Olympic Medal Ranking

As I wrote about last weekend, one can look at the Olympics rankings in a number of different ways. Even without weighting medal counts, one has to decide whether to rank countries by gold medals (as the IOC does) or by total medals (my personal preference). The New York Times looks at both in an interesting ranking chart.

How France Ranks
How France Ranks

The piece also lets you account for population.

Accounting for population…
Accounting for population…

Credit for the piece goes to Matthew Bloch, Shan Carter, and Amanda Cox.

Weekend Work

Here’s a rare weekend post to showcase some Olympic-related work.

The following graphic looks at how the ranking changes for the Top-10 countries if medals are weighted. To me it is ridiculous that Kazakhstan is ranked higher than Russia because Kazakhstan has won 4 gold medals compared to Russia’s 3 when Kazakhstan has a total of 4 medals whereas Russia has 24. (All counts current as of this post.) So while I have been ranking countries according to their total medal count, what happens if I weight the gold and silver medals against the bronze?

It turns out that the leaders don’t change, but the rest of the Top-10 ranking gets shuffled a bit. For example, Japan has performed well at an overall level with 21 medals thus far. But only two of those have been gold medals and so its rank in the system below fell three positions.

Change in Rank for a Weighted Score
Change in Rank for a Weighted Score

Does a High Average BMI Impact a Country’s Chance at the Olympics?

It turns out not so much. A comparison of the 2008 data for average BMI (coarsely how fat a person is) for countries across their economic productivity (GDP per capita) and total medals won shows that a country’s health culture does not greatly impact said country’s Olympic chances.

Does BMI Impact Olympic Performance?
Does BMI Impact Olympic Performance?

This is another from my work series on infographics for the Olympics.

Who Has Won the Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France over the weekend; he is the first Briton to do so since the Tour began in 1903. (But to be more accurate, Wiggins was born to an Australian man and English mother in Belgium.) Naturally the BBC covered this topic in an infographic focusing on the nationality of those who finished in the Top-10 of the Tour over the course of its history.

Historical Performance
Historical Performance

Except when I first saw this I was confused. So far as I understood, the Tour is not run by individuals (as in the Olympics) or by national teams (as in European “football”). Rather, it is more like Formula 1 racing with individuals as part of a corporate team. So naturally I expected to see which teams had won. Instead I was looking at “by country”.

This I then figured meant by position within the Top-10 as each person/position is clearly segmented. That sort of made sense as I looked at the first few rows and saw red (America) and I recalled the success Lance Armstrong enjoyed. But that sense fell away when I reached the end of the list that should have had Frenchman in the top. It turns out that the legend for the piece dictates the order of the nationality of the winners of the Top-10 without respect to their actual placement. That perhaps could be a bit clearer.

The colours sort of make sense as groupings of countries. Blue groups the Benelux + France whereas red groups English-speaking countries. Orange for Italy and yellow for Spain while green groups former Soviet states and grey/black appears to be a collection of the rest.

Further down the rows, I ran into a smaller problem in that the number sequence seemed a bit out of sorts. The Tour was cancelled during the World Wars, but no mention of that is made in the graphic itself.

A worthwhile graphic—after all who does not want to see their country winning?—but its labelling could stand a bit higher finish.

The Cities of Champions

From Slate comes an interactive map of which cities have won what championships across the big four sports (baseball, basketball, football, and hockey). It plots the championships over time and allows the user to see just how dominant certain cities have been in certain sports.

Where the winners won
Where the winners won

Credit for the piece goes to Chris Kirk.

Power Pitching (And Who’s Paying)

And the baseball season is kicking off (perhaps a bit slowly for my 1–3 Red Sox, but I’m not worried…yet). The Washington Post, the newspaper for those most likely to be following the Washington Nationals, put out a little while ago an interactive graphic looking at the payroll figures for the Top-3 starting pitchers in each team’s rotation.

Comparison of AL East and Central Pitching Contracts
Comparison of AL East and Central Pitching Contracts

Credit for the piece goes to Sisi Wei and Todd Lindeman.

A Win for New Jersey

So apparently there was a game last night? I didn’t get the chance to watch it, I was busy updating this blog here. The changes ought to make it easier to be more social, since that’s the thing these days.

But, so about that game, apparently New Jersey won. Congratulations to the New Jersey Giants of East Rutherford, New Jersey. You have prevailed. The newspaper in the nearby city of New York had a graphic to explain the progress of the game, this being a cropping of the ending. Which is probably all anybody really needed to see anyway, right?

Second half drive chart
Second half drive chart