The perfect record? The USA have it in the Global Cup, and share with Canada in Winter Sports

The USA Men, third at the Ice Hockey Worlds 2013
2013 was the sixth year in which GSN published its unique rankings on the sports performance of all the nations in the world.
Time enough to look back and see who the most consistent nations have been, and in which sports.
It takes little imagination to start with the USA.  The mighty Stars & Stripes have been overall Global Cup champions every year between 2008 and 2013. They also won the Global Cup Men 2008-2013, and the Women’s in every year but 2009, when they were beaten by Russia. Notably, Russia too have a peerless Global Cup overall record, that of runners-up in every year between 2008 and 2013.
The Per Capita Cup, which gives a measure of how ‘sporty’ a nation is, irrespective of its total population, has enjoyed a more varied honour roll. It has been won since 2008 by Jamaica, Jamaica, Norway, Norway, New Zealand and Slovenia.
As for the individual sports, here is a rundown of the ‘big’ ones (in terms of popularity and GSN points awarded)
- Athletics: the USA have won the sport every year since 2008, except for the upset by Kenya in 2010
- Swimming: the USA have won the sport every year since 2008
- Golf: the USA have won the sport every year since 2008
- Football: different winners over the years, with Japan twice champions (2011 and 2012)
- Basketball: the USA have won the sport twice (2012, 2010), with France champions in 2013
- Volleyball: Brazil have the perfect record… since 2009, as 2008 was won by the USA
- Tennis: Spain is a three-times winner (2013, 2011, 2010), with Russia winning twice (2008, 2009) and the USA winning in 2012
- Road Cycling: Italy (2009, 2013) and Spain (2008, 2010) twice winners
- Rugby Union: four times New Zealand (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013), with victories also by Samoa and Great Britain
- Boxing: a mixed bunch of winners, with Kazakhstan in 2013, Great Britain in 2012, the Ukraine in 2011, Russia in 2009, and Cuba in 2008. No GSN points were awarded in 2010.
Another of GSN’s unique features is the aggregation of data in Sports Groups which share similar characteristics.
One of the biggest in terms of points awarded, and a topical one with the Sochi Winter Olympics under way, is Winter Sports.
The group has featured a regular alternation of winners between Canada (even years since 2008) and the USA (odd years since 2009), with either country finishing as runner-up in every year except 2013 (Norway was second). It’s always been a very tight race, with never more that 2.0 % of the points dividing the two nations (5 points only in favour of the US in 2011).
As for third place, it went to Russia (2008, 2012) and Austria (2009, 2010) twice, and once to Norway and Canada.
There is more variety in the individual sports, though each of them is often the preserve of a particular country. Here is a rundown of the main ones:
- Alpine Skiing: won by Austria since 2008
- Cross Country Skiing: won by Norway since 2008
- Ski Jumping: won by Austria since 2008
- Speedskating: won by the Netherlands since 2008
- Short Track: won by South Korea since 2008
- Bobsleigh: won by Germany in 2008 and 2010-2013, by the USA in 2009
- Figure Skating: Canada won in 2013, 2011 and 2008; Japan in 2010 and 2009
- Snowboarding: save for Finland in 2012, Austria have won every year since 2008
- Freestyle Skiing: save for the USA in 2012, Canada have won every year since 2008
- Ice Hockey: Canada three-times winners 2008-2010, then Finland (2011), Russia (2012) and the USA in 2013.

And the big question is… who will win the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics? Find out soon on GSN!