Seeing the traditional predictions for Rio 2016, I thought we could take a less typical approach.
In a new report, Goldman Sachs uses London 2012 to conclude that the UK has an edge when athletes sit down. Four years ago, the British dominated cycling with 8 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes. Rowing, they won 4 golds, 2 silvers and 3 bronzes while in the equestrian events, 3 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze.
The Outdoor Types
In their report, Goldman also identified indoor and outdoor countries. Looking indoors, we would find China, Japan and South Korea excelling while the UK, Brazil and Germany are more outdoorsy.
Doing a team vs. individual divide, we wind up with Brazil, Germany, Australia and Great Britain displaying the team tendencies while China, Japan and South Korea have the individualists.
Finally, with Asia dominant, Japan stands out in fight-related medals for boxing, wrestling, judo and taekwondo.
Our Bottom Line: Statistics
We have often said that what you count determines what you see and what you will care about. Perhaps then, by grouping events less traditionally, we can generate new insight.
But I am not quite sure what seated sports tell us about the UK.
My sources and more: Combining humor and a solid factual base, the Goldman Sachs report for Rio 2016 is a good read.