How the Olympic medal count system we’re using is broken

Image: Jonathan Sklaroff

Image: Jonathan Sklaroff

Fun Sochi fact: The system most media outlets (including NPR) are using is broken. Here’s how we can fix it:

Going into today, Norway leads all nations with double digit Gold Medals with 10, but according to most media outlets  they rank 4th because they have 21 medals. Meanwhile, the U.S. stands on top with 23 Medals! One problem with this, the U.S. has only 7 Gold, but 11 Bronze!

The more accurate description instead of the U.S. is number 1 should be that we are the best at being third. I propose a weighted points system (see graphic): 12 points for gold, 6 for silver and 2 for bronze. By that math, Russia has 140 points, the U.S. 136 points, Canada has 122 and the Norwegian’s lead all with 158.


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2 Comments on “How the Olympic medal count system we’re using is broken”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    Ah, who cares?
    Because it is the athletes who win medals, not the countries.

  2. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Add one point to a country’s medals point count for every million in population under 10 million. For example if a country has 5 million people and one bronze medal they get 7 points, one silver gets 11 points. Countries with populations between 10 and 30 million add one bonus point to each medal point. Countries with 30 million to 60 million population get straight points. Countries with 60-100 million population deduct one point per medal. Over 100 million population deduct 1 point per medal for every extra 100 million but each medal must count for at least 1 point. For example, a country of 300 million that obtained one silver would have 6 points for silver minus 2 = 4 total points.

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