Rep-by-pop at the Olympics: Down Under is No. 1

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Australia won 2.46 medals per million population — it's on top.

In the spirit of fair play and democracy at the Olympic Games, I propose anew form of medal standings that takes into account representation bypopulation. I mean, it's hardly fair to judge the athletic success of theU.S.'s 300 million people straight up against Sweden's nine million, is it?

Just to see what this new, rep-by-pop system would look like, I have takenthe final standings at the Athens 2004 Games and calculated medals won permillion population (from the CIA Factbook) of the 45 countries that garneredfive or more medals.

The top Olympic nation as calculated by population is the land Down Under.Australia won 2.46 medals per million population. Cuba is second with 2.39medals per million people, then comes Jamaica with 1.84. The U.S. tumblesfrom first on the total medal list all the way down to 30th with 0.35 medalsper million people. Russia is 19th at 0.64 and China is 45th with 0.05medals per million population.

While Canada's performance is still mediocre (falling to 29th place in thenew standings) it is interesting to note who does worse. When takingpopulation into account Canada outperforms the U.S., Japan and China. Ofcourse, we do get creamed by Bulgaria, Greece and Denmark, but somehow theknowledge that Uncle Sam does worse makes up for all the rest.

Here is the complete list of countries and their medals/million people:

1. AUSTRALIA (2.46)
2. CUBA (2.39)
3. JAMAICA (1.84)
4. HUNGARY (1.69)
5. BULGARIA (1.60)
6. GREECE (1.50)
7. DENMARK (1.48)
8. BELARUS (1.45)
10. NORWAY (1.31)
11. NEW ZEALAND (1.25)
12. CROATIA (1.11)
13. SLOVAKIA (1.11)
14. AUSTRIA (0.86)
15. ROMANIA (0.85)
16. CZECH REP (0.78)
17. SWEDEN (0.78)
18. SWITZERLAND (0.67)
19. RUSSIA (0.64)
20. AZERBAIJAN (0.64)
21. SOUTH KOREA (0.62)
22. GERMANY (0.58)
23. ITALY (0.55)
24. FRANCE (0.55)
25. KAZAKHSTAN (0.53)
26. BRITAIN (0.50)
27. UKRAINE (0.48)
28. SPAIN (0.47)
29. CANADA (0.37)
30. USA (0.35)
31. JAPAN (0.29)
32. POLAND (0.26)
33. NORTH KOREA (0.22)
34. TAIWAN (0.22)
35. KENYA (0.22)
36. UZBEKISTAN (0.19)
37. ARGENTINA (0.15)
38. TURKEY (0.15)
39. SOUTH AFRICA (0.14)
40. THAILAND (0.12)
41. ETHIOPIA (0.10)
42. IRAN (0.09)
43. EGYPT (0.07)
44. BRAZIL (0.05)
45. CHINA (0.05)

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