France 4 15 65,820,916 0.061 0.228
Slovakia 1 1 5,415,459 0.185 0.185
South Korea 3 8 50,219,669 0.060 0.159
Poland 4 6 38,502,396 0.104 0.156
Italy 0 8 59,943,933 0.000 0.133
Australia 0 3 23,390,492 0.000 0.128
United States 9 28 317,581,000 0.028 0.088
Japan 1 8 127,180,000 0.008 0.063
United Kingdom 1 4 63,705,000 0.016 0.063
Kazakhstan 0 1 17,165,000 0.000 0.058
Ukraine 1 2 45,426,200 0.022 0.044
China 3 9 1,360,720,000 0.002 0.007

As we can see, the clear winner in both ranks is Norway, with an impressive figure of over 5 medals per million inhabitants, including more than 2 gold medals per million people.

Slovenia scores nearly 4 medals per million citizens, among which, one is golden.

In the gold department, other remarkable nations include Switzerland, Belarus, The Netherlands and Austria.

Yes, all small European countries.

If we count all medals, other countries worth mentioning include Latvia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and, finally, the first big one, Canada.

Now, what has happened to the big guys? Where is Russia now? Where is Germany? Where the USA?

The conclusion is that, well, at least in winter games, smaller means more efficient.

 

NOTE: The lower threshold was set to 0.5, rounded to one decimal place.