Pyeongchang Olympic Champions Per Capita

US athlete Chloe Kim won a gold medal in the Women's Halfpipe Final. Editorial credit: Leonard Zhukovsky /

The just concluded 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off with a colorful opening ceremony which was held in Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium in Pyeongchang. The opening ceremony which kicked off at 8 pm on February 9, 2018, was centered on the 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 a medal per capita is 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 easily. However, Liechtenstein, with a population of approximately 37,340, topped the per capita medal table with 26.15 medals per a million residents. Liechtenstein collected only one bronze medal in the Winter Games. Norway was ranked a distant second with 7.33 medals per a million people against a population of approximately 5.2 million residents. With a population of 8.2 million people, Switzerland secured the third position with a per capita medal of 1.82. It collected a total of 15 medals and ranked 8th in the overall medal standings with 5 gold medals.

Austria and Sweden completed the list of top five champions per capita with 1.60 and 1.41 medals per capita respectively. Each country won a total of 14 medals but Sweden ranked higher than Austria by the number of gold won, collecting 7 gold medals against Austria’s 5. 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 5th in the overall medal standing, with a population of 17.1 million people, it managed 1.17 medals per a million people.

Finland managed only six podium finishes, winning a gold, a 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 a million people, ranking it 7th. 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 ten champions per capita with 0.81 and 0.67 medals per a million people respectively. Interestingly, Canada managed 29 medals and was ranked 3rd in the overall medal standings. However, with a population of 36.29 million, it ranked lower than the countries that won fewer medals.

How is Medals Per Capita Calculated?

Medal 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 by 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 US won most medals at the 2018 Winter Games, their large population ensured they ranked lower than most countries that won fewer medals. In fact, the US only managed 0.07 medals per million people.

Pyeongchang Olympic Champions Per Capita

RankCountryTotal MedalsMedals Per Million of the Population
10Czech Republic70.67

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