By David Roher
Disclaimer: This medal weighting system does not reflect the views or endorsement of any NBC broadcasters, and only reflects the view of the author.
At the risk of knocking the US off its pedestal, I wanted to develop a weighted medal count that not only adjusted for the importance of gold over silver over bronze, but also for the relative importance of one event over another. I also wanted its abbreviation to be COSTAS. I admit that the latter was the first requirement I thought of.
Thus was born the Congruent Olympic System for the Tabulation of Accolade Statistics. Here are its main components:
- Gold, Silver, and Bronze are weighted four, two, and one, respectively.
- Each of the 15 sports of the Winter Olympiad can be worth a total of roughly 17 points: if a sport features 5 events, its medals are worth twice as much as a sport that features 10 events. The 17 figure is so that the total medals in COSTAS add up to the real total.
The first point is isn’t really all that important; I can’t justify 4-2-1 over 3-2-1 and 5-3-1. But it’s the second one that I imagine will draw the most criticism. Surely, we value a speed skating medal over a skeleton medal. But value is subjective – every participant in the Olympics is going to have a different view of what sport matters over the other. By weighting each sport equally, COSTAS has no bias.
Without further ado, the results:
Canada’s balanced and gold-heavy results gave them an incredible 20 medal boost in the COSTAS medal totals. The US and Germany both got small boosts, but dropped to second and third respectively. Norway took the biggest hit in the medal count, dropping 7, while the Czech Republic dropped the greatest amount in the standings. Great Britain got the biggest standings jump from their Skeleton prowess.
In the end, no one system is better than another. But at the very least, I hope COSTAS provides a look at Vancouver that you might not have otherwise seen.