26 April 2012

Predicted Medal Tables@Top End Sports

There are numerous systems for ranking the success of countries at the Olympics, usually based on actual results at the Olympic Games. Described below is the method of prediction modelling of expected results to rank countries, and leads to another method that ranks countries based on actual results compared to that predicted. These would not necessarily be the most success countries, but those that performed much better than expected.

Predictions have mostly come from economics scholars. There is also the predictions of the Olympic Medal Tracker from USAToday, which predicts the specific winners of each event. We have used the prediction results of those listed below to compare to the actual lists from the last few Olympics. See the predictions from 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Prediction Models

Dan Johnson - this prediction model is provided by this professor of economics at Colorado College. The model includes only non-athletic data. Historically, the prediction model included these five key variables: income per capita, population, political structure, climate, and a host nation advantage and using data from every participating nation since 1952. The model was updated for the 2012 predictions, removing political structure and climate factors and adding a host nation effect and a "nation-specific cultural effect". See the paper Johnson D. & A. Ali (2004), A Tale of Two Seasons: Participation and Medal Counts at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, Social Science Quarterly, 85 (4), 974-93. More information is available at http://faculty1.coloradocollege.edu/~djohnson/Olympic.html. His predictions have been compared for 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Andrew B. Bernard of the Tuck School at Dartmouth. A forecasting model incorporating four factors: measures of available resources, population and per capita income, as well as the share of medals in the most recent Summer Olympics and a host effect. His research publications include: Bernard A.B and Busse, M, "Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economics Resources and Medal Totals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2004, Vol 86. No. 1. More information is available at mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/andrew.bernard/olympicmedals.htm. His predictions have been compared for 2000, 2004, 2008.

Olympic Medal Tracker - as provided by USAToday, produced in partnership with Infostrada Sports. It uses an algorithm to rank athletes and teams in each Olympic event based on recent results. For more information see www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/medal-tracker.htm. These predictions have been compared for 2012.

Sports Myriad - another prediction based on predicting individual medalists like the Medal Tracker above, by Beau Dure. Sports Myriad shifts though each sport and projects the winners in London, based on past results. The list will be updated based on recent data such as World Cups and World Championships. For more info see http://www.sportsmyriad.com/. These predictions have been compared for 2012.

Price Waterhouse - a model based on the following factors: Population; Average income levels (measured by GDP per capita at PPP exchange rates); Whether the country was previously part of the former Soviet bloc (including Cuba in this case); Whether the country is the host nation; and Medal shares in the previous Olympic Games. As PWC have only predicted total medals, their figures are yet to be analyzed.

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