Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Interesting medals facts

Last week I was quite critical of those in the MSM who quickly jumped on Canada's slow start in Beijing by suggesting we need more funding for the Olympics via higher taxes. Not only have most of those scenics gone noticeably silent, they are oblivious to some interesting facts regarding Canada's medal production in conjunction to its population:
While many are quick to criticize Canada's "poor showing" at the Olympics, few are willing to define what "success" looks like. The criticism usually begins with something that compares us with the United States and ends with the usual call for throwing more taxpayer dollars at the "issue".

For obvious reasons we can't compare our Olympic medal total with the United States. For starters, their population of 300 million people is almost ten times that our nation's. Not to mention the fact that the United States has a much longer summer for training.

What would be appropriate when considering success for our nation, is Canada's medal haul on a per basis with other countries. Below is a per capita medal earnings comparison between Canada and the top ten medal earning nations.

1) Australia 1:572,222
2) United Kingdom 1:1,691,666
3) South Korea 1:2,050,000
4) France 1:2,133,333
5) CANADA 1:2,553,846
6) Italy 1:2905000
7) Germany 1:2,942,857
8) Russia 1:3,126,666
9) United States 1:3,845,569
10) Japan 1:5,534,782
11) China 1:16,835,443

Suddenly, Canada's one medal for every 2,553,846 people is looking pretty respectable. As you can see, when compared with the top ten medal earning nations, Canada places fifth. Those that are keen on comparing us with the United States can take solace in the fact that on a per capita basis, their nation currently ranks 9th.

Further, as Kevin pointed out, our current total of 13 medals has already passsed the 2004 total of 12. Perhaps it's time for the critics to stop bashing our nation's "poor showing" and to start by cheering our men and women on for their great showing.


At Aug 20, 2008, 8:47:00 PM , Blogger Iain G. Foulds said...

... As we begin to build a nation based upon the principles of liberty, we will phase out these policies of economic collectivism- the role of the state forcing money from one citizen to give to another.
... The ending of state funding to athletes is an obvious place to start. It is absolutely absurd and immoral to force money from working people to give to those who choose to focus their lives on such completely meaningless activities as running fast, or jumping high.

At Aug 21, 2008, 12:27:00 PM , Blogger Kit said...

That is not a bad comparison methodology. How many people engaged in a sport does it take to generate at least one Olympic caliber athlete every four years? How many to generate the best in the world?
So if our population can generate that level of return in comparison to our size... thats pretty darn good.
If China had the same level of return we have... there would be no medals for anyone else.

At Aug 22, 2008, 9:07:00 AM , Blogger nbt said...

I see we're only a few medals shy of our best mark in '96 of 22. I don't know what all the fuss is about?


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