Table 1 displays the top 40 nations at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the amount of gold medals won by their athletes influenced their position. Other techniques of ranking are conceivable. For example, a country could be ranked first if it is the highest-scoring non-Olympic nation, or if it has the most successful athletes (for example, based on how many gold medals each one of them has won). However, these other methods of ranking would not necessarily reflect the actual achievements of countries at the Beijing Games.
The table shows that China is the world leader in Olympic gold medals with 266, followed by Russia with 160. The United States is third with 115 medals, and Germany is fourth with 57 medals. France, India, and Italy round out the top 10.
Of the three major Olympic games, only the Summer Olympics feature a ranking of countries. The Winter Olympics have a ranking of sports, and the Paralympics rank individuals.
What is unique about the Beijing Olympics is that they were the first to use this ranking system. Before Beijing, every other Olympics used a different method for determining its final list of participants. For example, Japan's 1964 Tokyo Olympics list includes 22 countries listed by name, while Sweden's Lillehammer Games of 1298 had more than 100 participating nations.
There are two sets of tables, one for total gold medal predictions and the other for total overall medal predictions. More information on each of these prediction models may be found here. It comes as no surprise that the United States and China are expected to dominate the medal table. Both countries have very powerful sports programs with many gold-medal contenders at every event.
In fact, according to both models, America and China are projected to win exactly the same number of gold medals: 286! The rest of the top five is also the same as predicted by both models: Russia, Germany, France, and Japan.
It's worth mentioning that there are significant differences between the two models in terms of their predictions for individual events. For example, while the first model predicts that the American basketball team will win more gold medals than any other country, the second model predicts that Russia will win more gold medals than the United States. This shows that even if you make the same overall prediction for several different events, the results can vary significantly depending on which specific events you choose to compare against one another.
As for the rest of the world, they're both fairly close together with Germany being predicted to win more gold medals than Russia (this difference is due to the fact that the first model does not include Russian athletes in its calculations). France is expected to win more overall medals than Germany or Russia, but this difference is also small 0.
The medal table is based on data given by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and adheres to IOC norms in published medal tables. By default, the table is ranked by the number of gold medals won by a nation's athletes (in this context, a nation is an entity represented by a National Olympic Committee). If two or more nations have an equal number of gold medals, the table is sorted by silver medals then bronze medals, with the nation that has won more of each type of medal being listed first.
For example, the United States won more gold medals than Russia at the 2008 Beijing Games, but because Russia had one more silver and one more bronze, its ranking is higher because it has more overall medals - 19 to 18 for America. The same is true of China, which has become the most successful country at these events since the American boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games: it has won more gold medals than any other nation but has been prevented from winning as many as China itself because of regulations limiting the number of athletes that can be represented by a single nation.
In general, the top 10 countries by number of Olympic medals have held their positions since the creation of the modern Olympic medal table in 1976.
However, there have been changes over time due to real achievements and perceived successes of nations. For example, South Africa was banned from competing at the Olympics after apartheid, but its competitors' votes were still counted when determining who would win gold medals.
By default, the table is ranked by the number of gold medals won by a nation's athletes (in this context, a "nation" is an entity represented by a Commonwealth Games Association). Following that, the number of silver medals is considered, followed by the number of bronze medals. If two or more nations have an equal number of gold medals, the table is sorted first by the number of silver medals earned by each country and then by the number of bronze medals awarded.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Australia came first in the medal table with 15 gold, 14 silver, and 21 bronze medals. Canada was second with 10 gold, 20 silver, and 29 bronze medals. England finished third with 9 gold, 17 silver, and 26 bronze medals.
The United States won the most medals at these games with 71; Russia came next with 55 medals. India had the highest percentage of its population qualify for these events with its 864 athletes entering 37 contests. Afghanistan had the lowest proportion of its population qualify with one athlete entering the men's 100 m sprint race.
These games mark the first time that India has won a gold medal in any sport. The country also holds the record for the most disqualifications with 213. Of those, 128 were for doping violations.