The 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off with a colorful opening ceremony held in the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The opening ceremony was centered on a message of peace, passion, harmony, and convergence. The Winter Games attracted athletes from 92 countries competing in 102 events. A total of 307 medals were won including 103 gold medals, 102 silver, and 102 bronze medals. Norway topped the medal standings with 39 medals with Germany and Canada winning 31 and 29 medals each. However, when medals per capita are considered, a different country tops the table.
Champions Per Capita
With a team of only 109 athletes, Norway managed to collect the highest number of medals. Given its small population, it would easily top the per capita medal table. However, Liechtenstein, with a population of approximately 37,340, topped the per capita medal table with 26.15 medals per one million residents. Liechtenstein collected only one bronze medal in the Winter Games. Norway was ranked a distant second with 7.33 medals per one million people against a population of approximately 5.2 million residents. With a population of 8.2 million people, Switzerland secured third position with a per capita medal of 1.82. It collected a total of 15 medals and ranked eighth in the overall medal standings with five gold medals.
Austria and Sweden completed the list of top five champions per capita with 1.60 and 1.41 medals per one million residents, respectively. Each country won a total of 14 medals but Sweden ranked higher than Austria by the number of golds won, collecting seven gold medals against Austria’s five. The two countries have a population of approximately 8.8 million people and 9.9 million people, respectively. Although the Netherlands won 20 medals and ranked fifth in the overall medal standing, with a population of 17.1 million people, it managed 1.17 medals per one million people.
Finland managed only six podium finishes, winning one gold, one silver, and four bronze medals. It was ranked 18th in the overall medal standings. With a population of 5.4 million people, it managed 1.09 medals per one million people, ranking it seventh. Slovenia follows closely with 1.01 medals per a million people, having won two medals. The two medals were shared among 2.1 million people. Canada and the Czech Republic complete the top 10 champions per capita with 0.81 and 0.67 medals per one million people, respectively. Interestingly, Canada managed 29 medals and was ranked third in the overall medal standings. However, with a population of 36.29 million, it ranked lower than the countries that won fewer medals.
How Are Medals Per Capita Calculated?
Medals per capita is the number of medals shared by one million people of a given country. Although not all the citizens of a country take part in the Winter Games, they share in the glory and achievements of their representatives. To calculate medals per capita, the number of medals won by a country is divided by the total population of that country. The result obtained is multiplied by one million. Although countries like Germany and the United States won many medals at the 2018 Winter Games, their large populations ensured they ranked lower than most countries that won fewer medals. In fact, the US only managed 0.07 medals per million people.