As the London Olympics draw to a close and viewers around the world wonder why the songs we have already heard in the Closing Ceremony are being repeated, it is time to talk up the final Eurovision-Olympic tally – the most realistic reflection of Olympic quality across nations ever devised.

There has been a flurry of medals in the last few days with boxing and wrestling finals raising the question as to whether there are too many weight divisions (why celebrate being lighter than other competitors). Similarly, is a 100 metre sprint really anything more than half a 200 metre sprint? Such arbitrary delineations seem an odd way to distinguish quality.

Since my last post, Australia has made its way up into the top 10 in the traditional medal tally, and only climbs 4 more places to 6th in the Eurovision-Olympic tally. So do we need such a revised tally that grades performance in a manner more closely linked to the difference in the scores, times and actual, well, performance? Hell yes. Until this takes hold, we will always have journalists and other commentators viewing Silver as a failure. Until we have the same journalists quizzed as to why they didn’t win a Walkley Award (“so how would you have written that article differently if you could go back and re-do it”) there is an awful inequity here.

So, please find the final charts for the Olympics. And campaign for this to be the way for medal tallies to be compiled in the future!

Rank Country 1st 2nd 3rd 4th-8th Total
1 United States 552 290 248 315 1405
2 China 444 260 176 162 1042
3 Russia 288 240 264 242 1034
4 Great Britain 348 170 144 218 880
5 Germany 132 210 112 213 667
6 Australia 84 160 96 177 517
7 France 132 110 96 154 492
8 Japan 84 140 136 90 450
9 Italy 96 90 88 121 395
10 Korea 156 80 56 60 352
11 Ukraine 84 50 72 94 300
12 Netherlands 72 60 64 85 281
13 Canada 12 50 96 101 259
14 Spain 36 100 32 88 256
15 Hungary 96 40 40 56 232
16 Brazil 36 50 72 33 191
16 New Zealand 60 20 40 71 191
18 Cuba 60 30 56 35 181
19 Belarus 24 50 40 54 168
19 Poland 36 20 48 64 168
21 Jamaica 48 40 32 28 148
22 Czech Republic 48 30 24 44 146
22 Kazakhstan 84 10 40 12 146
24 Kenya 24 40 40 38 142
25 Denmark 24 40 16 55 135
26 Romania 24 50 24 36 134
27 Sweden 12 40 24 54 130
28 Iran 48 40 24 9 121
29 Azerbaijan 24 20 48 20 112
30 Ethiopia 36 10 24 34 104
31 Mexico 12 30 24 36 102
32 South Africa 36 20 8 30 94
33 Colombia 12 30 32 14 88
34 Croatia 36 10 16 24 86
35 Turkey 24 20 8 28 80
36 North Korea 48 0 16 12 76
36 India 0 20 32 24 76
36 Lithuania 24 10 16 26 76
39 Georgia 12 30 24 9 75
40 Serbia 12 10 16 34 72
41 Ireland 12 10 24 16 62
42 Argentina 12 10 16 23 61
42 Switzerland 24 20 0 17 61
42 Uzbekistan 12 0 24 25 61
45 Norway 24 10 8 17 59
46 Trinidad and Tobago 12 0 24 19 55
47 Belgium 0 10 16 28 54
48 Slovenia 12 10 16 10 48
49 Mongolia 0 20 24 0 44
49 Thailand 0 20 8 16 44
51 Slovakia 0 10 24 9 43
52 Bulgaria 0 10 8 22 40
53 Greece 0 0 16 23 39
54 Finland 0 10 16 11 37
55 Egypt 0 20 0 15 35
56 Tunisia 12 10 8 4 34
57 Malaysia 0 10 8 14 32
58 Indonesia 0 10 8 11 29
58 Latvia 12 0 8 9 29
58 Taiwan 0 10 8 11 29
61 Portugal 0 10 0 18 28
62 Armenia 0 10 16 1 27
63 Dominican Republic 12 10 0 4 26
64 Moldova 0 0 24 1 25
64 Venezuela 12 0 0 13 25
66 Bahamas 12 0 0 12 24
67 Estonia 0 10 8 5 23
67 Puerto Rico 0 10 8 5 23
69 Austria 0 0 0 22 22
70 Singapore 0 0 16 2 18
71 Qatar 0 0 16 0 16
72 Botswana 0 10 0 5 15
72 Hong Kong 0 0 8 7 15
72 Montenegro 0 10 0 5 15
75 Algeria 12 0 0 2 14
75 Iraq 0 10 0 4 14
75 Morocco 0 0 8 6 14
78 Chile 0 0 0 13 13
78 Kuwait 0 0 8 5 13
78 Saudi Arabia 0 0 8 5 13
81 Grenada 12 0 0 0 12
81 Israel 0 0 0 12 12
81 Uganda 12 0 0 0 12
84 Bahrain 0 0 8 3 11
84 Guatemala 0 10 0 1 11
84 Nigeria 0 0 0 11 11
84 Vietnam 0 0 0 11 11
88 Cyprus 0 10 0 0 10
88 Gabon 0 10 0 0 10
90 Afghanistan 0 0 8 1 9
91 Tajikistan 0 0 8 0 8
92 Ivory Coast 0 0 0 5 5
92 Eritrea 0 0 0 5 5
92 San Marino 0 0 0 5 5
95 Barbados 0 0 0 4 4
95 Equador 0 0 0 4 4
97 Samoa 0 0 0 3 3
97 Syria 0 0 0 3 3
97 Turkmenistan 0 0 0 3 3
100 Burundi 0 0 0 2 2
100 Senegal 0 0 0 2 2
100 Sudan 0 0 0 2 2
100 Zimbabwe 0 0 0 2 2
104 Fiji 0 0 0 1 1
104 Honduras 0 0 0 1 1
104 Iceland 0 0 0 1 1
104 Mali 0 0 0 1 1
104 Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1

Following from last post here’s an update on the Eurovision-style tally of finalists, weighted to show a more realistic picture of performance by each participating nation.

Looking forward to this revolutionising the way we look at Olympics. And the way we look at sporting performance in general. Celebrate winning for sure, but acknowledge achievement at its best.

Here’s the latest table:

Today's medal and finalist tally for London 2012 Olympics

Today’s medal and finalist tally

And for those who prefer it, her’s the table. Remember, Gold get 12 points, Silver get 10, Bronze get 8, 4th get 5 points and so on to 8th place getting 1 point:

Rank Country 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th-8th Total
1 United States 336 140 152 90 111 829
2 China 348 160 112 50 55 725
3 Great Britain 180 110 80 15 108 493
4 Russia 48 150 120 60 54 432
5 Germany 60 100 56 30 86 332
6 Australia 12 120 56 45 86 319
7 France 96 80 72 30 36 314
8 Japan 24 120 104 15 41 304
9 Korea 120 40 48 25 10 243
10 Italy 72 50 24 25 64 235
11 Canada 12 30 48 15 40 145
12 Netherlands 36 10 32 10 43 131
13 Ukraine 36 0 40 30 24 130
14 New Zealand 36 0 32 20 29 117
15 Hungary 48 10 24 10 21 113
16 Denmark 24 40 8 15 23 110
17 Romania 12 40 24 10 14 100
18 Belarus 24 20 24 5 24 97
19 Poland 24 10 8 15 29 86
20 Brazil 12 10 40 10 7 79
21 Kazakhstan 72 0 0 0 6 78
22 Cuba 24 20 16 5 10 75
23 Czech Republic 12 30 8 10 14 74
24 Sweden 12 30 0 20 8 70
25 Spain 0 20 8 15 26 69
26 North Korea 48 0 8 5 5 66
27 Mexico 0 30 16 5 12 63
27 South Africa 36 10 0 0 17 63
29 Kenya 12 20 16 5 8 61
30 Jamaica 24 10 8 5 11 58
31 Ethiopia 24 0 8 15 5 52
32 Colombia 0 30 8 0 10 48
33 Slovenia 12 10 16 0 7 45
34 Serbia 0 10 8 15 11 44
35 India 0 10 16 5 9 40
36 Slovakia 0 10 24 0 3 37
37 Azerbaijan 0 10 16 0 8 34
38 Croatia 12 10 0 0 11 33
39 Indonesia 0 10 8 5 6 29
39 Switzerland 12 10 0 0 7 29
41 Lithuania 12 0 8 0 8 28
42 Iran 12 0 8 0 7 27
43 Norway 0 10 8 5 3 26
43 Thailand 0 10 0 15 1 26
45 Moldova 0 0 24 0 0 24
46 Greece 0 0 16 5 2 23
47 Egypt 0 10 0 5 7 22
48 Belgium 0 10 8 0 3 21
48 Taiwan 0 10 0 5 6 21
48 Venezuela 12 0 0 0 9 21
51 Malaysia 0 10 0 5 5 20
52 Armenia 0 10 8 0 0 18
52 Mongolia 0 10 8 0 0 18
54 Argentina 0 0 8 5 4 17
54 Turkey 0 0 0 5 12 17
56 Georgia 12 0 0 0 3 15
57 Uzbekistan 0 0 8 0 4 12
58 Vietnam 0 0 0 10 1 11
59 Guatemala 0 10 0 0 0 10
59 Tunisia 0 0 8 0 2 10
61 Hong Kong 0 0 8 0 1 9
61 Singapore 0 0 8 0 1 9
63 Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 8 8
63 Portugal 0 0 0 0 8 8
63 Qatar 0 0 8 0 0 8
66 Austria 0 0 0 5 2 7
66 Trinidad and Tobago 0 0 0 0 7 7
68 Ireland 0 0 0 0 6 6
68 Israel 0 0 0 0 6 6
70 Botswana 0 0 0 5 0 5
70 Chile 0 0 0 5 0 5
70 Eritrea 0 0 0 0 5 5
70 Estonia 0 0 0 5 0 5
70 Kuwait 0 0 0 5 0 5
70 San Marino 0 0 0 5 0 5
76 Iraq 0 0 0 0 4 4
77 Bahrain 0 0 0 0 3 3
77 Dominican Republic 0 0 0 0 3 3
77 Samoa 0 0 0 0 3 3
77 Turkmenistan 0 0 0 0 3 3
81 Ivory Coast 0 0 0 0 2 2
81 Morocco 0 0 0 0 2 2
81 Nigeria 0 0 0 0 2 2
84 Bahamas 0 0 0 0 1 1
84 Equador 0 0 0 0 1 1
84 Fiji 0 0 0 0 1 1
84 Finland 0 0 0 0 1 1

The 2012 Olympics has seen Australian media struggling. While catering to our parochial need to focus on any Australian athletes, regardless of how they perform, they clearly were banking on a lot more gold stories on which to focus, leading to cring-inducing moments where they ask the second best swimmer or rowers on Earth “what went wrong?”

One of the reasons the Australian media struggles with trying to sound positive about Silver medals is the effect they have on the ‘all important medal count’ in which countries receive a rank based purely on the number of gold, with secondary rankings for silver and bronze only when needed to differentiate between countries with the same number of gold.

This is an outdated system in a world where kids can get ribbons for coming eighth in a race at school. It also significantly exaggerates the difference in performance between athletes and teams who come in first compared to those who come in second, or for that matter third or anywhere in the top eight.

Its time for it to change.

Perhaps the next most important competitive event, after the Olympics, and maybe world cups in various sports, is Eurovision. For those unfamiliar, various European and quasi-European nations send their most flamboyant performers to sing at least part of a power ballad on stage amid a dance and lighting extravaganza. Then, every participating country collects votes from their population of viewers, which can only be for other countries. These are tallied up and then ranked in the top ten, with ten through to third receiving 1 to 8 points, then 10 points for second place and 12 for first. It makes for nail biting finales.

So how would the medal tally look if we adopted a similar system, taking the top eight place getters for each event so far in the London 2012 Olympics?

Let’s weight Gold 12 points, Silver 10, Bronze 8 points, then 5 to 1 for places fourth through to eighth (or for reaching the quarter finals) and see what happens.

Well for a start, the top national place getters don’t change that much, with no change in the order for the US, China and Great Britain. But after that everything changes. Most importantly, is for Australia, with us rocketing up to 5th place, with New Zealand a respectable 13th.

Also, the list of high-performing countries grows to 79. The chart and table below show this in detail, with the chart also showing the weighted mix between the various final places for each country.

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze 4th to 8th Weighted Total
1 United States 288 130 120 159 697
2 China 264 140 96 90 590
3 Great Britain 156 70 64 109 399
4 Russia 36 130 72 93 331
5 Australia 12 120 48 116 296
6 Germany 60 90 48 89 287
7 Japan 24 90 96 55 265
8 France 96 50 56 59 261
9 Italy 60 50 24 68 202
10 Korea 108 30 40 24 202
11 Canada 12 30 48 43 133
12 Netherlands 36 10 32 45 123
13 New Zealand 36 0 32 36 104
14 Ukraine 24 0 32 37 93
15 Romania 0 40 24 22 86
16 Poland 24 10 8 40 82
17 Hungary 24 10 16 30 80
18 Belarus 12 20 16 28 76
19 Denmark 12 20 8 36 76
20 Cuba 24 20 16 15 75
21 Brazil 12 10 32 16 70
22 North Korea 48 0 8 10 66
23 Kazakhstan 60 0 0 6 66
24 South Africa 36 10 0 17 63
25 Czech Republic 12 20 8 20 60
26 Spain 0 20 8 32 60
27 Mexico 0 30 8 17 55
28 Sweden 0 20 0 27 47
29 Colombia 0 20 8 10 38
30 Slovakia 0 10 24 3 37
31 Ethiopia 12 0 8 15 35
32 Serbia 0 10 8 17 35
33 Slovenia 12 0 16 4 32
34 India 0 10 8 13 31
35 Indonesia 0 10 8 11 29
36 Croatia 12 10 0 6 28
37 Thailand 0 10 0 16 26
38 Jamaica 12 0 8 5 25
39 Moldova 0 0 24 0 24
40 Greece 0 0 16 7 23
41 Egypt 0 10 0 12 22
42 Kenya 0 10 8 4 22
43 Belgium 0 10 8 3 21
44 Norway 0 10 8 3 21
45 Venezuela 12 0 0 9 21
46 Lithuania 12 0 0 8 20
47 Taiwan 0 10 0 10 20
48 Mongolia 0 10 8 0 18
49 Turkey 0 0 0 17 17
50 Azerbaijan 0 0 8 8 16
51 Iran 0 0 8 7 15
52 Georgia 12 0 0 2 14
53 Uzbekistan 0 0 8 4 12
54 Guatemala 0 10 0 0 10
55 Tunisia 0 0 8 2 10
56 Hong Kong 0 0 8 1 9
57 Singapore 0 0 8 1 9
58 Argentina 0 0 0 8 8
59 Bulgaria 0 0 0 8 8
60 Qatar 0 0 8 0 8
61 Austria 0 0 0 7 7
62 Switzerland 0 0 0 7 7
63 Ireland 0 0 0 6 6
64 Portugal 0 0 0 6 6
65 Vietnam 0 0 0 6 6
66 Eritrea 0 0 0 5 5
67 Estonia 0 0 0 5 5
68 Kuwait 0 0 0 5 5
69 Malaysia 0 0 0 5 5
70 San Marino 0 0 0 5 5
71 Trinidad and Tobago 0 0 0 5 5
72 Bahrain 0 0 0 3 3
73 Turkmenistan 0 0 0 3 3
74 Ivory Coast 0 0 0 2 2
75 Israel 0 0 0 2 2
76 Nigeria 0 0 0 2 2
77 Bahamas 0 0 0 1 1
78 Fiji 0 0 0 1 1
79 Finland 0 0 0 1 1
Table showing weighted points for top 8 places for each country

Chart showing weighted points for top 8 places for each country so far for the London Olympics

I would like to advocate the adoption of this system, perhaps with a little tweaking of the weighting if necessary. It is a much more accurate reflection of the performance of athletes from each country. It recognises the part luck plays, as much as training and focus, between first, second and third, or even fourth and eighth places. It removes some of the insane pressure media, and indeed the nations behind them, place on athletes as though they owe us all gold.

Copyright: John Elliott 2012