2012 Predicted Medal Tally
The medal tally for the Olympics Games in 2012 is now complete. Leading up to these Games, there were many predictions of which country would win the most medals. For details about the methods of each prediction, you can see more on our page about prediction models. You can see below how close the predictions were. Now that the actual results are known, the accuracy of the prediction equations can be assessed. See our analysis of these predictions.
Predicted Gold Medal Tally
Below are the top 10 positions from each prediction model that we have found. We have grouped them into predictions based on recent results, and other predictions that use a variety of other factors.
The majority of the predictions had the USA leading the final gold medal tally, with China second, followed by either Russia or Great Britain. All predicted that the top four would include these countries. The benchmark analysis was based on results from major international events held in 2010 and did not necessarily reflect the most current performances. Even though the order may have been correct for some, the number of predicted gold medals varied quite a bit.
Table of predicted top 10 countries with total gold medals won (predictions based on only results)
|rank||Actual Results||Infostrada Sports (now Gracenote)||Sports Myriad||Luciano Barra||Brian Cazeneuve||Benchmark Analysis|
|1||USA (46)||USA (36)||USA (55)||China (43)||China (42)||Russia|
|2||China (38)||China (32)||China (35)||USA (35)||USA (42)||USA|
|3||Great Britain (29)||Russia (21)||Great Britain (32)||Russia (30)||Russia (28)||China|
|4||Russia (24)||Great Britain (19)||Russia (26)||Great Britain (19)||Great Britain (23)||Great Britain|
|5||South Korea (13)||Germany (17)||Japan (14)||Germany (17)||Australia (16)||Germany|
|6||Germany (11)||Italy (12)||Australia (13)||Japan (14)||Japan (12)||France|
|7||France (11)||Australia (11)||Germany (10)||France (13)||Germany (11)||Japan|
|8||Italy (8)||Japan (10)||Italy (8)||Australia (13)||France (8)||Australia|
|9||Hungary (8)||France (10)||South Korea (8)||Italy (12)||South Korea (8)||Italy|
|10||Australia (7)||South Korea (10)||France (7)||New Zealand (8)||Italy (7)||Korea|
Table of predicted top 10 countries with total gold medals won (predictions based on factors other than just results)
|rank||Actual Results||Goldman Sachs||Wall Street Journal||Williams||Johnson|
|1||USA (46)||USA (37)||USA (40)||China (48)||USA (34)|
|2||China (38)||China (33)||China (38)||USA (35)||China (33)|
|3||Great Britain (29)||Great Britain (30)||Russia (29)||Great Britain (25)||Russia (25)|
|4||Russia (24)||Russia (25)||Great Britain (22)||Russia (21)||Great Britain (20)|
|5||South Korea (13)||Australia (15)||Germany (16)||Germany (15)||Germany (19)|
|6||Germany (11)||France (14)||Australia (13)||Australia (12)||France (11)|
|7||France (11)||Germany (14)||Japan (13)||South Korea (11)||Italy (10)|
|8||Italy (8)||South Korea (10)||France (9)||Japan (9)||Japan (9)|
|9||Hungary (8)||Italy (10)||Italy (9)||Italy (8)||Sth Korea (9)|
|10||Australia (7)||Ukraine (9)||Kenya (8)||France (7)||Australia (8)|
Predicted Total Medal Tally
These predictions of total medals were based on recent results, scientific analysis, or a combination of both - resulting in large variations between lists. The Busse prediction was based solely on population and GDP, others included additional data such as political structure, climate, a host nation advantage, and previous Olympic results. As with the gold medal tally predictions above, the USA was generally tipped (correctly) to finish on top with China second. The best predictions seem to be from Brian Cazeneuve (Sports Illustrated), Wall Street Journal and Goldman Sachs. See more detailed analysis.
Table of predicted top 10 countries with total medals won (predictions based on only results)
|rank||actual results||Infostrada Sports (now Gracenote)||Sports Myriad||Luciano Barra||Brian Cazeneuve (SI)|
|1||USA (104)||China (85)||USA (113)||China (100)||USA (99)|
|2||China (88)||Russia (83)||Russia (85)||Russia (79)||China (97)|
|3||Russia (82)||USA (82)||China (84)||USA (78)||Russia (79)|
|4||Great Britain (65)||Great Britain (67)||Great Britain (78)||Great Britain (62)||Great Britain (65)|
|5||Germany (44)||Germany (61)||Germany (52)||Germany (56)||Germany (49)|
|6||Japan (38)||Australia (39)||Australia (43)||France (45)||Australia (40)|
|7||Australia (35)||Italy (34)||Japan (41)||Japan (41)||Japan (39)|
|8||France (34)||Japan (34)||France (34)||Australia (37)||France (32)|
|9||Sth Korea (28)||France (32)||Italy (30)||Italy (32)||Italy (25)|
|10||Italy (28)||Sth Korea (24)||Sth Korea (23)||Sth Korea (29)||Sth Korea (23)|
Table of predicted top 10 countries with total medals won (predictions based on factors other than just results)
|rank||actual results||PwC||Wall Street Journal||Goldman Sachs||Williams||Johnson||Bredtmann et al.||Busse|
|1||USA (104)||USA (113)||USA (108)||USA (108)||USA (103)||USA (99)||China (102)||USA (51)|
|2||China (88)||China (87)||China (92)||China (98)||China (94)||Russia (82)||USA (100)||China (45)|
|3||Russia (82)||Russia (68)||Russia (83)||Russia (74)||Russia (67)||China (67)||Russia (71)||Japan (41)|
|4||Great Britain (65)||Great Britain (54)||Great Britain (66)||Great Britain (65)||Great Britain (62)||Germany (60)||Great Britain (57)||Germany (36)|
|5||Germany (44)||Australia (42)||Germany (49)||Australia (46)||Australia (42)||GB (45)||Australia (43)||India (34)|
|6||Japan (38)||Germany (41)||Australia (42)||France (41)||Germany (39)||Australia (38)||France (39)||France (33)|
|7||Australia (35)||France (37)||Japan (39)||Germany (41)||France (39)||France (37)||Germany (36)||Brazil (33)|
|8||France (34)||Japan (28)||France (31)||South Korea (31)||South Korea (29)||Italy (31)||South Korea (31)||Great Britain (32)|
|9||South Korea (28)||Italy (27)||Italy (30)||Italy (30)||Italy (26)||Japan (31)||Cuba (29)||Italy (31)|
|10||Italy (28)||South Korea (27)||South Korea (24)||Ukraine (27)||Japan (25)||South Korea (29)||Brazil (28)||Russia (30)|
See more details of the prediction models, and links to the complete lists. In general, the Sports Myriad, the USAToday Olympic medal tracker (Gracenote) and Benchmark analysis are based on actual recent competition results, while the predictions of Johnson, Williams, PwC and Busse are based on economic and population data as well as other factors. The medal tracker data is from July 25, just prior to the start of the Games. The Sports Myriad predictions are those updated the week before the games started.
- Daniel K.N. Johnson - press release "ECONOMIC MODEL SHOWS USA FIRST, BRITAIN FOURTH IN 2012 LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES"
- Julia Bredtmann, Carsten J. Crede, Sebastian Otten: website
- Wall Street Journal Data from http://www.wsj.com/news/interactive/MEDALPREDICTIONS20120719 (link no longer working)
- Gracenote List from USAtoday
- PwC: "Modelling Olympic Performance - Economic briefing paper" from June 2012 (details here)
- Goldman Sachs: Their predictions were detailed in the document The Olympics and Economics 2012.
- Brian Cazeneuve - published in SI.com, July 26 2012
- Sports Myriad: info was published on www.sportsmyriad.com. Beau Dure has now moved his data to duresport.com
- Emily Williams: "Jolly Good Show: Who Will Win the 2012 Olympic Games in London?" (was at http://emilywilliams.webs.com/ documents/London Olympics 2012.pdf)
- Benchmark: details originally published on http://corporate.olympics.com.au/09715C2F-5056-B031-6A82E667D964D795 but no longer availabale
- Meghan Busse: details from BBC.co.uk website
- About Predicted Medal Tables
- My 2012 Gold Medal Table Prediction
- More Medal Tallies from each Olympic year
- See more about the Olympics Games in 2012
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- Sam American (2016)
What is the best predictor of tomorrow temperature - today's. What is the best predictors of this Summer Olympic's medal count - last Summer Olympic's medal count...of course if Russia is wholly or largely out then need to look at recent world championships to divide those up.
- Busse Prediction - 34 medals for India? Really? From 83 athletes and only having ever won a total of 3 medals at any previous Olympics. This is their best so far and they've managed to reach 5. Quite a bizarre prediction that I guess was wildly based on the Commonwealth Games. (from Jim, 11 Aug 2012).
- Reply: it is because the Busse prediction is based solely on population and GDP, and India has quite a big population apparently. (from Rob, Topend Sports)
- All these predictions are so wrong it hurts. As of 9 august, Iran has 4 golds, and should have had 5, but the disc guy stepped over the line. tough. The US is STILL trailing China, but could still very well win it, cos of the basketball, and women's volleyball, and decathlon and boxing. China might get another diving gold. I predict USA 39 and China 37 golds. If they win the boxing, it could be even 38! so the U.S.A. wins by BRONZE!! too funny. (from Gwen Killerby, 9 Aug 2012)
- Predictably UScentric analysis and comment. Massively under predicts Team GB's performance which has been predicted here in the UK for months ..although still probably going to exceed this total of 48 medals (already exceeded predicted gold) (from Chris Brennan, Aug 2012)
- UScentric? The models' average prediction is that the US would have 91.5 total medals, and 40 gold. They currently have 94 total medals and 41 gold : a total underestimation of 4.5 medals. The average prediction for GB is 52 total medals and 24 gold. They currently have 57 total medals and 25 gold - a total underestimation of 6 medals. Hardly a UScentric, massive underestimation of GB as opposed to US. (from Kiwi, 11 Aug 2012)
- Doesn't really work does it!! (from Keith, Aug 2012)
- Well ... regardless Beijing was a real down for Hungary I think the whole world underestimate it. Hungary is a small country but one of the greatest ever Olympic nation in over all and definitely the most successful nation in the summer Olympics counting per capita or per GDP. After one week Hungary is the 10th on the medal table with 4 golds and there are at least 5-6 more Golds ahead to win this week (flat water canoeing, water polo) (from gmihaly, 8 Aug 2012)
- Totally without foundation. You just have to look at the current results table. (from Fred Astair, Aug 2012)
- Looks like this model is seemingly accurate as we are into the 2nd week of competition. BTW Syed ... take note, Iran only has 1 gold and a bronze thus far. I'd be astounded to see them make up that ground and put up 10 golds. I just don't see it happening. I've been impressed by the UK and I really see the US pulling ahead in the medal count with all of the track and field events coming up to the finals and oh yeah ... there is a certain Basketball team that is only missing Michael Jordan to handle every team like it did Nigeria. Could you imagine if this team had a youthful Michael Jordan on it? Well, back to the fields of play. I can't wait to comment at the end of this spectacular Olympic competition. Kudos to London for putting on a remarkable show! (from Brett, 6 Aug 2012)
- Why will America go so far clear? Why will it be so different to last year? (from bob, Aug 2012)
- Hehe south korea hehe
- My prediction: a close battle for first (both in terms of golds and total medals) between China and the USA, Russia 3rd, and after that it gets too unpredictable. GB should do well on total medals, partly because they've got so many athletes in the games, plus the home support advantage, but maybe less well on golds; France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Australia should also do well in general (and I wouldn't be at all surprised if those were the final top ten nations in the medals table, in one order or another). Of course, I'm posting this on the 2nd of August, so we've already seen how some of it comes out ... (from Paddy)
- How come Kenya is missing in these predictions, and yet it is almost certain that it will be among the top 10, when the total gold haul is taken into account? (from Misheck Kirimi, July 2012)
- China is going to have an insane metal count this year. Possibly doubling the States. (from doodlefinger, July 2012)
- China must 1st in medal tally, 2nd U.S.A., 3rd Russia (from niten rajbhandari, July 2012)
- We are using your prediction model results for a family Olympic challenge. we will each take one of the top 5 estimated team medal winners as our host country (picked from a pirate hat-don't ask) and track the events. each gold will get 3 points, silver, 2 points, and bronze 1. we've already had fun investigating about the over-all top medal winners for previous games! and now that we have the top 5 expected winners for 2012, we're ready to compete! GO USA! (from Sue Vessicchio, July 2012)
- How about Mexico? What is your London 2012 prediction for my country? Mine is 2 golds and a total of 6 (from Enrique Garay, July 2012)
- I don't know why Japan is predicted to be ahead of South Korea by Gold medal count. (are the guys who made prediction ignorant of all the preceding Olympic Games medal count stat?) The last 8 or 10 Olympic Games (including the winter games) show South Korea have been, except 2004 Summer Olympic, higher in rank than Japan by GOLD MEDAL attainment as well as overall medals count. Why in the world S.Korea has lower prospect than Japan by the medal count for this year's game when the last half dozen games point to S.Korea as the higher achiever than Japan? (from John, 28 July 2012)
- That is because Japan has 5 times larger land and population..and 3 times the economy ;) Things like that are considered in the math prediction models. (from kevin, July 2012)
- It will be France instead of Hungary (from aaa, July 2012)
- Australia is gonna win CMON!
- Why are all countries not included? The Olympics are supposed to embrace the whole world. (from michael clare, July 2012) - reply: see original sources for the complete list, this is just a sample to compare the systems.
- Pathetic, to say the least, what was the criteria to reach to arrive at those figures, if it was number of WORLD CHAMPIONS, then IRAN has twelve of them, you should have given them at least 10 golds. (from syed zaffer, May 2012)
- Iran will NOT win 10 gold medals. Period. (from Ivan, July 2012)
- Iran will be lucky to get 1 or 2 gold medals (from steve jacobs, July 2012)