I am feeling very Olympic today!
Over the weekend, my most favourite movie of all time, Cool Runnings, was on TV.
For those of you not familiar with Cool Runnings (shame!), it’s the fictionalised account of the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
It got me thinking about the Winter Olympics that are starting this Friday in South Korea. They’ve been in the news quite a bit already (from the Russian ban relating to doping, to the joint South Korean and North Korean ice hockey team). So I thought I’d have a look at which countries were competing this year, and just how well represented their populations will be.
Who will be there?
This year, 92 countries will be competing in the Winter Olympics. Unsurprisingly, over half of the participating countries are located in Europe – with climates more conducive to winter sports. Countries sending the most athletes are:
- United States (241)
- Canada (226)
- Switzerland (170)
- Russian Athletes competing under Olympic Flag (168)
- Germany (156)
Per capita representation
However, if you look at the number of athletes per 100,000 population, it shows that some very small countries are well represented at these Games.
|Country||Athletes||Population||Athletes per 100,000 population|
What about Australian representation? We’ll be sending a team of 51 athletes, or 0.21 athletes per 100,000 population. I think that’s pretty good for a country with fairly limited access to snow and exposure to winter sports. How many Australian kids (or adults for that matter) would have heard of or seen skeleton or luge?!
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