Monday, August 25, 2008

India's Medal Tally, Maybe Not That Bad?

Evolving Thoughts has a revealing graph of medals won by countries normalized by population. Gold medals per million and overall medals per million. Only countries who won at least one gold are considered.

Guess which country comes last

Source: Evolving Thoughts

But I find this comment more encouraging. What if we plot a graph of medals to expenditure. A sort of measure of return on investment. I suspect India will come off much more honorably. If we consider only government expenditure we might even come out on top, since many of our athletes spent their own money for training. And by government expenditure I mean the money actually spent on athletes, not the total budget, since much of it is likely squandered on bogus conferences, "study tours" and other expenses for the parasitic sports officialdom. Anyone with the numbers?


  1. In fact, India is more in line with the older amateur status of the Olympics, and I think that the ability of some nations to outspend others isn't a good measure of the abilities of sports people in those nations. Australians spend way too much on government support for sportspeople who end up earning millions from endorsements (and never give back their training fees).

    I think India is doing fine in other respects.

  2. We may have not got much, but from 1 medal to 3 now, we are on our way forward (hopefully)

  3. John-

    I think there is a case for a better balance though. We have a weak sporting culture and that is not desirable either. there are signs that there is public expectation for more investment in sports other than cricket. the tv ratings for Olympics beat those for the ongoing India-Sri Lanka cricket series.

    I agree that getting into a race with Australia or China is not practical. But perhaps like cricket, the corporate world can step in. then they and the athletes can exploit each other and the government will be able to take the credit for any success :-)

  4. it was a great sign for other sports in india apart from hugely followed cricket......but getting the corporate world involved in olympic sports might help but it will take its time to show results....for many reasons....not much money in sports for raining and life security......another problem is it comes in four years .....and in six months all will be blank and cricket will take centre stage again ....which is seen on TV almost everyday...out of sight is out of mind.....thats y i think diffiuclut to catch up with big olympic nations......but i hope to see our country in top ten medal list......