This scatterplot below shows how nations’ actual medal performance at London 2012 compares to the economic models used to construct the FT medal table, along with some of the underlying factors used by the models, such GDP, population and performance at Beijing in 2008.
How does Great Britain’s haul of 65 medals, including 29 golds, compare to other recent host nations’ performance?
There can be little doubt that greater recent investment in elite sports is the main cause of Great Britain’s impressive performance at these Olympics an uptick in performance compared with Beijing 2008 would have been expected regardless, because of a well-documented “host-nation effect” that sees the home team performed significantly better than it usually does. Read more
We launched the FT’s economically-weighted medal table on Sunday night.
Rather than ranking the table in the conventional format – gold medals followed, where equal, by silver medals and finally bronze medals – we are ranking counties by their performance against a benchmark developed from four economic models. These predict success on the basis of socioeconomic factors that have been shown to contribute to Olympic performance historically.
Even on our weighted measure, China leads with its 12 medals, representing 4.6 more than would be expected at this stage of the games. Italy’s seven medals place its over-achievement to date hundredths of a percentage point behind. Great Britain, by contrast, is near the foot of our table, underachieving by 2.8 medals so far. Read more
The Olympics are finally here and the web is awash with interactive graphics and visualisations.
Here are the ones it’s worth taking a second look at:
Dressed for a world record?
This is a must-view for swimming fans. The invention of slick, hi-tech bodysuits enabled a series of world records to be broken, but since the suits were banned in 2010 few records have been beaten. The Washington Post looks at the evolution of Olympic swimwear and tracks this against world records in each swimming discipline. Read more
The beautiful game is about to get a bit more by the numbers. Starting in 2013 the US soccer league – Major League Soccer – will begin using Adidas’ micoach elite system, which will track “heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.”
The data be collected in real time and transmitted wirelessly for in-game analysis and fans will have access to the raw numbers as well – meaning pub debates could get a lot more interesting in the future.
The sports data analysis revolution that took hold first in US baseball and has crept in to basketball has left football (or in the US, soccer) relatively untouched. Most stats haven’t changed much since categories like shots, fouls and passes completed. Read more
What we’re reading today in the world of statistics, open data and data journalism:
The Data Journalism Handbook – the first edition of the book is now available for free online and features contributions from data journalists around the globe, including our colleague Cynthia O’Murchu who explains her investigations into European Structural Funds and care homes. Read more