Sunday, August 12, 2012

And the winner is...

London Olympic Games are over. Athletes are going back home. Some of them, like Michael Phelps, have so many medals that they will have to pay for extra luggage on their flight back. But which country won this year's Olympics? Was it USA, with 104 medals including 46 gold ones? No. Maybe China? Nope, guess again!

The country that has beaten others by a mile and is far ahead in the listing is... Grenada.

(I will give you a few minutes to look up where it is)

And how many medals did Grenadian athletes win? One. A gold one! Kirani James won the 400m run and the first ever Olympic medal for Grenada. But I guess that it came with not much surprise. If you look at Wikipedia's page for Kirani you will realize that winning gold is something he does often.
Kirani James (Source: Wikipedia)

But why Grenada? You see, with all due respect to the hardworking Chinese, if you have over 1.3 billion people to choose from, finding, say, 100 best-of-the-best athletes is pretty easy. You can probably easily find many more than that and put them in every possible Olympic competition out there. Surely, some of them will win something. But if you have only barely over 100,000 citizens available (Yes, this is the population of Grenada), selecting 100 world-class athletes becomes a close-to-impossible task.

This is why Grenada wins gold, Jamaica gets silver and Holland bronze. The complete list would look like this:
Another interesting factor is the effectiveness of national Olympic teams. In other words - how many medals they won compared with the number of athletes from the given country who took part in 2012 Olympic Games. Here, both China and USA look much, much better. In fact, since China sent 380 athletes to London and won 87 medals, their effectiveness is 22.9%. This is a really high number and it means that they selected their truly best-of-the-best. But they are not the winner in this listing either. The winner is... Botswana (Sure, I will wait. Go ahead and check where it is). And how many athletes did Botswana send to London? Four. One of them, Nijel Amos, won silver in 800m run and the first ever Olympic medal for his country.
I guess I was supposed to write about bicycles and cycling. Not much about it this time. Although I have to say that my favorite Olympic sport to watch has always been track cycling. I am not sure why. Maybe it is because of the speed these guys can reach or maybe it was because of unique bicycles and riding style of Graeme Obree.

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