# Thread: A Proposal for Calculating Medal Standings

1. Hee hee I think this is an excellent controversy!

I'd like to get into the argument but I can't seem to care about it. China and USA are doing great, that's how I see it!

And I'm loving Virginia's Gold medal!

Anyone what to do a USA-only ranking by state?

2. Originally Posted by Prancer
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.

Because I am a bit weird, I actually find the question of how the medal results should be aggregated to declare a single overall "winner" to be an interesting theoretical question. A long time ago, I studied voting theory, which considers how individual preferences for candidates should be aggregated to select a winner, and there are some similarities. Of course, what we know from voting theory is that there is no perfect voting system, all systems are flawed in some way. So I suspect the same is true for the question of aggregating medal counts.

3. Originally Posted by liv
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

Where did you see that? Id like to see some official Canada ranking.

I know CTV does it but theyre not official, plus I'm sure they have some other agendas (financial) plus I'm convinced they're idiots.

Originally Posted by Theatregirl1122
. 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.
It does. But probably explains a little bit why we see some many athletes crying and so upset when they attain a remarkable silver instead of gold. The IOC is telling them they've failed in a way.

4. Now will someone figure out a way for the team sports medals to get more credit.

17 days of competition vs 17 minutes of competition. I know the 17 minutes takes the same amount of work and preparation and I have no objection to people being able to win tons of individual medals; in fact I love that part. I just wish the team players got the same sort of advantage.

5. Originally Posted by Norlite
Where did you see that? Id like to see some official Canada ranking.

I know CTV does it but theyre not official, plus I'm sure they have some other agendas (financial) plus I'm convinced they're idiots.

It does. But probably explains a little bit why we see some many athletes crying and so upset when they attain a remarkable silver instead of gold. The IOC is telling them they've failed in a way.
CBC is also using the "US method" of counting medals.

6. Originally Posted by Norlite
I know CTV does it but theyre not official
I repeat--there is no official medal count:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not recognise global ranking per country;

That's because:

The Olympic Charter, Chapter 1, section 6 states that: The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries …

http://bostinno.com/2012/08/02/olymp...195681_1_0__ss

Count 'em however you want to, Canada!

7. Originally Posted by BlueRidge

Anyone what to do a USA-only ranking by state?
Nah, but I'm pretty sure most states talk up "their" medalists. I know we've been hearing a lot about Lochte in central Florida.

8. Originally Posted by milanessa
Nah, but I'm pretty sure most states talk up "their" medalists. I know we've been hearing a lot about Lochte in central Florida.
What about athletes who are from one state but train in another?

I mean, if you do that with countries, you still compete for ONE country, but states.....

We should let olympic tackle this one--she's appropriately named and in need of something interesting to do.

9. I already thought of that. Definitely give the medal to both the state the athlete is from and where he/she trains.

I might try my hand at coming up with the ranking. Its way more interesting than by country!

10. Originally Posted by BlueRidge
I already thought of that. Definitely give the medal to both the state the athlete is from and where he/she trains.
What if the athlete moved for training? And hasn't decided where to go after the Olys?

Or what if the athlete has hopped states while competing in multiple Olys?

Originally Posted by BlueRidge
I might try my hand at coming up with the ranking. Its way more interesting than by country!
Thou art a worthier soul than I.

11. Originally Posted by Prancer
What about athletes who are from one state but train in another?
Make it complicated, why don't you?

The world is a better place for having you in it, Prancie.

12. While we're evaluating alternatives, we can also consider medals counts adjusted by population, GDP and team size:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/data...eed=true#total

Mongolia seems to be having a great Olympics!

13. I thought at one point the US counted most gold first - and then changed it when we lost the gold count but kept the most medal count.

14. Originally Posted by AYS
While we're evaluating alternatives, we can also consider medals counts adjusted by population, GDP and team size:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/data...eed=true#total

Mongolia seems to be having a great Olympics!
Love it!

15. Originally Posted by Prancer
What about athletes who are from one state but train in another?
If you can lay claim to them- you talk them up. We definitely claim Gabby Douglas here in Iowa, she is the biggest news in all the papers, but I'm sure her home state does too.

I've heard Canadians complaining about excessive Missy Franklin coverage- because she is also Canadian. So some news stations there appear to be taking "credit" for her.

In addition to states- I've also seen universities claiming their athletes (from any country, and current or former students). I saw something about how the University of Texas has more gold medals (historically) than most countries- at 67.

It does seem like the "true" count of success is total medals (or gold, whatever) divided by total number of events attempted. A country sending one athlete who wins gold had a more successful Olympics than the USA- afterall, we have "failures" left and right. No one from their country failed to win.

16. Originally Posted by Prancer
What if the athlete moved for training? And hasn't decided where to go after the Olys?

Or what if the athlete has hopped states while competing in multiple Olys?

Thou art a worthier soul than I.
Yes well if I do it, I get to make it up. And then I'm the first one so mine is the official version and everyone who tries to change it can be assumed to be doing so out of bias.

17. I posted this in the other thread: http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/1082...-of-the-bronze.

Are you going to calculate medals by ethnic group? This article just cracks me up.

I posted this in the other thread: http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/1082...-of-the-bronze.

Are you going to calculate medals by ethnic group? This article just cracks me up.
Or by Gays vs Lesser Gays even?

19. Originally Posted by snoopy
I thought at one point the US counted most gold first - and then changed it when we lost the gold count but kept the most medal count.
Dunno. The New York Times did a piece on this for the last Olympics and discussed the history of the medal tables.

We discussed it then, IIRC. At some length, IIRC.

But anyway, the Times piece said that it was always done by total medals.

According to Wiki:

This difference in rankings has its origins in the early days of the Olympics, when the IOC did not publish or recognise medal tables.[1] Before 2008, the difference in ranking system received scant notice, since in recent Olympic history the country that led in total medals also led in the gold count. China and the U.S. bucked this trend at the 2008 Summer Olympics, topping the gold and total medal tallies respectively,[13] and a similar situation occurred at the 2010 Winter Olympics when Canada and the U.S. finished with the most gold medals and total medals respectively.[12] Other exceptions are the 1896, 1912 and 1964 Summer Olympics when the United States finished first in gold medal count but second in the overall medal count. In an August 24, 2008 news conference, IOC President Jacques Rogge confirmed that the IOC does not have a view on any particular ranking system.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_medal_table

Unless they missed a year--entirely possible, as it IS Wiki--it doesn't appear that we had a case where we had the most medals but not the most golds until 2008. The reverse, however, appears to have occurred more than once.

Originally Posted by AYS
While we're evaluating alternatives, we can also consider medals counts adjusted by population, GDP and team size:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/data...eed=true#total

Mongolia seems to be having a great Olympics!
I think this method makes a lot of sense, actually. The US and China are big and rich; no surprise that they win a lot of medals. They should. But winning a medal in Mongolia has to be a real accomplishment.

Of course, you would need to adjust for "number of people in said country who participate in sport at competitive level," as I think that makes a big difference, too (coughsoftballcough).

20. Originally Posted by SHARPIE
Or by Gays vs Lesser Gays even?
But how do we know if they're a lesser gay unless magnolia tells us?

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