Jamaica Flogs Super Powers In Beijing Olympics

We live in a world of political correctness, where funnily enough, bigger is better – and only first counts. Kids are brought up by society to be fair, yet only first counts. Beautiful, skinny and georgeous is the image and many kids think that they are less than the rest due to this unfair image. China, USA and Russia were the biggest and best in the Olympic Medals Race. They have the most money and population and did great but how did they really fare?

Where did the smaller countries like Jamaica fare? I wanted to know this and did some research. So, in good old Aussie fashion, I’ll “Stick One Up” the Sports Super Powers with a little Olympic Medal Tally of my own. It’s time for the smaller nations with less money, muscle and guns to get some glory.

All the figures below are real. Let’s just look at it from a different perception than the media has given us. This is the official medal tally of the Beijing Olympics as I got it from the newspapers.

Gold Total
Rank Medals Medals
1 China 51 100
2 USA 36 110
3 Russia 23 72
4 United Kingdom 19 47
5 Germany 16 41
6 Australia 14 46

Population Per Medal

Now, let’s have a look at how many medals (Gold, Silver and Bronze) that the countries got Per Capita. I worked out how many people each country had per medal in the Beijing Olympics. These are the best performing countries ranked by Total Medals and Country Population. Take note where the top 5 official medal countries end up.

Total Population Per Country
Rank Medals (Any) Medal Population
1 Jamaica 11 246,727 2,714,000
2 Australia 46 465,094 21,394,309
3 Cuba 24 469,500 11,268,000
4 New Zealand 9 475,000 4,275,000
5 Norway 10 477,800 4,778,000
15 United Kingdom 47 1,297,340 60,975,000
21 Russia 72 1,970,679 141,888,900
22 Germany 41 2,004,659 82,191,000
27 USA 110 2,772,291 304,952,000
34 China 100 13,257,120 1,325,712,000

Oh dear! China has 13 Million people per medal.

Population Per GOLD Medal

The same exercise has been done here with population per GOLD Medal. Again, I have included the top 5 nations who ranked dismally between 11 and 33 in the world.

GOLD Population Per Country
Rank Medals GOLD Medal Population
1 Jamaica 6 452,333 2,714,000
2 Mongolia 2 1,314,500 2,629,000
3 New Zealand 3 1,424,000 4,275,000
4 Georgia 3 1,465,000 4,395,000
5 Australia 14 1,528,165 21,394,309
11 United Kingdom 19 3,209,211 60,975,000
16 Germany 16 5,136,938 82,191,000
19 Russia 23 6,169,083 141,888,900
24 USA 36 8,470,889 304,952,000
33 China 51 25,994,353 1,325,712,000

and the winner is… Jamaica. Gee Wiz! I wonder how they would have been without Usain Bolt and his 3 Gold Medals. It was great to see the smaller nations get some glory.

So, if any of those big fellas brag to you, don’t forget they needed Millions of people just to produce ONE MEDAL. Now that’s funny!

Have a most outstanding day!

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
SeanRasmussen.com © 2004 – 2008

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. I was taught that everything is not as it always seems, what a great example this post is of that. Then again I was also taught in HOW WOULD LOVE RESPOND all perceptions in life are different , hmmmm. The individual is in control of how he or she, perceives an event or situation. MY perception is as per yours Sean, and you can bet that there are some individuals who have trouble grasping what you mean.


  2. We must be like minded, Allen 😉

  3. Congratulations on using a Piece of Good News as a beutiful testimony of how
    facts can be presented in a positive way.

    I stress that my success is only measured daily on how well
    I completed my self-appointed Tasks..
    Not how others accepted the presentation

    Thank you for a breath of fresh air.

  4. Thank you, Chuck. Success is in the eye of the beholder!

  5. Hey there,
    Good article, and brings some interesting stats to light. During the Opening Ceremonies I had fun trying to figure out who had the highest ratio of athletes to Population. Jamaica’s was pretty good… 50 athletes to 2.5 million people. Some smaller country had 4 athletes for 30,000 people, though… so they blew the competition away. Haha.

    ONE BIG PROBLEM with your analysis here, unfortunately, is that having a higher population does not increase the number of Olympic events. No matter how big your population is… there are only a certain number of events, and thus an upper limit to the total medals even if you had 10 billion people.

    Another problem is that certain genetics lend themselves better to certain events. The big bones and strength of the Jamaican’s made them incredible in track & field. The smaller size, but precision of the Chinese is perfect for diving & gymnastics (which they mostly dominated). So, a larger population brings variety which helps you find people that fit each sport, but its no guarantee. I think one reason USA is so good is a huge variety… the good ol’ melting pot.

    Anyway… thanks for showcasing some of the smaller countries and what they were able to accomplish!

  6. Thanks David.

    Yes, I totally agree with the amount of events. This doesn’t hinder the amount of competitors that can compete, to a degree. There is an Olympic qualifying time and in some events you see 3, 4 and 5 competitors from one country while other countries have none. Of course there are limits to how many competitors there can be but there is a definite advantage in population inundation when competing in these events.
    And then there is simply the culture of a nation too. Some nations are far more interested in sports than others.

    Maybe George Bush, Dmitry Medvedev and Hu Jintao need to focus more on sport and less on aggression. I’m in favor of that, for sure!

  7. Olympics – Pretty interesting take on the Olympics. I am from Jamaica (currently living in Jacksonville, Fl). We are very proud of how the Jamaicans did this past Olympics.

    Your Blog – I love your blog. The information and articles are in line with my interests and I will continue to check it out. I am going to download your book as well. Keep up the good work.

  8. Hi Sean,
    there is one more statistics for the Olympics I would be interested in – the ration of participating athletes per country to the number of medals. Probably similar to what you have shown already, but again it is much easier to win 1 medal if you have 50 starters compared to just 5.
    What it also nicely demonstrates is that everything is a matter of perspective and what you look for. That’s why they always say “Don’t trust any statistic that you haven’t forged yourself” 🙂
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Overcoming Procrastination =-.

  9. Sean where do you come up with this stuff? So if Jamaica didn’t have Usain Bolt on their side the winners would have been Mongolia – no surprises there really.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Sign Language for Babies =-.

  10. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,

    This is a very cool analysis of the real winners of the Olympic games. I love that the ‘little’ guys won. I think athletes from smaller countries really compete because they are passionate about their event. They just love whatever event they compete in. I think this is the secret to their success. Passion.

  11. This brings up an interesting conversation about how one measures success. I think this blog post and thread contain typically Australian responses – going for the underdog, the battler, the little guy… Even a bit tall-poppy in a way. Ah, come on guys, you know we have this problem in our country.

    The lesson I take from this post is, in life, your own measures of your success is all that counts. Your yardstick. That’s different for all of us.
    .-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..Richard Branson Business School: A day visit =-.

  12. I knew the kiwis would be up there.

    I prefer this take on the stats. Just goes to show how the big boys get there. I wonder where they would be in social media?

    The fast eating the slow aye Sean
    .-= Gee´s last blog ..Why You Should Just Ignore Fad Diets (Part 2) =-.

  13. That saying comes to mind “You cant judge a book by its cover”. So the bigger countries need to realise that the smaller countries are just as strong. Its not always the most prettier ones that win, sometimes its looking at the whole picture.

    .-= Lisa Wood´s last blog ..Searching For Gratitude Rocks =-.

  14. G’day Sean,
    What an intriguing perspective of sporting results. It’s a real bummer that the media can only see the BIG GUYS – probably afraid of revenge from the KGB, CIA and all those happy people.

    Formula 1 is my sport of passion, and I was delighted to see Mark Webber’s interview on 60 Minutes last night. Even though he’s only won 3 races from 130 starts his stature as a driver is highly valued by his team owner. He’s been hugely successful emotionally and financially too. I’m sure he would like to see these figures of yours.
    .-= Harry Lynn´s last blog ..How Proud Can One Be ? =-.

  15. It was great to read this Sean and i like the way you prepared it. well done and yes i do believe that the smaller nations would be the best places to live and be safe, because the bigger nations want to win and be first all the time.
    .-= Richard Colum´s last blog ..Property: An Excellent Financial Investment =-.

  16. If Australia were to encourage top athletes to immigrate here, maybe we could beat Jamaica one day.
    .-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Think And Grow Rich Mindset Mastery =-.

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