Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Policy & Issues

Sochi Olympics: The most efficient countries and the masters of futility

See also

In a previous article, a mathematical formula was used to determine the efficiency of athletes that represented various countries in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The formula is the following:

Efficiency = Number of total medals won/Number of athletes

Alternative measures have been used in the past. The most common has been to divide the number of medals by the population of the country. However, this measure is not realistic since not everybody is an athlete and not every country is rich enough to send a large number of athletes to the Olympics. For example, because of its huge population, using such a measure China would always be ranked quite low despite a good performance.

The measure of efficiency presented here is a more realistic measure that show how well athletes that actually participated in the Olympics performed.

Based on this measure, for the London Olympics, Jamaica was the best, getting an efficiency rating of 0.24. The next most efficient countries were China and Iran with an efficiency rating of 0.23. The rating for the U.S. was 0.17 and for Russia it was 0.18.

Also, as a measure of futility, the countries that did the worst in the London Olympics were arguably those who sent the most athletes but won no medals. By this measure, Nigeria was the worst with 53 athletes and Israel which sent 38 athletes and won no medals. Portugal also performed miserably by winning only a single medal while sending 80 athletes to London.

Russia won 33 medals at Sochi, the highest number of all the participating countries and the U.S. had the second highest number with 28 medals. However, using the measure of efficiency presented above, the most efficient country was Netherlands followed by Belarus and Norway. Here are the top 12 countries based on our measure of efficiency:

  1. Netherlands 0.5854 (41 athletes, 24 medals)
  2. Belarus 0.2500 (24 athletes, 6 medals)
  3. Norway 0.1940 (134 athlete, 26 medals)
  4. Russia 0.1460 (226 athletes, 33 medals)
  5. France 0.1429 (105 athletes, 15 medals)
  6. Sweden 0.1415 (106 athletes, 15 medals)
  7. China 0.1364 (66 athletes, 9 medals)
  8. Austria 0.1308 (130 athletes, 17 medals)
  9. Germany 0.1242 (153 athletes, 19 medals)
  10. United States 0.1217 (230 athletes, 28 medals)
  11. Slovenia 0.1212 (66 athletes, 8 medals)
  12. Canada 0.1131 (221 athletes, 25 medals)

The masters of futility at Sochi were Romania and Estonia which sent 24 athletes each, winning no medals. Next came Spain and New Zealand, which sent, respectively, 20 and 15 athletes, again winning no medals.

Two other countries also performed rather poorly. Slovakia sent 62 athletes and Kazakhstan sent 52 athletes. Each country won only a single medal. Finally, Ukraine sent 42 athletes and won only 2 medals.

Advertisement

News

  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
    Headlines
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
    Headlines
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
    Sports
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Video
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!