Sochi Olympics – not a total boondoggle!

Maybe this news will entice other countries to bid on the 2022 Games: FasterSkier.com — Sochi Can’t Make Money? Who Says? OC Posts $261 Million Profit. Sure, that money didn’t include all the infrastructure costs, government operational costs or cash that just disappeared into the mountains somewhere, but at least there’s something to show for it. So what do you say, Oslo? Imagine how much money you can make with most of the infrastructure already in place! Advertisements Continue reading Sochi Olympics – not a total boondoggle!

Olympic medals: The host-nation bounce is real

Olympic stats wizard Bill Mallon has quantified the host-nation bounce, showing that the country that last hosted the Olympics can typically expect to win roughly 70% of the medals it won at home. The genius of this analysis is that it factors out the growth of the Games (particularly winter) by analyzing the medal count in terms of percentage of medals won. So if the Olympics add 30 events for 2018 (don’t worry — it won’t happen), then sure, Russia could match its Sochi record count. But the percentage of available medals won should drop. When you’re projecting medals event-by-event, … Continue reading Olympic medals: The host-nation bounce is real

The Games go on, Paralympics edition

We should probably dispense with the idea that Vladimir Putin timed the mess in Ukraine to occur after everyone left Sochi. Another wave is coming in right now for the Paralympics. And while we in the USA don’t pay quite as much attention to the Paralympics as other countries do — though, in contrast to the Olympics, NBC’s networks will air the opening ceremony live and offer much more live action in the early morning hours — this is a large event that will be taking place under a large shadow. As difficult as it may be to separate the … Continue reading The Games go on, Paralympics edition

2014 medal projections: Some excruciating details

How did the Olympic results compare with all the things we could use to predict them? Glad you asked: [gview file=”https://duresport.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/2014-projection-analysis-as-m-dh.pdf”%5D And this: [gview file=”http://www.sportsmyriad.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2014-projection-analysis-AS-M-SG.pdf”%5D Basically, I’m comparing three different types of results: 1. Majors: How skiers fared in the last Olympics and the last two World Championships. The number in “Majors” is a median — it ignores any null results, and the 2013 World Championships are counted twice so that they’ll be weighted more heavily. 2. Cup: Median of the last four World Cup seasons, with the last two counted twice so they’ll be weighted more heavily. 3. 13-14: The 2013 and 14 World … Continue reading 2014 medal projections: Some excruciating details

Was Dominica’s Olympic ski team a fraud?

What would you do to participate in the Olympics and get a nice wave of publicity? Would you gain citizenship in a small foreign country? Would you go to the Games knowing that your best performances had barely pushed you over the very low bar to qualify in a couple of events? And would you do all this knowing you’re going to come under such heavy scrutiny that people would end up doubting the injury and illness that kept you from competing? It’s easy to shrug off the Deadspin report on “Dominica’s fake ski team” — Gary di Silvestri and … Continue reading Was Dominica’s Olympic ski team a fraud?

Where the Olympic medals came from and went

The biggest differences between the Sochi medal projections and the Sochi medal count were: USA – Speedskating: Projected 7, got 0. In the other direction, there’s sliding sports: Projected 3, got 7. Norway – Cross-country skiing: Projected 18, got 11. Also biathlon: Projected 12, got 6. Netherlands – Speedskating: Projected 14, got 23. The only other projected or actual medal: They picked one up in short-track. Germany – Sliding sports: Projected 11, got 5. Sweden – Cross-country skiing: Projected 5, got 11. South Korea – Short-track: Projected 9, got 5. And speedskating: Projected 5, got 2. France – Action sports: … Continue reading Where the Olympic medals came from and went

Best/worst, Sochi medal projections vs. reality: Feb. 23

The 50k cross-country race turned into a microcosm of the Olympics — a big pack going around most of the way, then Russia blasting away from everyone at the end. For the last couple of days, we’ve figured no country would get more than 30 medals. With that cross-country sweep, Russia wound up with 33. We’ll wrap up later today or tomorrow with a look at where each country gained or lost. FULL TABLE [gview file=”https://duresport.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/2014-medal-projections-feb23.pdf”%5D HIGHLIGHTS Most prescient thing I’ve ever written: On OZY on Saturday, I wrote about Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir: “Why limit them to figure skating? … Continue reading Best/worst, Sochi medal projections vs. reality: Feb. 23