|March 3, 2010|
|Norway Puts U.S. Olympic Medal Haul in Perspective|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|In a stunning turn of events, the International Olympic Committee has stripped the United States of its leadership position in the 2010 Olympic medals derby. |
The IOC has rectified the initial confusion, anointing Norway -- land of fjords, reindeer, Viking lore and 4.6M souls -- the shining star of the Vancouver Games. Norway's King Harald V is a proud man indeed these days.
Okay, it wasn't the IOC that re-jiggered the medal count. It is WorldAffairsDaily.org, online partner of World Affairs, the bimonthly journal established in 1837, which revised the medals race.
WAD today published its "Olympic medals per capita rankings" that boosted Norway into the driver's seat. Its 23 medals translate into a medal for each of its 203K people. With 16 medals and an 8.2M population, Austria ranks No. 2 with a medal per 513K citizens. Slovenia (three medals and 2M Slovenians) gets the bronze from WAD.
The U.S. earned 37 medals at the just-concluded games, or one medal for each 8.3M -- which is like New York City winning a single medal. To equal Norway's performance, the U.S. had to haul in 1,530 medals, an impossible feat since only 238 medals were handed out in Canada's Olympics.
China, which tied for No. 8 by IOC count with 11 medals, bottomed WAD’s list. With 1.4B people, China chalked up a medal for each 121.7M of its people. The U.K. ranked just above China. It won a single medal for a population of 61.1M.
Once Norway gins up its PR machine to tout its Olympic supremacy, other nations will take notice. Look for Winter Olympic training efforts to gear up in the least populated lands of the world. Lack of facilities rules out the three least peopled countries, Pacific islands of Tuvalu, Nauru and Palau. All eyes turn to the European midgets of Monaco, Liechtenstein and San Marino.
Monaco, with its Mediterranean locale and casino focus, is unlikely to steal the show at the Sochi Games in 2114. The action boils down to Liechtenstein (32K people and the Alps) and San Marino (33K people living in the Apennine Mountains and surrounded by Italy—which had a 11.6M citizens per medal ranking in Vancouver).
A single 2014 media for either Liechtenstein or San Marino will clinch the medal per capita race.
May the best microstate win!
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