A University of Wolverhampton professor has devised a
mathematical formula to predict Team GB’s final medal haul at
Taking into account home advantage and performance at previous
Olympic Games, Professor Alan Nevill predicts the final tally of
medals will be 63.
To make the predication, Professor Nevill looked at all hosting
cities or countries since World War II and analysed the number of
medals awarded to competitors. He identified a significant increase
in the probability of a country obtaining a medal in the Olympic
Games before, during and after hosting the Olympics.
The biostatistician also predicts Team GB’s medal total will be
46 in Rio 2016.
Professor Nevill, from the University’s School of Sport,
Performing Arts and Leisure, says funding is a significant factor
in explaining his findings, as well as the legacy of hosting the
Commonwealth Games in 2002.
He says: “Home advantage in the summer Olympic Games is well
known. What is not so well known is that countries that host the
Olympic Games perform better in the games before and after the
games in which they were hosts.
“Funding appears to be an important factor when explaining these
findings. Almost all countries that have been awarded the games
after World War II would appear to have invested heavily in sport
before being awarded the games.
“A second factor in Great Britain’s success is the legacy of
hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2002 (a post-hosting games
effect) that undoubtedly provided an infrastructure that benefited,
in particular, cycling.
“Whether the International Olympics Committee either consciously
or subconsciously takes these factors into account is unclear when
awarding the games to a city. What is clear is that based on these
findings, Great Britain is likely to maintain the Olympic success
achieved in Beijing and London 2012 into future games.”
Professor Nevill first made the prediction in a research paper
three years following Team GB’s success at the Beijing games in
The research, titled ‘Why Great Britain’s success in Beijing
could have been anticipated and why it should continue beyond
2012’, was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in
Professor Alan Nevill is a specialist in biostatistics applied
to health, sport and exercise sciences.
He is also the Editor in Chief of The Journal of Sports
Note: A copy of the research paper is available
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Date Issued: Wednesday, 08 August 2012
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