Massive Olympic spend will win us 57 medals

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As the incredible cost of the Olympics has spiralled out of control, there isn't anyone left in Britain who hasn't wondered whether it's all worth it. However, a new study by a group of economists has come to a definitive conclusion: it is - because it's going to win us a record 57 medals.

So how can this be true?

The study

The researchers from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have forecast that Team GB will pick up this record-winning haul of medals - behind table-topping China with 102, the US with 100 and Russia with 71.

The research, reported in the Daily Mail, started with past performance, but also factored in politics, economics, demographics and cultural information. The fact that we are the host nation was apparently a huge factor in the assessment of the likely medal win.

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How?

This is partly due to the fact that athletes will be competing in the conditions they are used to, and partly as they have a home team behind them.

However, the sheer ton of money poured into the Olympic process is said to make a big difference too. The researchers told the newspaper: "The respective host country has increased chances of success and athletes of the future host country profit from the early expansion of athletic support in their home country when preparing for their own role as host."

It seems, therefore, that you can buy Olympic success, and no-one could argue that we haven't been spending enough in order to do so.

So why just the 57? Why can't we finish ahead of China, Russia and the US? Apparently it seems you can't argue with demographics: there are just too many people in China and Russia. And for the US, spending an insane amount of cash on sport is in the DNA - we're just newcomers to the idea.

Not alone

And while this sounds slightly like a wild stab in the dark, the team used their methodology to check whether they would have got their predictions right in the previous two summer Olympics. In Beijing they would have been 96.9% right and in Athens 97.4% correct.

They aren't only ones having a stab at medal predictions, and the news is just as good from other quarters too. Economic Intelligence uses a similar sort of approach and puts the total at 62 (25 of which will be gold). Meanwhile Goldman Sachs is even more bullish - thinking we could win 65 medals - including 30 golds.

Sadly Goldman has admitted that its predictions are not foolproof. It said we would come fourth in the 2010 World Cup - but we crashed out before the quarter finals.

So what do you think? Can we have bought all these medals? Let us know in the comments.

Predicted top ten for medals

1. China (102)
2. United States (100)
3. Russia (71)
4. UK (57)
5. Australia (43)
6. France (39)
7. Germany (36)
8. South Korea (31)
9. Cuba (29)
10. Brazil (28)

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