Looking at Olympic medal results per population size

Canada will not end up owning the podium in the traditional sense, but looking at our medal results as a function of our population size gives a different perspective of which countries perform the best at the Olympics.

We take you behind the scenes this month with our timely Vancouver Games Blog, an insider perspective on sport medicine and science headlines, talking points, statistical data and emerging trends.

The University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute has created a formula to analyze Winter Olympic medal results for each country as a per capita function of the size of their population. The results turn the traditional medal count upside down:

Canada is besting the United States handily on this WMPC  (Winter Olympic Medals Per Capita Metric), taking home roughly five times the rate of medals – 0.5 medals per million Canadians versus just under 0.1 for every million Americans. And if Mr. Silver’s projections hold, Canada will finish the Games outperforming its neighbour by a factor of eight, scoring 0.8 medals per million people.

But before Canadians get all boastful, it should be noted that Canada actually ranks worse in WMPC than it does in the overall medal count. Canada is currently 10th and is projected to finish eighth, behind Norway (projected to win almost five medals per million people), Austria (2), Slovenia (1.4), Switzerland (1.2), Sweden (1.2), Latvia (1), and Finland (0.9). The U.S. would be 21st.

Read more in this Globe and Mail article.

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