Rio

We all know the United States won the most Gold Medals and the most overall medals at the recently concluded Summer Olympics in Rio. But who came in second?

Was is Great Britain with 27 Gold Medals to China’s 26? Or was it China with 70 total medals to only 67 for Great Britain?

It depends on whose list you read. Some sort by total medals first, then by Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Some sort only by Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Which is right?

I contend that neither one is correct. Is the country which won only a single Gold really more successful than the one that won four Silvers and a Bronze? I don’t think so. Or, is the country who one three Silvers and Two Bronze really better than the one that won Three Golds and a Silver just because they got more total medals. Again, I don’t think so.

I contend the best way to rank countries’ overall performance in the Olympics is by awarding points — just as is done in a high school track meet. Five points for Gold, three points for Silver, and one point for Bronze. This way total medals do count, but winning, or placing second counts for more.

You could easily complicate a systems like this by awarding points for all the way down to to sixth place, or farther. But, that information is not readily available. Plus people seem to care primarily about who won the medals.

So below, you’ll see the REAL rankings by country weighted as described above. This listing rights some wrongs — especially compared to the listing that ranks countries only by Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

For example, Azerbaijan takes its rightful place as 20th overall with 7 Silvers and 10 Bronze even though it gained only one Gold. It was ranked 39th the other way. And Malaysia and Mexico move up 15 and 14 places respectively.

On the other hand Greece and Argentina each drop 9 places. Although they each won 3 Golds, they only won 6 and 4 total medals, respectively.

And who did come in second? Great Britain on the strength of not only one more Gold Medal than China, but 5 more Silvers, even though they had 9 fewer Bronze. Their total points were 221 to China’s 210.

Here is the list ranked by Total Points. The number following each country’s name is their ranking under the Gold/Silver/Bronze method:

Country                        G         S          B       Total    Points

1        United States     1      46        37        38        121      379

2        Great Britain      2      27        23        17        67        221

3        China                  3      26        18        26        70        210

4        Russia                 4      19        18        19        56        168

5        Germany             5      17        10        15        42        130

6        France                 7      10        18        14        42        118

7        Japan                  6      12        8          21        41        105

8        Italy                     9      8          12        8          28        84

9        Australia             10    8          11        10        29        83

10      Netherlands       11    8          7          4          19        65

11      South Korea       8      9          3          9          21        63

12      Brazil                  13    7          6          6          19        59

13      Hungary              12    8          3          4          15        53

13      Spain                   14    7          4          6          17        53

15      New Zealand      19    4          9          5          18        52

16      Kenya                  15    6          6          1          13        49

17      Canada               20    4          3          15        22        44

18      Jamaica              16    6          3          2          11        41

19      Kazakhstan        22    3          5          9          17        39

20      Croatia                17    5          3          2          10        36

20      Azerbaijan          39    1          7          10        18        36

22      Cuba                   18    5          2          4          11        35

22      Denmark             28    2          6          7          15        35

24      Uzbekistan         21    4          2          7          13        33

25      Sweden               29    2          6          3          11        31

26      South Africa       30    2          6          2          10        30

27      Ukraine               31    2          5          4          11        29

28      Poland                33    2          3          6          11        25

29      Colombia            23    3          2          3          8          24

29      Serbia                 32    2          4          2          8          24

31      Switzerland        24    3          2          2          7          23

32      Iran                      25    3          1          4          8          22

33      North Korea       34    2          3          2          7          21

33      Belarus               40    1          4          4          9          21

35      Greece                26    3          1          2          6          20

36      Argentina           27    3          1          0          4          18

36      Belgium              35    2          2          2          6          18

36      Thailand             35    2          2          2          6          18

36      Turkey                41    1          3          4          8          18

36      Czech Republic 43    1          2          7          10        18

36      Georgia               38    2          1          4          7          17

42      Slovakia              37    2          2          0          4          16

42      Ethiopia              44    1          2          5          8          16

44      Armenia              42    1          3          0          4          14

45      Malaysia             60    0          4          1          5          13

46      Slovenia              45    1          2          1          4          12

47      Indonesia            46    1          2          0          3          11

47      Romania             47    1          1          3          5          11

47      Mexico                61    0          3          2          5          11

50      Bahrain               48    1          1          0          2          8

50      Vietnam              48    1          1          0          2          8

52      Chinese Taipei   50    1          0          2          3          7

53      Bahamas            51    1          0          1          2          6

53      Côte d’Ivoire      51    1          0          1          2          6

53      Independent
Olympic
Athletes              51    1          0          1          2          6

53      Algeria                62    0          2          0          2          6

53      Ireland                 62    0          2          0          2          6

53      Lithuania            64    0          1          3          4          6

59      Fiji                       54    1          0          0          1          5

59      Jordan                54    1          0          0          1          5

59      Kosovo               54    1          0          0          1          5

59      Puerto Rico        54    1          0          0          1          5

59      Singapore           54    1          0          0          1          5

59      Tajikistan            54    1          0          0          1          5

59      Bulgaria              65    0          1          2          3          5

59      Venezuela           65    0          1          2          3          5

67      India                    67    0          1          1          2          4

67      Mongolia            67    0          1          1          2          4

67      Norway               74    0          0          4          4          4

70      Burundi              69    0          1          0          1          3

70      Grenada              69    0          1          0          1          3

70      Niger                   69    0          1          0          1          3

70      Philippines         69    0          1          0          1          3

70      Qatar                   69    0          1          0          1          3

70      Egypt                  75    0          0          3          3          3

70      Tunisia                75    0          0          3          3          3

77      Israel                   77    0          0          2          2          2

78      Austria                78    0          0          1          1          1

78      Dominican
Republic             78    0          0          1          1          1

78      Estonia               78    0          0          1          1          1

78      Finland                78    0          0          1          1          1

78      Morocco             78    0          0          1          1          1

78      Moldova              78    0          0          1          1          1

78      Nigeria                78    0          0          1          1          1

78      Portugal              78    0          0          1          1          1

78      Trinidad &
Tobago               78    0          0          1          1          1

78      United Arab
          Emirates             78    0          0          1          1          1