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Olympic medals and demo-economic factors: Novel predictors, the ex-host effect, the exact role of team size, and the “population-GDP” model revisited

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  • Vagenas, George
  • Vlachokyriakou, Eleni
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    Abstract

    The present study revisited the problem of estimating Olympic success by critical demo-economic indicators. The sample consisted of the 75 winner countries at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (not previously analyzed). Medal totals were log-linearly regressed on land, population, GDP, urban population, inflation, growth rate, unemployment, labor force, health expenditures, ex-host, and team size. Multiple regression assumptions were tested with proper diagnostics including collinearity. Olympic team size was the best single predictors of Olympic medals (R2=0.690, p<0.001), and as an alternative criterion variable was significantly regressed on population, growth rate, health expenditure, and unemployment (R2=0.563, p<0.001). Medal totals were significantly regressed on population, ex-host, health expenditure, growth rate, and unemployment (R2=0.541, p<0.001). The classical population-GDP model extracted only 28% of the variance in total medals (R2=0.277, p<0.001), and this was slightly improved when combined with unemployment (R2=0.365, p<0.001). It appears that the size of the Olympic team plays the role of transmitting the composite impact of a country's size and economy to the end-phase of Olympic success. Winning Olympic medals depends on the combined potential of population, wealth, growth rate, unemployment, ex-host, and social-sport expenditures. Larger and wealthier countries win more medals by “producing” larger Olympic teams as a result of possessing more athletic talents and better support for social and sport related activities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Sport Management Review.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 211-217

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:15:y:2012:i:2:p:211-217

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    Related research

    Keywords: Olympic medals; Demo-economic predictors; Log-linear regression models; Ex-host effect; Olympic team size; GDP-free models;

    References

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