Predicted Medal Tables

There are numerous systems for ranking the success of countries at the Olympics, usually based on actual results at each Olympic Games. Described below is examples of methods used for ranking countries based on prediction modelling of expected results.

There are two main categories of predictions. One is from scholars using economics and a range of factors to base their predictions. The other is predictions based on competition results leading up to the Olympics, such as those by the Virtual Medal Tracker, which use recent results to predict the specific winners of each event.

The predictions are coming in for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Again it is predicted the USA will top the medal tally.

Did everyone predict the US would top the medal tally in 2012? See who was predicted to win in 2012.

Predictors for 2016

olympic posterMedal Predictors - from previous years

How Good are the Predictions?

Having predictions from previous Olympic Games leads to another method of ranking - you can rank countries based on actual results compared to that predicted. These would not necessarily be the most success countries, but those that performed much better than expected. We have used the prediction results of those listed below to compare to the actual lists from the last few Olympics.

See the predictions and how they compared side by side with actual results for the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 Olympic Games. We are also doing an analysis of the prediction to see which methods or people are best at predicting the medal table.


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