Sunday, August 12, 2012

gold per million | "the calderwoods"

The Medals Per Million rankings have, since time immemorial, been established entirely on the basis of total medals earned, adjusted to represent size of population - regardless of the metallurgical content of the neck candy.

However, there is one other measure of Olympic achievement which has also been adopted by the IOMPMC. The Calderwood Ranking (popularly known as "The Schmolds") was first given official sanction at the end of the 2012 London Games. Based on the official IOC rankings, which take only gold medals into account as "wins," the Calderwoods consider how many gold medals were won per 1,000,000 citizens in each winning nation.

Here are the results.

day 16 | final standings

For now, just the numbers. So you know who to cheer for in the parade. Commentary later. In brief, though, today's big gains... Uganda the only nation to join the medal party on the last day... Mongolia's many MPM fans celebrate as she bags an eleventh-hour medal to vault back into the Top Ten... Lithuania advances 4 spots, Croatia 8, and Latvia seventeen positions on the final day of competition to land in the Top 25... Let's hear it for the underdogs!!!

day 15

Olympics 2012 | Day 15
Medals Per Million

Just the facts, ma'am. 

At the end of the second last day of competition, Jamaica (2.7 million) keeps winning, further consolidating second place. Trinidad and Tobago (1.3 million) leap up eight positions into third. Montenegro (620,000 citizens) wins its first medal and debuts at #8 position. Only other newbie is Gabon (1.5 million) debuts at #31. (Where's Gabon?)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

day 14

Big day for the little guys, as lots of new tunes hit the Hot 82 Charts today. Making its MPM chart debut today at Number Three was “March On, Bahamaland,” as the 354,000-person country won the right to sing from way up high on the medal podium for the first time at the London Games. “Jamaica, Land We Love” was sung four times in the last two days, bumping “God Defend New Zealand” from the Number Two position at the topulation of the population charts.

“Forged From The Love Of Liberty” by Trinidad And Tobago lands at Number Eight with a bullet, vaulting forward an amazing 9 positions to break into the Top Ten for the first time, closely followed by Euro-hit “God Bless The Hungarians” and the catchy singalong “Bright peoples of brave Mongolia, have freedom and happiness.” Also new to the pop. charts were the eponymous “Bahrainona (Our Bahrain)” by Bahrain at #23, Botswana’s anthemic “Blessed Be This Noble Land” at #33, gospel crossover hit “God Bless Latvia” at #35, double-medal winning Bulgaria’s tear-jerker “Dear Homeland” entering the Hot 82 at #50, and the musical sensation that’s sweeping the nation (of Afghanistan) at #74, “This Land Of Afghanistan”;
“This is the country of every tribe,
Land of Baluch, and Uzbeks, 
Pashtoons, and Hazaras,
Turkman and Tajiks with them, 
Arabs and Gojars,
Pamirian, Nooristanis
Barahawi, and Qizilbash –
Also Aimaq, and Pashaye 

This Land will shine for ever.”

The badly bruised United States held their heads high and bravely sang “The Star Spangled Banner” four times today as they, too, managed to inch forward two positions closer to the Top Forty, gaining rather than losing ground for only only the third time during these Olympic games.  With all those high notes, not an easy one to sing after a day of relaying, wrestling, and taekwandoing, I’ll give them that. And holding steady at #72, that perennial Olympic favourite, "March Of The Volunteers."

Friday, August 10, 2012

day 14 | preview

IOMPMC officials today acknowledged that there is one thing wrong with the Medals Per Million count. “They put this ridiculous cap on how many competitors from a single country are allowed in any given event. This throws off the statistics in a manner that is grossly unfair to the larger countries, such as China or the United States of America” noted many commentators, in unison. And several others agreed, and some even went so far as to “like” those statements. 

 In response, the International Olympic Medals Per Million Committee will be lobbying the IOC to remove this unfair restriction for future games. “The only way for the 2016 games to truly restrict – I mean, reflect – the modern Olympic spirit will be for all the competitors in all events to come from China and the U.S., ensuring fair representation for all citizens of the world” said IOMPMC chairman. “Face it – anybody from Nauru can get on the team, right? How fair is that to the Americans, who at least have to be able to DO the sport better than some other guys in order to be the best? And hell – there’s more of us, we SHOULD win more medals” said one United States of American. “Oh yeah, and India. There’s lots of them too, right? We don’t mind if they come – should be able to whup them pretty easy.” 

 But until these sweeping changes are implemented, we’re stuck with this stupid “Anybody can play” thing, and we might as well list the nations who shouldn’t be in the Olympics in the first place who are in competition today, who could make a significant – if unfair – impact on the MPM leader board – primarily in canoe and kayak sprints, taekwondo and wrestling (even poor people can fight), rhythmic gymnastics, relays and marathon swimming. But don’t rule out the little guys in BMX racing, hammer throw, or wise sayings. (Also, Belgium is in competeition in hockey. Hockey? HOCKEY?? Did anyone tell the Canadians to bring their skates?)


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

day 12

The past two days have seen none of the Medals Per Millions drama of Monday. While six new countries posted medal wins, none were small enough to enter the competition higher than Ireland, debuting at #43 with only a fifth of a medal per million Irelandians.  While Finland (#51), Tajikistan (#53) and Portugal (#57) all hold more medals per million than under-performing China (#60), so what? It's easy to do better, per capita, than a country with over thirteen hundred million people. Of the new podium arrivals, though, it is the bottom two who suggested to drama-hungry MPM researchers the fascinating connection between the Olympics and the world of the movies. Morocco is beautifully showcased in one of the great screenplays of all time (Casablanca), and The Battle Of Algiers was recently released as a handsome Criterion DVD.

As remarkable as those movie tie-ins are, there are films with even stronger Olympic themes. Chariots of Fire (1981) portrays Olympic runners Eric Lidell and Harold Abrahams, who competed for this year's host country 88 years ago. Cool Runnings (1993) is a hard-hitting documentary investigation of the MPM's third-ranked nation Jamaica and their bobsled entry in the 1988 games, while Lake Placid celebrates the American Olympic spirit at the 1980 games.

Here is a rundown of some other Olympic nations, and the films that celebrate their most memorable moments in sport;
#2. New Zealand: Lord of the Rings (men's gymnastics)
#9. Australia: Gallipoli (long distance running)
#15. Netherlands: Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates (speed skating)
#20. Georgia: Deliverance (canoeing, archery, wrestling)
#31. Canada: Saint Ralph (long distance running)
#32. Germany: Run Lola Run (long distance running)
#40. Puerto Rico: West Side Story (men's gymnastics)
#60. China: Chinatown (chiefly concerned with the need to stay well hydrated)
#65. Lawrence of Arabia (equestrian)

Medals Per Million - Olympic coverage you won't find anywhere else!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

day 10

Monday was an extraordinary day at the London Olympics, as a record nine new nations were added to the medal leader board – four of them in the top eleven, with gutsy little Grenada debuting in the Number One position, and unlikely to be deposed by the closing ceremonies. This nation of only 100,000 souls won a gold medal in the men’s 400 yesterday, ending a 92 year American streak of seven straight gold medals in that sport. Even drawing on a population almost three thousand times the size of Grenada’s, the USA needs to win 418 medals a day to pass the Grenadians – which seems a remote possibility, even for the world-beating Yanks. At this point their best option is probably to invade the tiny Caribbean nation and take the medal by force. “We’ve done it before, we can do it again.”

The country on the medal podium with the best chance of dislodging the first place “Island Of Spice” would be another MPM newcomer, Cyprus, needing only 7 medals in 7 days to squeeze past the top-slotted country, whose catchy national motto clearly intimidates competitors – “Ever Conscious of God We Aspire, Build and Advance as One People.”  Also sporting newly-won medals are Estonia and Trinidad and Tobago (which are in fact two, not three, distinct nations – somebody in T&T marketing needs to get on that). Either would need an even dozen medals to secure Number One honours.

Three other newly-medalled countries ranked below Canada but above the US and China: Kuwait and Puerto Rico with one medal each, and the Dominican Republic – a nation populated entirely by Roman Catholic friars, nuns, active sisters and Lay Dominicans dedicated to preaching the Gospel and combatting heresy – out of the gates with two medals in a single day.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey also slipped onto the podium in sixty-first and sixty-eighth place respectively.