The original Olympic charter forbade medal counts
that include a ranking per country
(read more). But many media do publish them. All of them are inofficial - so is the present one.
The European Union entry is the sum of the gold counts of all EU members as of 2012 (in GDP rankings etc the EU is normally also listed as a
EU medal tracker,
Athens 2004 Medal Count,
Beijing 2008 Medal Count,
All Time Gold Counts
Even more gold expected for smaller but unified EU team.
the high EU gold count just reflect
the large number of competitors sent by all the individual EU nations?
Not at all. It's quality, not quantity that matters.
If the EU sent only its three best
athletes per individual event, and only one
all-star team per team event, the EU gold count
would actually increase, since almost all individual events are
won by one of the top three favorites
(sending additional inferior athletes is usually in vain), and the
unified EU all-star teams also would win many
team events (4 x 100m relays etc)
currently won by non-EU teams.
In fact, team events
bias the Olympics towards large countries dominating
certain fields, in particular, gymnastics or swimming,
where competitions are highly correlated
in the sense that single athletes frequently win several
different events. The most highly decorated athletes
are either Soviet gymnasts or US swimmers who
collected many team medals (relays etc) in addition
to several individual medals - impossible for
a superb athlete from a small country such as Denmark, or for
the lone "king of athletes" who wins
the 10-event Decathlon, but nothing else.
Note that we can safely ignore silver and bronze medals
used in (inofficial) IOC rankings to break
the tie where gold counts are equal.
Per capita rankings were
East Germany (1976:
47 golds / 16 million people = 2900 golds per billion capita;
1980: 3500 gpbc; note that the number of golds per Games
has grown by 64% since 1976).
In some Olympics very small countries with a single gold-winning athlete/team
achieved even higher values (Grenada 2012: 9000 gpmc,
Liechtenstein 1980: 60600 gpbc), but not on a
routine basis. The Summer Games averages of such statistical outliers are
far below East Germany's average of 1900 gpbc.
will be delighted if you use
the data in this web page
for educational, non-commercial purposes, including
provided you link to the source.
© 2012, based on very similar text from 2008.