Olympic Medal Count Since the New Millennium

The London 2012 games may be over, but I feel that I’m still suffering from a serious case of Olympics fever.  My Olympics fanaticism has shifted to conjuring up images of Michael Phelps swimming in a pool of medals…

Medals, it seems, are what the Olympics are all about.  Even though the Olympic committee’s official line is “it doesn’t matter who wins, its taking part that counts” we have to admit that, no matter where we are from, we still do want our respective countries to win.  Surely, the athletes themselves are even more passionate about it than us.  Since the beginning of the second millennia there have been a total of four Olympic games, all boasting of improved drug screenings, increased attendance and more countries getting involved in both men and women’s sports.

For the first three Olympic games of the new millennium, the three big boys of Olympic sports were all present at the top of the medal table. Russia, China and The USA have been haggling for the top spot, with Russia unfortunately only reaching second and the top place being traded between China and America.

Other Strong contenders among the competing nations have been Australia, who managed an impressive fourth place when they hosted the games in 2000 and again in 2004. The Germans have also been fighting to keep themselves in the top six with excellent results, in fact in the last 12 years they have managed to come 6th twice in the medal tables and 5th twice- all in all an impressive performance.

Great Britain seemed to make full use of the home advantage, as 2012 was their best ever gold medal haul.  Although the Russians won more medals than the Island nation, not enough of them were gold and they were forced to concede third place to the Brits.

Korea and Japan who weren’t so prominent in the early Sydney Olympics have proven themselves to be forces to reckon with as they have slowly been creeping their way up the medal table.

More than the number of competing nations, what’s astounding is the amount of support the participants get as they strive to smash Olympic and world records.  It’s amazing how countries are unified by such events.

I wonder who bookies like Ladbrokes will name as favourites in the future, as the competition gets hotter and the old titans face bigger challenges.