But it is clear that big countries are going to get more medals than small countries because they have a bigger pool to draw on, so the number of medals is not a good indicator.
There are of course many factors that feed in to success, like adequate food and water, facilities, motivation and so on, but the main factor that we can measure easily is population.
So I am getting the number of medals won from the Wall Street Journal, and dividing them by the number of millions in their population, so that we get a quotient of medals per million population, MpMPop, which is a fairer indication of which is the most athletic nation in the world.
So Australia has 4 medals for a pop of 23 million, giving a MpMPop of 0.173.
China has 17 medals for a pop of 1347 millions, so its MpMPop is 0.012.
And so, as of today, very early in the proceedings, the ranking of countries that have 3 or more medals, is:
- North Korea
- South Korea
So well done to the Aussies, who are leading the field at this stage.
I will update this list from time to time, as the spirit moves me.