Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympic Medals Map

The NY Times has an interactive map of Olympic medals won by country:

vancouver winter olympics medals map

This represents medals won in the Vancouver Olympics thus far. You'll notice that the United States has a larger circle than Canada. This is because the United States has won more medals than Canada. I draw attention to this fact because the Canadians were all bragging about how they were going to win the most medals. Clearly they are going to fail to do so. Their hubris rankles; hubris belongs to Americans and Russians. In Canadians it is just... unbecoming. Also, as a United Statesian, it's fun to root for my country on the rare occasions when we are the underdog, like in the winter Olympics and the World Cup.

The map has medal winners going back to the first Winter Olympics in 1924. You can see that it was basically a meeting of Europeans, with a few odd North Americans thrown in, until the last few cycles. Now the North Americans are a much bigger presence, as are the Asians and even the bleepin' Australians, who need to knock it off with the excelling at sports all the time. Are there even any ski resorts in Australia?

Meanwhile, The Vancouver [de]Tour Guide 2010 team sends along their effort to google map some stuff of interest around Vancouver. They describe it as "a mixture of google bombing, counter-cartography and psychogeography that uses Google Maps to contest the online/offline representations of Vancouver during the Olympics." I link to them here mainly because I enjoy the words "counter-cartography" and "psychogeography."


kilgoretrout said...

The absolute number of a country don't mean that much to me. If you also think about the population of a country Canada is doing pretty well. But most impressive is of course Norway

Richard said...

Not terribly impressive when you consider that it's an advanced country covered in ice and snow more than most. All sports, but particularly the Winter Olympics ones, require specialized technology, building, and training, so what matters more is overall societal wealth (and dedication to sport) than sheer population. People can (and do) play soccer all over the world, for instance, but third world countries aren't going to build luge, bobsled, and skijumping courses, particularly if they're located in part of the world where there's no snow.

K H D and sometimes T said...

Do we really get to consider ourselves the underdog? Ever? It looks like we've been a dominating presence for 3 Olympic cycles now and had respectable showings for decades. Britain, now there's an underdog. When we were British, we were definitely an underdog. We broke with them and lost our underdog status. Too bad, I like rooting for the underdog too; I'm rooting for the Brits.

Richard said...

Huh? When we were British, the British Empire was 1 of the 2-3 dominant forces in the world. In any case, we were underdogs back when we were sending college kids to compete against the "amateurs" from the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Read up on history, man.

K H D and sometimes T said...

when we were british we were (admittedly not immediately) the underdogs because we decided not to do as britain wanted, despite the fact that it was (by extension, we were?) the greatest power on earth (eventually we gave up being british underdogs and became american underdogs). As to our olympic might, while we might not have always been zeus we have still mostly sat among the pantheon of gods. Following the mentioned "map", our medal count has rarely been at the bottom and has often been, even, quite respectable.

None of this, of course, was my point. The point, really, was that we're not really underdogs, are we?

It was a small point that went as awry as Britian's Olympic bid. Or the Russian's, for that matter - the soviet union is dead, long live the soviet union.

Chachy said...

I get it: the British are underdogs, we as Americans were underdogs to the British back when we were British, though the British as such were not underdogs but now the British are underdogs to us Americans who are not British.

How this bears on Canada, however, who are still members of the Commonwealth, may be a bit more complicated.

I do know that our independence movement was awesomer than theirs. (British and Canadian readers: adjust pronouns and content as you see fit.)

K H D and sometimes T said...

it all sounds so confusing. It's really quite simple: we're kicking ass in the olympics, therefor we might just have to swallow up the foundering Canada as part of our ever growing empire - easily enough done as their Patron Britain owns neither the seas nor the slopes. And so the cycle of history goes on...

Gus Snarp said...

If we want to stay ahead of China in the Olympics (or anything else for that matter) we'll need to join with Canada and compete as the North America Union.

Commence conspiracy fantasies.

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If we want to stay ahead of China in the Olympics (or anything else for that matter) we need to unite and compete with Canada and the North American Union.

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