Olympics Medal Count by Country

NY Times has an excellent interactive map of Olympic medal count by county for all the modern Olympics since 1896. Only 11 countries won medals in the first Olympics but that jumped to 74 countries won medals in 2004 (of course, more countries also participated in 2004). Also, note the disproportionate amount of medals that the Axis countries won in those infamous 1936 Olympics.

The medal winners are from countries across political ideologies, economic strength, geographic size, and population. United States has remained consistent among the top winners. But sadly India’s absence is notable. And more sadly I don’t expect it to change in the near future.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the silver medal winner from 2004 remains India’s sole medal hope amidst other athletes failing the drug tests. We figure with countries like Paraguay, Eritrea, Mongolia, and Trinidad & Tobago in the medal tally. In which other table would we figure with these countries? I’m resisting from mentioned the abysmal decline of hockey, our national sport that garnered the most medals in the past. Perhaps we should simply stop giving importance to winning at the Olympics or better still, not participate until cricket is included.

Update: If you are here for the 2008 medals tally, I’ve written it up here on basis of medals won as well as normalized by population and GDP.

9 Comments

  1. Watch out for the boxing contingent this time around. But other than that I don’t really see any contender.

  2. Perhaps we should simply stop giving importance to winning at the Olympics or better still, not participate until cricket is included.

    Or kabbadi. And gulli-danda. :)

  3. Santosh, the boxing contingent would be our next best hope but considering that those athletes are only medal winners from the Commonwealth Games, I’ve have little hope especially when we compete with Cubans, Iranians, and even Americans.

    Amit, I’m not even sure we’ll get a medal if cricket is included. Remember how we had to struggle for the gold when kabbadi was included in one Asian games.

  4. Until the International Olympic Committee admits a sport that’s played from behind a desk or restaurant table, I don’t see Indians getting a medal in anything. Furthermore, for any sport which cannot be played while standing still, there ought to be an alternate medal system for the best explanation of why that sport wasn’t worth winning, anyway.

    Cricket is definitely out. Experience indicates that the billion-plus population of South Asia would be humiliated by some country that would rather be playing football.

    Our best bets are chess, contract bridge, and palindromes.

  5. Until the International Olympic Committee admits a sport that’s played from behind a desk or restaurnt table, I don’t see Indians getting a medal in anything.

    Mr. Narad,
    Narayana Narayana. You might want to google “Abhinav Bhindra 2008 Olympics gold medal”.

  6. Santosh –

    Per your instructions:

    http://showhype.com/story/bindra_abhinav_india_got_gold_medal_men_s_10m_air/

    As you can see, Mr. Bhindra is standing still and behind a desk. Were that desk removed, I doubt the outcome would have been the same.

  7. So that makes it less of a gold medal? Gotcha.

    By that measure, Bindra was screwed from the get go. If he won, all he did was stand and shoot better than anyone else in the world. If he did not, he could not even stand and shoot properly.

  8. No, certainly a gold medal is a gold medal. I never said some are worth more than others.

    I said Indians will never get a medal “[u]ntil the International Olympic Committee admits a sport that’s played from behind a desk…”. Fortunately, they have.

    Thank you for helping me prove the truth of my statements!

  9. Sage, by that logic jumping off a ‘desk’ into the water and paddling like crazy is not a sport either. Huh, perhaps Phelps should be told that. Those Chinese also do some amazing things around a ‘desk’ that they strangely call a pommel horse or those Russians who love to leap off a ‘desk’ and land in a grand fashion throwing up their arms as if they did something great. Pah! You could do that with your eyes closed, right? Tsk Tsk…these desk Olympics are no good, I tell you.

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