Analysis of 2008 Predicted Medal Tally

There are several published predictions that we found for the medal tally at the 2008 Olympic Games. Now that the actual results are known, the accuracy of the predictions can be assessed. We are using our own analysis method to calculate a single percent accuracy score. It basically calculates the average percentage difference between their prediction and the actual results for the final top 5 results.

In 2008, the leading country on the medal table at the end of the Olympics was the China in terms of gold medals, and the USA had the most total medals, as predicted by all prediction models. However, some were more accurate overall than others.

Based on my analysis method, the accuracy of the top 5 was the same for each prediction. Bernard achieved a percentage accuracy score of 81% (average percentage difference of 19%) as did Johnson & Ali - although with different actual predictions.

TABLE of top 5 countries with predicted TOTAL GOLD medals won (showing percentage difference)

final rank Country ACTUAL Golds Bernard Prediction Johnson Prediction
1 China 51 37 (-27%) 40 (-22%)
2 United States 36 36 (0%) 34 (-6%)
3 Russia 23 25 (+9%) 26 (+13%)
4 Great Britain 19 10 (-47%) 12 (-37%)
5 Germany 16 14 (-13%) 19 (+19%)
percent accuracy score 81% 81%

For the predictions of total medals won by each country, based on my analysis method, the accuracy of the prediction of the top 5 countries was again very similar. The percentage accuracy score was 84% by Johnson (average percentage difference of 16%), and 83% by Bredtmann et al.. They both correctly predicted the US would lead the total medal tally, though they both had Russia as second not China.

TABLE of top 5 countries with predicted TOTAL MEDALS won (showing percentage difference)

final rank Country ACTUAL total medals Johnson Prediction Bredtmann et al. prediction
1 USA 110 98 (-11%) 92 (-16%)
2 China 100 79 (-21%) 74 (-26%)
3 Russia 73 84 (+15%) 88 (+21%)
4 Great Britain 47 36 (-23%) 37 (-21%)
5 Australia 46 42 (-9%) 46 (0%)
percent accuracy score 84% 83%

See the top 10 predictions for Beijing 2008 for details about the source of each prediction. See also more details of the prediction models.


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