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Olympic participation by country

An advertisement for the lottery is “you can’t win, if you don’t play.”

We have another lesson plan that deals with medal counts. This one deals with the harbinger of medal counts, participating in the games. Some sports have cultural biases, like skeet shooting. Others require higher degrees of apparatus to participate at a high level like gymnastics. While others require much less like running or football (i.e., soccer).

In this lesson students can use the visual graphs at the UK Guardian’s web site (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/datablog/interactive/2012/jul/27/olympic-athletes-list-visualised) to analyze the participants by country with a global mapping device. They can reduce it to a sport category or for overall participation. Or they can focus on gender participation–some country athlete delegations are entirely or almost entirely male, for instance.

The data can be downloaded as an excel sheet. There is also a free program if you’d like to download the program and display called tableau public.

What kinds of questions can be asked?

Compare sport configurations by country:  How does the Olympic team for the United States compare with the Olympic team from Kenya?   Read more…

Olympics measuring, comparing and analyzing medal counts

During the Olympics a country medal count is standard.  Though countries may rearrange the count priority to make them look a bit better (see below a German by Gold ranking and a USA by total medal ranking).

Many links and jumping off points are offered here.


German newspaper rendition:  Germany #5 (US #2)


US newspaper rendition: U.S.  #1 (Germany #6)









image credit:  http://rubli.info/blog/2008/08/24/patriotism-olympic-style/

There are number of interesting graphical representations using Excel that show performance in a way that will engage students–and students can dig back into the data.  Best of all, the excel files are available for download!

Here’s a link for the 2012 Olympic games from the UK Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/datablog/2012/jul/30/olympic-medals-visualised-guardian


Excel Visualization of Olympic Medal Count (through 2008, but includes prior Olympics–can compare years with results shown on globe): http://www.enterprise-dashboard.com/excel-visualization-of-olympic-medal-count/











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