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.

Monday, August 6, 2012

day 9

It’s all about small.

The U.S. is just too darn big.  And, clearly, a much smaller percentage of its citizens are Olympicable than, say, Slovenia, New Zealand or Denmark or Australia or Belarus or Slovakia or Mongolia or Lithuania or Armenia or Great Britain, or Qatar or Moldova or Hungary or Netherlands or Chzech Republic or Croatia or Cuba or South Korea or Sweden or Romania or Norway or France or Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan or Canada or Serbia or Germany or Switzerland or Russia or Italy or Georgia or Japan or North Korea or Singapore, to name but a few.  Factoring in population, the United States will need 133 more medals to crack the Top Ten, and if they want to prove their superiority over Slovenia and to stake a claim to that coveted Number One position, they’re looking at an additional 551 medals.

There’s only a tidge more than 3 million Armenians (compared to 300 million Americans), so when they bagged their first two medals today, they leapt straight to the top ten. Like 2.7 million-person Jamaica yesterday, whose first two medals catapulted them from nowehere to fifth place, and who climbed to third place with two more medals today.

Slightly smaller than Armenia, little Lithuania bagged a second pendant today, leapfrogging thirteen positions to a Top Ten berth just ahead of – you guessed it – Armenia. Azerbaijan climbed 14 slots by winning two medals and having only 9 million citizens.

Malaysia and Argentina were also new to the medal list today, but at 28 and 40 million respectively, they’re kind of big to make much of a dent in the Medals Per Millions derby.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

day 8

Olympics 2012 | Day Eight
Medals Per Million

Big debut.
Jamaica hits OlyMPMic Leader Board at NUMBER FIVE position! Two medals, one day, 2.7 million people.

 Moldova’s Top Ten return after four day absence. With Jamaica’s debut, bumps Hungary and Cuba. Other tenners jostle for position.

Other new arrivals.
Switzerland (7.95 million) at #38, three slots below fading USA;
Tunisia (10.67 million - 1/3 the population of Canada – who knew!) at #41;
Guatemala (14.7 million – ½ the population of Canada – who knew!) at #43;
Ethiopia (84.3 million – 2½ times the population of Canada – who knew!) at #53, with 2 medals in a single day.

Czech Republic leaps over deflating USA and steady Canada with nineteen position gain, while Serbia surges six slots to leave USA in dust and snuggle up behind Canada. Host country United Kingdom / Great Britain (will somebody there please make up their mind what the bloody place is called?) and Olympic disappointment China hold steady. India won two more medals, leaping from last place to last place, down five positions from the previous day’s last place. But hope is not gone for one billion, two hundred and ten million India fans: only eight more medals to pass Indonesia!

Friday, August 3, 2012

day 7

As we reach the mid-point of the World-Wide Track Meet, here’s a brief snapshot of the nations who dominate the by-now-pretty-well-established leader board – Slovenia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Australia, Qatar and Slovakia – as well as one popular but populationally-bloated nation whose Olympic hopes are rapidly fading.

Dominant OlyMPMic nation hopes to stave off debt crisis by dominating games. Really a lot like Slovakia, but smaller, and spelled different.
Location: former Yugoslavia
Chief Exports: cars and medicaments
Best animals: olm, hedgehog, edible dormouse
In The News: “Moody’s Downgrades Debt Rating Three Levels To Baa2: Political risks to the implementation of an economic overhaul and deteriorating asset quality at banks have contributed to financial sector external funding contracting sharply.”

New Zealand
Highly athletic population consists chiefly of hobbits, elves and dwarves.  
Location: North of South Pole
Chief Exports: sheep, movie trilogies
Best Animals: sheep
In The News: “Aussie Channel Avoids Showing NZ On Medal Tally: Australian media are in delinal at seeing New Zealand above their team on the Olympic medal table.”

With an economy based on animal husbandry, Mongolia is the most popular of OlyMPMic nations, with celebrity fans including Ryan Hoke, Doug Roszmann and Julius of Outer Mongolia.
Location: in the mountains
Chief Exports:  Genghis Khan
Best Animals: sheep, camels, saiga
In The News: “Mongolian Court Jails Ex-President: Embezzler of monastery funds arrested in dawn raid broadcast on national television.”

Like New Zealand, but older: often referred to as “Old Zealand.” Also bigger, with more weird animals and fewer athletes per capita
Location: west of New Zealand
Chief Exports: snowboarders, surfers, restaurant servers
Best Animals: sheep, cane toad, kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, dingo, dugong, emu, wallaby, wombat, numbat, koala, kowari, yabby, bilby, brolga, bandicoot, cassowarry, kookaburra, cuscus, platypus, phascogale, galah, goanna, echidna, bogong moth, oystercatcher, sugar glider, frill necked lizard, fairy penguin, parrot turquoisine, quokka, and the spotted tailed quoll
In The News: “Cattle Boss Farley Compares PM To Old Cow: Australians who think they have permission to make sexist and silly remarks about the leader of the country should think again, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says.”

I had a stamp from Qatar when I was in Wolf Cubs. I got a Collectors badge, except I think I got it more for my coin collection than for stamps. I wasn't really a stamp collector. I just sent away for free things in the back of comic books, and that's where I got the stamps from other countries. I also sent away for a pouch of pipe tobacco from Theodorus Niemeyer, which I would smell whenever I was reading Sherlock Holmes stories. I couldn't believe they would just send tobacco to a kid! They didn't even ask my age or anything.
Location: in the desert
Chief Exports: Scrabble
Best Animals: sheep, camel, oryx
In The News: “Traffic Expert Urges Extra Care When Negotiating Roundabouts: A representative of the Traffic Department has urged motorists to drive carefully and follow a number of tips to ensure that they can negotiate roundabouts safely and prevent several of the accidents happening throughout the country.”

Like Slovenia, but bigger, and spelled different. American grunge and alternative rock have a wide following, as well as a new found enthusiasm for musicals. My daughter named her frogs after two Slovakian body-builders named Vlad and Branco.
Location: Former Czechoslavakia
Chief Exports: machinery
Best Animals: Blad and Branco
In The News: None. SKTODAY.COM (“Slovakia Today – latest news from Slovakia”) has not been updated since February

United States of America
Massive country with world’s largest Olympic media coverage ranks thirty-second in Olympic medals per capita, behind Serbia but ahead of Ukraine.
Location: south of Canada
Chief Exports: MacDonalds
Best Animals: Devil Rays, Tigers, Cardinals, Orioles, Marlins, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Lions, Colts, Bears, Falcons, Bengals, Panthers, Dolphins, Eagles, Broncos, Rams, Seahawks, Blackhawks, Penguins, Panthers, Mighty Ducks, Coyotes, Sharks, but not Bruins. Or, apparently, sheep.
In The News: “The Brady Bunch - Where Are They Now?: Vince Vaughn is co-developing and executive producing a CBS comedy derived from the family-friendly sitcom which aired from 1969 to 1974.”

Bright yellow: countries clambering atop the medal podium for the first time 
Light yellow: three other countries

Thursday, August 2, 2012

day 6

A day of reckoning for some of the world’s least athletic nations.

With the ascent of Slovenia to the top of the medals race with an astonishing .972 of a medal per million citizens, and the dramatic ascent of Mongolia from eighth to second place (with over 70% of a medal per million Mongolians), the American Olympic team (with slightly more than a tenth of a medal to share among each million of its countrymen) is considering withdrawing from the games altogether.

“We’d have to win another 306 medals to take the top position, and with only ten more days of competition, I’m just not sure that even we can do it. That’s, what, more than ten medals a day we’d have to win? Something like that. I just don’t see it. We said it from Day One: Go big or go home. Maybe we just have to face the fact that it’s time to go home.”

 With 1,276 more medal wins needed for China to claim the top spot – assuming no further wins for Slovenia, Mongolia or Qatar – but unwilling to return to their home country in shame, the entire Chinese Olympic delegation is rumoured to have applied for refugee status in either Slovenia or Richmond, British Columbia.

 Quite apart from hopes of massive Chinese immigration – which wouldn’t enhance Olympic chances until 2016 – plucky little Canada has chosen to keep their eyes on the prize. Needing only 27 more medals to politely move past the twenty-two countries ahead of them in the standings, Olympic domination still seems an achievable goal for the Canucks.

 Tomorrow, though, is a day of reckoning – well, another day of reckoning – for all forty-nine countries on the admittedly crowded medal podium. Every eye will be on Asenate Manoa as she runs the 100 metres on Friday: a third-place showing would crush the hopes of most competitors, giving her home nation of Tuvalu (pop. 10,000) a Medals Per Million rating of 100. “It would move that dang goal-post just a bit too far even for us,” remarked one already-chastened American, recognizing that winning another thirty-one thousand, three hundred and sixty four medals is unlikely. “The numbers guys say we wouldn’t probably catch ‘em till about halfway through the 3266 Games. And I don’t wanna even think what’ll happen if they win another medal sometime in the next twelve hundred years.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

day 5

Seven nations joined the Medals Per Million derby today, but only one – Singapore – took a place among the top twenty competitors. Cuba posted the biggest one-day gain of any nation thus far in the 2012 Olympics, moving from twenty-sixth to twelfth place in a single day of competition. “If we can do it again tomorrow, we’ll be in negative second place!” exclaimed one Cuban athlete, who dropped out of school in third grade to pursue his Olympic dream.

There was "thunder down under" as Australia and New Zealand both ascended to Top Six positions. “Ripper! Don’t want to big-note, but it’s a bit of a boil-over, eh? To dump them figjam countries and rub shoulders with dinky-di Olympic blokes like Qatar, Slovenia, Slovakia, Mongolia... Holy dooley, we’re in good pozzy now!” said one person who was from one of those two countries.

There was also "some other sort of dramatic weather pattern up over" as Norway clambered from Number 12 to Number 5. “Utrop av glede! Vi ønsker ikke å skryte, men det er litt av en uventet sportslige resultat, er det ikke? Å passere dem som har høye tanker om seg selv og forbinder med ekte OL-gutta som Qatar, Slovenia, Slovakia, Mongolia ... Min godhet, er vi i god posisjon nå!” echoed a person who was probably from Norway.

It was another woeful day for underdogs USA and China, as both population-bloated countries continued to plummet in the standings. “We’ve got quantity, but we sure as heck don’t seem to have the quality. Per capita, I’m talking. If we were doing as good as Moldova, we’d have 88 medals by now. If we were doing half as good as Moldova, we’d have 44 medals by now. Of course, there’s a bright side: if we were doing a quarter as good as Moldova, we’d only have 22 medals by now, but we’ve got 28, and that’s more. So that’s something.” said a person from the United States of America. A person from China also said something, but I don’t know how to type those crazy letters they have. I will say he didn’t seem too happy, either, though.

Canada just stayed exactly where it was.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

day 4

More thrills! More chills!! More countries with more and more smaller numbers of people winning more and more medals!!! More exclamation points with every sentence!!!! As two!!!!! more!!!!!! countries!!!!!!! leap from nowhere near the medals per million podium to its very most uppermost reaches!!!!!!!! Confused Olympic watchers around the world reached for dictionaries and atlases today as Slovenia bumped Slovakia from the top slot of the Medals Per Million pedestal – only to be bumped in turn by Qatar, the Scrabble-loving nation with little more than one and two-thirds of a million citizens. A mostly Muslim delegation of Qatari qadis, qaids and faqirs was onhand to qongratulate marqsman Nasser Al-Attiya for his bronze medal in shooting. The dejeqted Americans - who dropped six full positions today - had qalms. “We’re just not that kind of a country: we just don’t need it bad enough to start using guns, etc” re-remarqed Olympiq fan and Seqretary Of Defense Leon Panetta.

The day’s greatest gains were achieved by Canada and Germany, each of whom rose seven full positions in the MPM race. “It is like a game of ping pong on our hearts, here!!!!!!!!!” commentated CTV commentator Kyle Shewfelt.

The United States of Americans – all 314 million of them – were clearly troubled by their poor showing today, dropping from twenty-third to twenty-eighth place, with Germany shouldering the Yanks aside. But a lot of USA-ers pretended not to mind: “Don't forget, we beat ‘em in the war.”

Speaking of the war, Japanese officials registered a formal complaint to Medals Per Millions statisticians after seeing their nation drop twelve positions from yesterday’s tally. After consulting slow-motion recordings of the compilation of relevant spreadsheets, the President of MPM issued a formal apology from the organization’s centre of operations in Richmond, British Columbia. “Yeah, we put in the wrong number of medals for you guys yesterday. No biggie. We fixed it today. There’s 127 million of you people: quit your whining.”

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Monday, July 30, 2012

day 3

The third day of the London Olympics closes with high drama, as Mongolia and Lithuania judo-chopped and breast-stroked their way past yesterday’s leaders to take the the top two spots in the medals-per-million race, dropping Olympic-dominating Hungary, Moldova, Georgia, Norway and Slovakia to third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh places, respectively. “It pays to have not so many people,” remarked one Mongolian fan. “And for at least one of those people to be quite good at judo.”

While China dropped from 30th to 33rd place today, the news is not all bad. “Four countries now are not as bad as we are!” chanted Chinese supporters outside one Olympic venue. “Germay, Mexico, Indonesia, India – they’re even more not as good at sporting events!”

The day’s biggest losers were Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Taipei and the Netherlands, each dropping six positions in the standings, while Canada slipped by five spots, along with Serbia, Cuba and Belgium. “Hey, we can’t all be Mongolia, can we?” explained one Canuck official. “Just wait’ll we get to the events with skates and stuff – we’ll show ‘em, eh!”

At number 22 in the standings, the United States of America remains only slightly below average, which is more than good enough for them – a happy, non-competitive people who just want to be able to say “at least we were there.” A lot of them didn’t even mind that Ukraine fought past them with victories in fencing and air pistol. “If they’re going to resort to that kind of violence, I say let them have 21st place. We’re not that kind of a country: we just don’t need it bad enough to start using guns and swords,” said an unconfirmed source said to be close to Olympic fan and Secretary Of Defense Leon Panetta.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

day 2

At the end of the second day of Olympic competition, Hungary, Moldova and Georgia stand atop the medals-per-million podium, the only three nations with more than two-tenths of a medal per million citizens, with Norway and Slovakia mere percentage points off the pace.

The United States of America ranks twentieth in the standings, one one-thousandth of a medal ahead of their arch-rival, Uzbekistan, followed closely by host nation Great Britain and recent Winter Olympic host, Canada, ranked twenty-third out of thirty. Of the thirty countries who’ve ascended the medal podium going into Day Three, China ranks last, with only nine one-thousandths of a medal per million population.

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