WHAT DETERMINES WHERE your country ends up on the Olympic medal table?
But if you’re looking for an indication of where your country will end up, GDP is as good a place as any. The two countries with the highest GDP, the United States and China, also rank highest on the Olympics medal table. The US, which has won 39 gold medals to date, was worth US$15,094 billion in 2011. China, with 37 Gold medals, was worth US$7,298 billion.
After that it is a bit of a mix and match, but pretty much all the countries in the top 20 GDP list also appear in the medals list. There are some significant underachievers though.
They include Mexico, the world’s 14th richest country in terms of GDP, with just five medals and India, with just four.
The overachievers? Belarus, the 71st richest country in terms of GDP, ranks 17th on the Olympic medal table. Ukraine, Romania and Iran are other outliers as is Jamaica. The Caribbean island is the world’s 113th richest in terms of GDP. However, it ranks 21st in terms of Olympic medals, with three gold and nine overall won so far.
Where does Ireland feature? Pretty much where it should be. 40th on the medal table, we’re the 44th richest in terms of GDP. That’s for the moment at least. Here’s hoping John Jo Nevin can move us up a notch. And that Michael Noonan can rid us of some of our debt.