An Explosion of Medals

First, I want to congratulate all of Canada’s athletes for a great Winter Games. With rare exceptions (I’m talking about you, Monsieurs Bertuzzi and Sandhu), they performed very well at these Olympics. And, hey, they made it through scandal-free, so that’s always good news.

As the games proceeded, I became curious about the total number of medals distributed at the Olympics. It wasn’t a fact I heard reported, despite watching a fair chunk of Olympics coverage.

Here’s a list of the total number of medals given over the past 20 years, the number of Canadian medals won, and the percentage of the total that are Canadian:

1984 – 117, 4, 3.4%
1988 – 138, 5, 3.6%
1992 – 171, 7, 4%
1994 – 183, 13, 7.1%
1998 – 205, 15, 7.3%
2002 – 236, 17, 7.2%
2006 – 249, 24, 9.6%

Canada seems to be really improving, despite the addition of more countries to the mix. It is surprising, though, to see that the total number of medals has more than doubled since 1984.

5 comments

  1. Let’s keep things in perspective: without Cindy Klassen, it’s just another year — nothing special.

    On a more serious note … the Olympics are just bread and circuses which divert us from real issues.

    We spent $1 billion and didn’t win a gold at Montreal. I don’t know how much we spent at Calgary — and we didn’t win a gold at Calgary. Now we’ll spend hundreds of millions more in Vancouver to, what, win a few gold medals?

    Given the hundreds of millions that Canada is spending to host the Olympics and the $110 million dollars Canada has focused on elite athletes (http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/stories/headlines.shtml?/story/olympics/national/2006/02/26/Sports/coc060226.html ) … the whole process is unconscionable.

    It’s good to know we’ve solved all the real problems.

  2. Gees John,
    Rain on the parade whydon’tcha? Yeesh.

    Yes, hosting the Olympics is expensive. Yes, perhaps the money could be spent elsewhere.

    BUT….
    if it weren’t for the Olympics in Calgary, there wouldn’t have been a constuction industry in Calgary during their brutal economic conditions in 80’s.

    if it weren’t for the Olympics, I doubt the rapid transit lines would have been built (although a light rail option might have been better than Skytrain… but I digress).

    Olympics inspire kids and adults to be better, faster, stronger. If anything, it just puts a focus on how sport and fitness should be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. A lot of municipalities will freshen up their rec facilities in order to host the teams coming in 2010.

    All that said, the Olympics shouldn’t be a licence to splurge like a freshman with a new student loan. Hopefully we’ll learn from Athens and Torino and have great facilities finished early and on time (I shudder at the luge/bobsled/skeleton accidents… that track needed improvement from what I heard and saw on the news…)

  3. “I’m talking about you, Monsieurs Bertuzzi and Sandhu”

    Holy scapegoat, batman. There were ~20 other skaters on that hockey team that didn’t show up to play either.

  4. Chris: Actually, there were less than 20 skaters who showed up. I think the goaltenders, most of the defense and a handful of forwards showed up. I’d put the number closer to 8 to 10.

    I singled out Bertuzzi because I get to watch him dog it all season in Vancouver, so I’m familiar with his routine. Plus, I believe he had zero goals and two assists in the tournament.

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