February 26, 2018

The 2018 Winter Olympics are over and Norway won: With a record-setting 39 medals (14 gold), Norway surely overachieved at these games. USA were the main gifters, I'd say, finishing fourth with 23 (9 gold). Esther Ledecka (Czeck Republic) was my favorite medalist at these Games, the first two win gold in two different sports at the same Olympiad, winning in both snowboarding and skiing. Tokyo is just over two years away, hey hey!

posted by billsaysthis to olympics at 11:25 AM - 5 comments

Okay, there are many ways to measure which nation was the best overall at the Olympics:

Total Gold Medals:
1) Norway & Germany - 14
3) Canada - 11

Total Medals:
1) Norway - 39
2) Germany - 31
3) Canada - 29

Total points (G=4, S=2, B=1):
1) Norway - 95
2) Germany - 83
3) Canada - 70

One way I like to measure it is by awarding more points to countries that have medals in more disciplines. There are 15 different disciplines in the Winter Olympics :

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Biathlon
  • Bobsleigh
  • Cross Country
  • Curling
  • Figure Skating
  • Freestyle Skiing
  • Hockey
  • Luge
  • Nordic Combined
  • Short Track
  • Skeleton
  • Ski Jumping
  • Snowboard
  • Speed Skating

Total Disciplines With at Least One Gold:
1) Canada & Germany - 7
3) Norway & USA - 6

Total Disciplines With at Least One Medal:
1) USA - 11
2) Canada & Germany - 9

Finally, copying a method that Bill James used for measuring the success of brothers in baseball, there is this method:

- Take the total medal score (4/2/1) of the best discipline of the nation, add it to 2x the score of the 2nd best discipline, add it to 3x the 3rd best discipline, and so on.

So if a nation has 11 points Speed Skating (2G/1S/1B), 6 points in Curling (3S), 4 points in Nordic Combined (1G/1B) and 1 point in Hockey (1B), then their weighted score would be:


If another nation has 27 points in Speed Skating (6G/1S/1B) and 5 in Bobsleigh (1S/3B), then their score would be:


This rewards nations that do well in multiple disciplines, instead of hoarding all the medals in a single one (*cough* Netherlands *cough*):

Based on this:

Total Weighted Disciplines Score:
1) Germany - 261
2) Norway - 252
3) Canada - 243

Side note: USA would have a score of 166.

posted by grum@work at 12:00 PM on February 26, 2018

I use an altered version of the Craig James scale to rank Olympic announcers on the basis of sense of urgency and manufactured hysteria.

The announcers at the sliding events have won top prize. In lieu of a medallion, each of them is getting a small replica of the Hindenburg arriving at Lakehurst.

They will also be invited to serve as judges for the 911 calling contest at this year's Minnesota State Fair.

posted by beaverboard at 12:23 PM on February 26, 2018

Thanks @grum, you always bring the hammer. Oh wait, that's a Summer event...

posted by billsaysthis at 06:36 PM on February 26, 2018

I didn't make a conscious effort to avoid the Olympics this year, but my wife and I watched very few of the events. I think the problem was NBC's broadcasting decisions. It seemed that whenever an event we might otherwise would have watched was on, another event, such as NBA basketball or NHL hockey was on. The only thing I watched in its entirety was the women's ice hockey gold medal game. That one was well worth the time, but watching cross country skiing and some of the other more arcane things just didn't appeal to us. I do regret missing the Curling; it must have been quite something.

posted by Howard_T at 07:28 PM on February 26, 2018

Thanks @grum, you always bring the hammer. Oh wait, that's a Summer event...

Nah, it fits. It's also a curling thing

posted by NoMich at 09:13 PM on February 26, 2018

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