Going for Gold: which country will win the London Olympics?


Striking gold at the Olympics is first of all a matter of passion. The same passion we put into distilling the results of hundreds of Olympics events to determine which country will win the London Olympics.

We know the story: we were there in Beijing, and worked out how the USA beat the world in 2008.
We’re ready for London 2012. In fact so ready that we now have a full ranking of how we predict the Olympics will go.
How does it work? For the full Monty go to How it works, for a quick overlook just read on.
1.      Overview
Countries score Points by finishing in the top 8 places in each Olympic Event (events awarding an Olympic gold medal: eg the 200m Freestyle in Swimming, with one gold for Men, one for Women). Points can be scored by national teams and by individuals representing their Countries.
These points are then weighted and the Country scoring the most Weighted Points throughout the Games wins the GSN Olympic Ranking.
2.      GSN Points
i) Points are scored as follows :
1st Place – 10 pts
2nd Place – 8 pts
3rd place – 6 pts
4th Place – 5 pts
5th Place – 4 pts
6th Place – 3 pts
7th Place – 2 pts
8th Place – 1 pt
ii) The total number of points available per Event is 39 Points.
iii) In the event of a tie, points are split so that the total points scored per Event remains 39. For example, if two Countries are tied for second place then both will score 4 Points. This system works well in case of events with a quarter finals-semi finals structure.
iv) In Events with less than ten participants, the number of places scoring Points, and the number of Points scored, are reduced.
We chose to award Points for the top eight places because we feel that coming in the top 8 represents an extraordinary achievement. For example, it means reaching the final of an Olympics athletics event or the quarter finals of a knock-out competition (one of the problems with traditional medal tables is that they only reward the top 3 finishers).
3.      The sports
Quite simply, all 36 Olympic sports are taken into account, in all their different events. This enables us to determine not only the overall ranking but also which country wins each sport.
  1. Countries
 All countries recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are recognised as Countries by GSN.
There are many different views as to what constitute Countries – we have chosen to adopt the approach set by a sporting body (the IOC) rather than any political body, and this works perfectly for the Olympics.
  1. Weighted Points
In calculating the standings of each event, weightings are applied to the Points scored to produce Weighted Points.
The weightings are as follows :
i)  All Points scored in team events are multiplied by five (the ‘Team Multiplier’)
Individual sports such as athletics, swimming, weightlifting etc have multiple events. Team sports have only one event. The purpose of the Team Multiplier is to address this imbalance.
ii) Points scored are also multiplied by a factor based on the number of Countries that participate in the sport in question (the ‘Participation Multiplier’). The Participation Multiplier is based on the number of Countries participating in the premier Tournament (including formal qualification) for the sport in question.
Without the Participation Multiplier, all sports would score equally irrespective of participation levels and we feel this is not a balanced reflection of sporting realities.
This is the key difference between GSN’s method and that of other Olympics rankings, especially the Medals ranking. All sports have equal dignity but some are more popular than others, hence practiced by more athletes in more countries: this means that competition in them is much harder.
The recognition of this fact alone is what prompts us to give a greater weighting to points won in eg Volleyball than Fencing.