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  1. #1
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    A Proposal for Calculating Medal Standings

    North Americans aren't happy with the European way of calculating medal standings which counts number of golds, then silvers, then bronzes. Europeans don't like the total medal count method.

    Here is my proposal that gives more credit for higher medal finishes, but also takes into account the total number of medal won by a country. In the following table, I've assigned point values to each medal: 3 for Gold, 2 for Silver, and 1 for Bronze. Ties may be broken by the current European method of calculating standings. I copied the current data (Day 6) into a spreadsheet, did the calculations, and then applied my rules for ranking. Here is the result:


    1 United States of America 18 9 10 82
    2 People's Republic of China 18 11 5 81
    3 Germany 4 8 5 33
    4 France 6 4 6 32
    5 Great Britain 5 6 4 31
    6 South Korea 7 2 5 30
    7 Russian Federation 3 6 8 29
    8 Japan 2 6 11 29
    9 Italy 4 5 2 24
    10 Australia 1 7 3 20
    11 North Korea 4 0 1 13
    12 Netherlands 2 1 3 11
    13 Romania 1 3 2 11
    14 Hungary 2 1 2 10
    15 Ukraine 2 0 4 10
    16 Kazakhstan 3 0 0 9
    16 South Africa 3 0 0 9
    18 Canada 0 2 5 9
    19 Brazil 1 1 2 7
    20 Mexico 0 3 1 7
    21 New Zealand 1 0 2 5
    22 Colombia 0 2 1 5
    22 Cuba 0 2 1 5
    24 Slovenia 1 0 1 4
    25 Sweden 0 2 0 4
    26 Georgia 1 0 0 3
    26 Lithuania 1 0 0 3
    26 Venezuela 1 0 0 3
    29 Belarus 0 1 1 3
    29 Denmark 0 1 1 3
    29 Spain 0 1 1 3
    29 Indonesia 0 1 1 3
    29 Mongolia 0 1 1 3
    29 Norway 0 1 1 3
    35 Slovakia 0 0 3 3
    36 Czech Republic 0 1 0 2
    36 Egypt 0 1 0 2
    36 Poland 0 1 0 2
    36 Thailand 0 1 0 2
    36 Taipei (Chinese Taipei) 0 1 0 2
    37 Azerbaijan 0 0 1 1
    37 Belgium 0 0 1 1
    37 Greece 0 0 1 1
    37 India 0 0 1 1
    37 Republic of Moldova 0 0 1 1
    37 Qatar 0 0 1 1
    37 Singapore 0 0 1 1
    37 Serbia 0 0 1 1
    37 Uzbekistan 0 0 1 1

    Some countries moved up, some moved down, depending on which method you prefer. Just putting this out there for discussion because we don't have enough to talk about...
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    OK---Now that the USA is out in front on the medals ( and I'm used to the North American way of counting as silver and bronze are golden to me) I can write something and not be greeted with "sour grapes" accusations. I hate the medal counts. HATE them; always have as it is individuals and teams of individuals that win medals even if they are doing it under a certain country's flag. The government didn't train these folks. What exactly does it say about the US and China other than they really like sports?

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    I did want to add that despite my feelings I do appreciate that you took the time to do all of those calculations. I just don't understand the medal count frenzy we see on NBC every night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cachoo View Post
    I hate the medal counts. HATE them; always have as it is individuals and teams of individuals that win medals even if they are doing it under a certain country's flag. The government didn't train these folks. What exactly does it say about the US and China other than they really like sports?
    That they have a lot of money to throw around?
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

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    Government money is used to fund the training of many Olympians, so I think relying on medal counts is at least one decent measure of determining the efficacy of certain funding and training measures.

    I mean, let's say in 2014 the Germans win pairs gold and Russia comes 2, 3, and 4, which is totally conceivable. Does that mean that the German pairs system is better than Russia's?

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    Err, it's not the European way. The rest of the world does it the same way. Gold is worth more (even the actual physical medals are ). Surely winning an event counts for more than being first and second loser (which is still great if Ireland ends up with either ).
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    The Olympic medal table is a method of sorting the medal placements of countries in the modern day Olympics and Paralympics. Officially, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not recognize a ranking of participating countries at the Olympic Games.[1] Nevertheless, the IOC does publish medal tables for informational purposes, showing the total number of Olympic medals earned by athletes representing each country's respective National Olympic Committee.[2] The convention used by the IOC is to sort by the number of gold medals the athletes from a country have earned. In the event of a tie in the number of gold medals, the number of silver medals is taken into consideration, and then the number of bronze medals. If two countries have an equal number of gold, silver, and bronze medals, they are ordered in the table alphabetically by their IOC country code.
    Like Fred said - it is not the European way but the "official" way from the IOC.

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    So replace European with IOC. Once again I have been properly chastized and shown my ignorance in the ways of the IOC.

    Hedwig, I have no idea what I ever did to piss you off and cause you to be so critical of things I post; you can continue to pick nits about my posts if you like, but note that it is getting a bit predictable...
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    So replace European with IOC. Once again I have been properly chastized and shown my ignorance in the ways of the IOC.

    Hedwig, I have no idea what I ever did to piss you off and cause you to be so critical of things I post; your nitpicking is getting very predictable albeit incomprehensible.
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    And I have no idea why you feel like I am nitpicking at you?

    I read this and was interested where the medal table definition came from - if it is indeed European or more universal. Therefore I looked it up in Wikipedia and posted it here in case other people are wondering too.

    I have no idea why you feel insulted by the objective information given by me and in which other topics I "chastised" you. I am honestly bewildered that you feel that way. You read something in it that isn't there.

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    I think both tables are interesting. But the fact that the US does it differently from the IOC makes me laugh, kind of like how ice network has its own rankings separate from the real world rankings. I mean- why?

    I personally think there is a lot of success to a non-gold medal too, so I do like total count, but I also think seeing the highest gold medal count is fun. But medal tables are pretty pointless. You don't get a prize at the end for being the winning country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I think both tables are interesting. But the fact that the US does it differently from the IOC makes me laugh, kind of like how ice network has its own rankings separate from the real world rankings. I mean- why?

    I personally think there is a lot of success to a non-gold medal too, so I do like total count, but I also think seeing the highest gold medal count is fun. But medal tables are pretty pointless. You don't get a prize at the end for being the winning country.
    But there's a great deal of chest thumping over it, and specifically on FSU, some consternation between North Americans and others (who seem to be mostly European, hence my error of assumption).

    When we run track meets for our junior high students here, we assign points to the different finishes to calculate overall team standings. Seeing as that system gives more credit for higher place finishes but also gives credit for any top placing, I thought it would be interesting to apply that to the Olympics as both systems currently used have deficiencies. A country which has multiple medals placing below one that has one gold perpetuates the idea that only gold matters. It may well be IOC standard, but since when has FSU ever been above criticizing protocols?
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    I do find it perplexing that so many Euros are proud that they have different traditions or a different culture and then look down on North Americans because we may do things differently than they do. Ours is an arrogant attitude, theirs is just quirky. C'est le vie. Ya get used to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by milanessa View Post
    I do find it perplexing that so many Euros are proud that they have different traditions or a different culture and then look down on North Americans because we may do things differently than they do. Ours is an arrogant attitude, theirs is just quirky. C'est le vie. Ya get used to it.
    Im not proud or anything over the way we calculate medal standings, it's just the way it is and what I am used to. As pointed out earlier, it's not a 'European' way it's the official way the IOC calculate it and it's not just Europe who use this method.
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    I'm interested that you did this, Really, because i was thinking about it the other day during a medal table depate. It does seem unfair to count a gold the same as a bronze but it also seems unfair to discount all medals other than Gold. Sure, the IOC has an official system and that is great for them, but I was definitely thinking that a weighted average would be more interesting to look at in terms of how each country is doing!

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    Until this morning I thought Canada used the IOC (european) way until I saw them rank the US as ahead of China even though they had the same gold. I am crushed. Once again we follow the States

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    Quote Originally Posted by liv View Post
    I am crushed. Once again we follow the States
    Maybe not. Maybe we're just on the same page.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I think both tables are interesting. But the fact that the US does it differently from the IOC makes me laugh, kind of like how ice network has its own rankings separate from the real world rankings. I mean- why?
    US newspapers were the first to start keeping track of medal counts and that's how they did it. It's our tradition and the way we were doing it long before anyone else did. This is, of course, because we are competitive bastards; keeping track of medals was seen as counter to the true spirit of the Games and was seen as vulgar--until everyone else started keeping track, and now there is apparently a competition regarding how medals are counted, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    But medal tables are pretty pointless. You don't get a prize at the end for being the winning country.
    Ah, but you get bragging rights--or not. Very important.

    The IOC, by the way, tabulates medals by gold first, but does not endorse any particular ranking method. Every country is allowed to do the count however it likes. Arguing that "everyone" does it one way and that makes it the right way is a bandwagon fallacy, so I am sure no one will use that one again, right?
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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    Taking into account weighted medals sounds like a reasonable idea to me, Really. Which is probably why it won't happen any time soon .

    As for the whole European vs. IOC perception, I think it goes back to the fact that the IOC started out in France and the Olympics were at first a largely European affair. Not to mention it took a while and quite a few transportation improvements to have all the countries we see now attend the Games. Maybe that’s why some people perceive the IOC as 'European.'

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