Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Medal Inequality

So far, the top 20% of the teams earning at least one medal (12 out of 59) have earned 78.4% of the gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics, and 71% of the total medal points.

9 Comments:

At 8/16/2008 9:26 AM, Blogger Steamboat Lion said...

None of which explains why the Aussies, with the population of Pennsylvania, are third on the medal table and the Olympics is stacked with sports like Baseball and Basketball that favour the US.

Imagine what this would look like if cricket, rugby or, better still, Aussie Rules were Olympic sports...I'd love to see Australia play the US for the Aussie Rules gold (we'd send our under 12s team to make it a contest)! It'd make great TV and that's all that matters with the Olympics these days so maybe it's not such a crazy idea.

 
At 8/16/2008 10:04 AM, Blogger James Barlow said...

It's disgraceful, and totally contrary to the principles of Social Justice.

We should institute clear guidelines on the maximum number of medals a country can win, to ensure that no nation has its self esteem damaged.

 
At 8/16/2008 12:46 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

steamboat lion,

Baseball is getting eliminated as an olympic sport. So is softball. The US has not gotten the gold medal in basketball in 12 years. You, sir, are a moron.

Barlow, what you propose is not really that out of the ordinary. Prepare to be frightened...

http://outtamymindwithworry.blogspot.com/2008/08/michael-phelps-man-or-bionic-swimming.html

In this obscure blog, the author is arguing that he doesn't like Phelps and...

"
I think what bothers me is that I know that if I were up against him, I would give up because really, what's the point? Nobody else can win against him. I think that at some point he becomes a deterrent to other competitors. How can someone do their best time and time again knowing that they can't ever win?

Maybe at some point there needs to be a limit on the amount of medals that one person can win in one sport. Is 8 too much? I think so. Is 5 too few? I don't know. But when one athlete takes over the games, it doesn't feel sportsmanlike to me. It almost feels like Phelps is a bully of sorts.

The thing is, he's really really good. He is born to win. That's obvious. But when does it become kind of sour? When does it feel almost like it's rigged (it obviously isn't, but I bet it feels like that to other competitors)? When does it feel like "what's the point of competing against Phelps"?"

That is the scariest shit I have read in awhile and sadly its probably becoming more and more mainstream.

 
At 8/16/2008 6:04 PM, Anonymous OBloodyhell said...

CLEARLY we need handicapping!!

Weights on all the runners but the slowest. Drag fins on all the swimmers, but the slowest (that Phelps bastard!!!).

VE MUST HAF EEQVALITEEEE!!!

 
At 8/16/2008 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like this may be another example of the Pareto principle at work.

 
At 8/17/2008 4:28 PM, OpenID sethstorm said...

I understand you're trying to make some parallel outside sports. However, this parallel is making a bit of a stretch between sports and economics. The Olympics is a performance of a relative few versus economics which is focused on the actions of everyone.

 
At 8/18/2008 5:57 AM, Anonymous a1 said...

So the country with the highest corporate tax rate is in the total medal count lead? Hmm, interesting...

Seriously what kind of point are you trying to make here? Zero economic relevance.

 
At 8/19/2008 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steamboat lion - Baseball is about to be kicked out of the olympics. Also baseball only gives one gold medal (two if your throwing softball together with baseball), and basketball also only gives one.

As for Aussie Rules, well imagine if American Football was an Olympic sport. (Of course it would only mean one more gold medal for the US, it wouldn't effect the medal count much)

You do have a point that Australia "hits above its weight class" in the Olympics.

- Tim

 
At 8/19/2008 8:38 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> None of which explains why the Aussies, with the population of Pennsylvania, are third on the medal table and the Olympics is stacked with sports like Baseball and Basketball that favour the US

I concur with you that the Aussies, right now, are, as anon 6:13 notes, "playing above their weight class".

I also concur that you greatly overrate the signficance of a very few events which directly favor the USA, like baseball and basketball (for the former of which this is the last year, anyway) .

Granted, we are about the only nation left which allows citizen ownership of guns, so we do have an advantage in *one* event of the pentathlon, but... c'mon. Really.... :oP

 

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