Google’s Alternative Olympics medal table sheds light on small countries’ achievements

google alternative medals table olympic games 2016

After winning 26 gold medals, it’s not delusional to believe the US is running away the Rio Olympic Games. At the time of writing, the 554-strong team have collectively won 69 medals, which dwarfs Great Britain and China’s achievements. Still, the medals table doesn’t really take into account other factors, like population, a country’s general affluence or even, uh, overall Google Search rankings.

That’s where Google‘s alternative medals table comes into play.

Ranking teams by more than just the “look at all my medals” philosophy, the visualisation allows visitors to understand just how big an achievement winning a single medal (gold or bronze) is for some countries.

Taking factors like GDP, population, year-long search traffic and even “heath-conscious and good eating” searches into account, the medals table can change quite a bit.

Spoiler warning: South Africa, with its single gold medal, doesn’t rank highly on the table regardless, but countries like the US still do.

Nevertheless, be sure to have a crack at the table below.



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