When the Tokyo Olympics close on Aug. 8, and the final medal tally is taken, we’ll likely be talking about the usual suspects: the US, China, and maybe Russia (currently competing as the ROC). These countries have huge medal hauls, large populations, and teams numbering in the hundreds.
But perhaps we should really be talking about countries like Jamaica, New Zealand, and Slovenia. Like Kenya, which got a medal for every three athletes it sent to the games in 2008 and 2012. Or like Grenada, which continually walks away with wins despite a population the size of a few blocks in Manhattan.
Here are three revealing ways to look at medal gains: as total counts, in relation to the country’s population, and as a fraction of the number of athletes sent by the team.
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