Sunday, February 28, 2010

The REAL Olympic Closing Ceremony

Well, it says here that the games of the 2010 Olympics are over, so it's time to see how the countries of the world stacked up in their every-four-years festival of universal brotherhood and competition in the colder athletic events!

Now, some of my paisanos here in the United States of America, where the L&TM5K is written, are going to be all "U.S.A.!!! U.S.A.!!! We got the most medals, dude!!!" And doubtless our friendly neighbors to the north are all like "Well, you know, third place is pretty good, eh?" And over in the European Union it's all "Ach, Deutchland is ja die Nummer Zwei!" and so on. But you can all just calm down, because as we've discussed before, raw medal count is simply not a fair measure of a nation's relative studliness. Since countries come in different sizes, the only fair measure of prowess is per capita medal count. And I'm here to declare the winners.

Per Capita Medal Count of the 2010 Winter Olympics

Medals per 1,000,000 Citizens

1. NORWAY -- 4.69
With more than double the number of medals per capita of their nearest competitors, the stout Norwegians have clearly proven themselves the studs of winter. Hands down.

2. AUSTRIA -- 1.90
Recently recognized for their classic flag, Austrians now receive a big L&TM5K salute for frosty athletic excellence!

3. SLOVENIA -- 1.5
That country that used to be the north part of Yugoslavia? Yeah, they can kick your ass on skis. Or skates. Or whatever.

4. SWEDEN -- 1.18
5. SWITZERLAND -- 1.15
6. FINLAND -- .93
7. LATVIA -- .91
8. ESTONIA -- .77
The L&TM5K congratulates Most Favored Nation Estonia for finishing eighth among the more than 200 countries in the world!
9. CANADA -- .76
Unlike the 2008 debacle for host China, which finished with a dismal per capita medal count, this year's hosts finished high enough to be respectable, while still low enough to be polite.
10. CROATIA -- .68

Other Medalists

The Czechs and the Slovaks finished so closely that you'd almost think they were the same country!
GERMANY -- .37
Ach! Wirklich sind wir nur die Vierzehnste! Nicht so gut als die Skandinavishe Landern! Wie laestig!
BELARUS -- .32
KOREA -- .28
FRANCE -- .17
POLAND -- .16
Easily the studliest of the large nations in the summertime, the Aussies show that they can compete in the cold season too. But only just.
Another disappointing finish for a country that usually prides itself on its ability to take on any wacky military adventure at any time, anywhere. Maybe better save it for the warm season, cowboys.
RUSSIA -- .11
ITALY -- .08
JAPAN -- .04
CHINA -- .008
Despite its much-vaunted progress in recent years, China once again finds itself trailing painfully in international athletic competition. But before we poke too much fun at the People's Republic, consider such countries as India (the second largest country in the world) and Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria (the fourth through eighth) who, despite their massive populations, took no medals at all. Clearly, they are not trying hard enough. At least not in winter.


LegalMist said...

I've often thought that, as well - that it is unfair to smaller countries to simply count the number of medals instead of the number per 1,000,000 citizens.

But in this case, I am thinking you should count the number of medals per 1,000,000 citizens who live near actual snow, ice, ski slopes, or hockey rinks. Norway has a clear advantage over the U.S. in this area, don't you think?

Elaine said...

Great job! I so loathe the stupid 'medal count' attitude, but have never come up with a good send-up. Bravo to M5000. (But is this not coming perilously close to being a 'statistics geek?')

jovaliquilts said...

Hey, you need a Facebook button for easy sharing. :)

Aviatrix said...

And doubtless our friendly neighbors to the north are all like "Well, you know, third place is pretty good, eh?"

Actually we're collectively going "more gold than anyone, ever! We owned." Most Canadians care about hockey more than any other winter games sport, so winning gold in men's and women's means winning the Olympics for us. I haven't heard anyone mention third place.

And LegalMist, I was thinking of that, but when you look at where the Americans are from, it's all over, including states with no mountains and only freak snow.

Sorry about the boasting and the ugly in-jokes during the closing ceremonies. That was pretty embarrassing. Someone forgot that the whole world was watching.

Michael5000 said...

Aviatrix: Hearty congratulations on your nation's excellent ninth place finish! And apparent hockey prowess!

UnwiseOwl said...

W00t! My Aussies had their best year ever, with 2 golds and a silver!
It's not that suprising that a country that's mostly desert struggles at the winter games, is it?

UnwiseOwl said...

I am amused by you calling us a "large nation", though, M5000. Geographically, yes, but I'd never thought of us as being a large nation, our 20 million seems so small compared to the top ten, but then you look at Andora and the Seychelles...poor guys.

Kritkrat said...

Another interesting tidbit - Alaska had more Olympians than any other state. Not bad for a place with less than 1 million residents!

TomV said...

What's the deal with the mixup between the Austrian and Argentinian flags? I didn't actually see any of the Olympics; did that really happen during the games?

Jenners said...

I think this is a better way to do it. Jeez .. the U.S. sucks.