Richard Florida argues that Canada is actually dominating the U.S. at Sochi, all things considered

Richard Florida argues that Canada is actually dominating the U.S. at Sochi, all things considered

(The Olympic torch. Image: Atos International) (The Olympic torch. Image: Atos International)
 

Leave it to U of T’s Richard Florida to figure out an economic reason that Canada is actually doing way better at the Sochi Games than its neighbour to the south. Writing for The Atlantic, the urban-issues researcher has put together a series of bar charts illustrating the fact that when things like relative population size and GDP are taken into consideration, Canada’s medal count exceeds America’s by about 700 per cent.

Although the U.S. currently has 19 medals to Canada’s 16, Florida says the picture changes when adjusted for population size. As of Monday, Canada had earned four medals for every 10 million members of its population, while the U.S. had earned just half a medal. The disparity is similar when the medal count is considered alongside each country’s economy. Per $100 billion in GDP, according to Florida, Canada had earned eight tenths of a medal, while the U.S. had earned one tenth.

But the news isn’t all good. If Canada accepts that medal counts should be weighed according to population and GDP, then it also has to accept the fact that lots of smaller countries are, relatively speaking, significantly better at winter sports. Norway, Slovenia, Latvia and the Netherlands top Florida’s rankings. On second thought, maybe medal counts aren’t all that important. We’ll settle for just beating everybody at hockey.

Florida’s full rankings are here.