Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Olympics...sweet as, cuz

Medal standings

It's early days in Rio, but the USA, China, and Great Britain lead the way on the Olympics medals table, with Michael Phelps continuing to collect swimming gold medals for fun.

Australia has five gold medals to date, three of them from swimming. 

Medals per capita

Of course, with a population of 24 million, Australia is unlikely to win as many medals as countries such as China, with 1.4 billion heads to choose from.

And when we look at a chart of population per medal we find that Australia is in sixth place.

Yet top of the charts we find is...New Zealand! 

NZ has a tally of seven medals for a population per medal of just 656,000.

Many of the other countries featured have picked up just a couple of medals, so Australia's performance along with that of New Zealand is remarkable on this measure. 

Fiji deserves a special mention for winning its first ever gold medal, eclipsing Great Britain in the Rugby Sevens event.

Credibility fail

Unfortunately a number of Olympic events are suffering from a monumental credibility gap.

Certainly, Hungary's training program certainly seems to be operating effectively this time around.

In the 400 metres swimming medley on Saturday a Hungarian swimmer was a ridiculous five seconds under the world record pace at one point (ha!) - previously set by a swimmer from China, in an era of remarkable records - before backing off to break the world record by 'only' a couple of seconds. 

And then there was the track event where a runner from Ethiopia, partaking in the event only for the second time, beat the 23-year-old world record by 14 seconds, so outrageously far ahead of the rest of the field that the officials almost needed to be marshals waving blue flags. 

The previous world record was dodgy enough, famously held by an athlete coached by one of China's "chemical sisters", meaning that the time was in fact 36 seconds faster than any remotely credible run. 

When you chart these kind of numbers and times into their historical context you begin to see how "not normal" they are. Could chart them, but what's the point, really?