We may be a little less than four years from the Rio Olympics, but the Brits are already patting themselves on the back for a relatively impressive 46-medal haul, due to come home in 2016.
Mind you their best swimmer, Rebecca Adlington, just retired, and no one knows which flag Rory McIlroy will swing his sticks under when golf makes its triumphant return, but some nerds got together and published a formula in the British Journal of Sports Medicine to estimate that Team GB would win 63.5 medals in 2012, missing the actual total of 65 by only two. Well, one-and-a-half, really.
The authors looked at the average medal hauls of Team GB’s past, as well as the average relative increase that occurred to a host country’s count to determine that, depending on the balance of objective and subjectively judged sports, the advantage of hosting the Games is roughly 2.05 times the number of average medals won.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that the crowd had a positive effect on athletes to raise their performance,” the authors offered. “But also, based on these results, crowds appear to have had an important effect on influencing officials to favor the home based performers, and hence increase their medal winning capacity.”
The authors then looked at the other side of the bell curve for Team GB to determine that, by pouring funding and athletes into your own Games you still have a 1.46 times advantage during your next Olympics.
Using the formula we can estimate that Brazil, which has averaged roughly 14 medals during the last five Games, will be able to put about 28 to 30 medals on the board when they host the next Olympics, and then 20 or so in 2020.
So, to recap: the Brits average roughly 31 medals every Olympics, so you multiply that by their 1.46 advantage as a recent host and you get 45.26. We’ll let you know how this all pans out in four years, but just know that whatever the count, it will be dramatically less than the Americans bring home. U-S-A! U-S-A!