This country will most likely win the medal league28th Jul 2016 |
One of the greatest things about the Olympic Games is the variety of the sports represented. But because of that it’s very hard to analyse every single event and calculate which nation will top the medal league. History and statistics can tell us a lot about what could be the potential outcomes, and who will end up with the most medals – and the statistics overall are pretty clear. But we also have to consider the number of athletes, the size of the country and all the different events in kind.
From a historical perspective, it seems almost undisputed that the USA will win this year’s medal league. In total, they have 2399 medals, and 976 of them are gold. Second place is still occupied by the Soviet Union, even after its dissolution. It has only occurred once after the second world war that another nation has won the medal league. This nation was China, who did it at home in Beijing, in 2008.The USA won 103 medals in London, in 2012. China came second, but still 15 medals behind, with 88 medals. Great Britain received 65 and Russia followed with 79 (we’re counting points as well as pure number of medals). But from 4th place there’s quite a gap down to South Korea in 5th. They only made 28 medals, but a lot of them were gold, so they ended up ahead of Germany’s 44 medals.
The fact that a nation other than the USA (or the Soviet Union) won the medal league quite recently might be a sign that things are changing. Even though the USA are clear favourites, we can by no means exclude the possibility that China will outdo them again. But if we look at the sheer number of participants the USA is sending, it’s fair to say that they should have the advantage in Rio. USA is bringing 555 athletes, Brazil has 465, China 413, Great Britain 366 and Russia 339.