The Medal Count, by Market Value

This year’s Olympic medals “are the first containing metal salvaged from televisions, circuit boards, monitors and electronic waste.” Both the “gold” and “silver” medals are actually 92.5% silver, while the bronze medals are mostly copper. The first-place medals (which are gold-plated) are valued at about $537; the second-place medals are valued at about $300; and the third-place medals are valued at $3.40. Cybermetrics calculated this year’s Olympics champion, by market value of the medals — Canada takes first place with a total haul of $9,635. (HT: Cyril Morong)[%comments]


The Olympics would be far more enjoyable if we gave up the fiction that athletes are competing for their country. We have pro NHL players competing for countries they don't live in. We have American athletes competing for countries that need a team member so a tenuous connection is invoked. The "poor" Dutch speed skater who was misled by his coach was angry over a missed bonus of several hundred thousand Euro according to the commentators. These are pro athletes competing for themselves, as it should be. The Cold War is over. Let's move on.

Joe in Jersey

#11 Paul Clapham

I'm sorry I can't quite tell if you're being serious or facetious. $900 million on security, for the games that lasted 17 days. That's almost $53 million a day. Where do I sign up to work security for the Olympics?

Cyril Morong


I copied and pasted all the individual results from an NBC site into Excel. Then sorted by country and did a sub-total. When I get to my office I will look at the spread sheet to see if something got double counted. But I still maintain that my measure is the most meaningless.




Many athletes are happy to just compete at the Olympics, let alone get a medal. Obviously the best athletes in each sport are competing hard for a Gold. Others have no chance whatsoever, but gladly represent their countries. I was happy for knowing some of the athletes who didn't have a chance, but made it up to 4th, 5th and 6th places.

I'd have to immediately stereotype you as an American based on your comments that gold is all or nothing. I can't change the way you think, and you're entitled to think that, but that's not what the Olympics and the Olympic spirit is about.

It brought together many nations in one place, who shared their moment and glory together. A lot of these people are good friends because they spend so much time together going to World Events.

Cyril Morong

Yes, somehow when I copied and pasted extra data was getting carried over that I don't see on the screen when I go to the NBC site. My guess is that all my values need to be cut in half.

Cyril Morong

I did it over, and I think I avoided the double counting. Very strange that when I copy and paste that data I don't see on the screen ends up in my spread sheet. So I have Canada with 68 Gold. Anyway, here are the revised totals

CAN 41043.2
USA 25718.8
GER 15306
NOR 13122.6
AUT 8627.4
SWE 7357.6
KOR 6228.8
CHN 5760.2
RUS 4769.6
SUI 3245.8
FRA 2894.4
NED 2468.4
JPN 1506.8
POL 1450.6
AUS 1374
CZE 1097.8
LAT 900
ITA 847.2
BLR 840.4
SVK 840.4
CRO 603.4
SLO 603.4
GBR 537
FIN 466.6
EST 300
KAZ 300


Maybe we can use this interesting way to measure the performance for each country! Regard it as a cash prize via the sum of all medals' market value.

This carries a similar idea as an earlier commentary here: