Predicted Medal Tables

There are numerous systems for ranking the success of countries at the Olympics, these methods are usually based on the actual results at each Olympic Games. For upcoming Olympics, it is an interesting exercise to predict the number of medals to be won. 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.

There have been many predictions of the number of medals to be won by each country in Rio 2016. Nearly universally the USA was predicted to top the medal tally as it did in 2012. Did everyone predict the US would top the medal tally in 2012? See who was predicted to win in 2012.

Predictors for 2016

Here are those who have made predictions for the 2016 Rio Olympics. You can see each of their predictions listed side by side.

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 and 2016 Olympic Games. We are also doing an analysis of the prediction after each Olympic Games to see which methods or people are best at predicting the medal table.


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The next Olympics will be the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, followed by the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing. Check out the list of olympic sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

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