Who is the greatest sporting country?
If we are to base the analysis on the London Olympics we then must define ‘greatest’. Should it be the country that wins the most gold medals or the most medals overall?
Or, perhaps the fairest way is to base the “greatest sporting country” on population or, given the huge cost involved in developing a world class athlete, perhaps the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the most accurate guide.
If we are mindful that cricket is not an Olympic sport, then the world’s second most populated country India, with 1.2 billion citizens, is clearly the worst performed nation finishing, 36th with only six medals.
There was no surprise that the big wealthy countries the USA, China and Russia won the most medals.
Host nation Great Britain (29) did well to win more gold medals than Russia (24), behind the USA (46), and China (38).
If you watch the USA cable channels, the Americans are very conceited as to how good they are but given their wealth and population, like China, they have been disappointing.
The USA is the third most populated country in the world with 313 million and China are number one with 1.3billion. Both countries enjoy a strong GDP.
So to really define the ‘greatest’ or the ‘best’ we should look at medals per capita and take into account the country’s GDP.
The media have blasted Australia for their measly 35 Medal and only seven gold medals, so let us see if the criticism is justified.
Australia finished seventh for total medals (35) and 11th for gold (seven), but based on our tiny population of 22.8million, we finished only 13th for total medals and 19th for gold medals.
It gets worse. Australia is a wealthy country and based on our GDP, we finished the London Olympics in 4second place, just behind Great Britain and just in front of South Korea.
So who is the winner? Where do you find the best sporting blood in the world?
The answer is clear cut if you want to follow the cricket world and include all the islands in the Caribbean as one nation based on population, especially the West Indies countries who were dominant in athletics.
Jamaica (12), Grenada (one), Trinidad and Tobago (four) and the Bahamas (one) occupy four of the top five positions with our neighbour New Zealand (fourth on 13 medals) splitting them, thanks to their five gold medals all won from boating.
- 2012 London Olympics