The Winter Olympic Games, Beijing 2022, will take place over 17 days, span 15 different sports, more than 100 events, with nearly 3,000 athletes and 89 countries participating. But can you guess which countries have fared best?
The very first Winter Games was held in 1924 in the quaint Alpine village of Chamonix, France. Analyzing past performance in Spotfire illustrates which nations have dominated the Games historically, and reveals the changing fortunes over nearly a century of competition.
Most Medals by Country
Spoiler alert: Thanks to their prowess in cross country skiing and speed skating, Norway has won the most Winter Games medals of any country, 368. The United States is a distant second. 2022 host nation, China, has garnered 696 total Olympics medals, but so far just 62 at the Olympic Winter Games.
The Spotfire analysis below offers an immersive, historical review of top medal-winning nations over time. We witness the changing fortunes as the treemap and stacked bar chart give way to a new variety of categorical and continuous visualizations that tell the story in a different way: the Word Cloud Mod and Area Chart Mod, respectively.
Top 10 Winter Olympic Games Medals by Country:
- Norway: 368
- United States of America: 307
- Germany: 240
- Austria: 232
- Canada: 199
- Soviet Union: 194
- Finland: 167
- Sweden: 158
- Switzerland: 153
- Netherlands: 130
Medal Data Disputed
Surprisingly, Olympic medal tallies are not as precise as a heart-pounding triple Salchow. Some countries no longer exist, some countries gain (or re-gain) their independence, and quirks of history lead to controversial results. Germany, for example, has competed under five different designations, and its official total does not include the 110 medals won by East Germany. Likewise, the Soviet Union and Russia are classified separately. Moreover, the medal totals for Russia, which currently stands in 12th position, with 121 Winter medals, do not include the 40 medals won by the 1992 Russian “Unified Team” nor the 17 medals garnered in 2018 by the athletes competing under the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” banner.
More surprisingly still, some medal counts remain in dispute for decades. For example, the 1920 Summer Olympics included figure skating and ice hockey, and the United States medaled in both. The International Olympic Committee now recognizes these victories, though places the medals under the Winter Games totals. This is why some sources list the United States with 305 total Winter medals instead of the formally recognized 307.
Visualize Global Competition
Spotfire Mods enable everyone to visualize the world in new and different ways and to enhance their understanding of how it continues to change. Not just Olympic competition but within industries and across the world.Spotfire Mods enable everyone to visualize the world in new and different ways and to enhance their understanding of how it continues to change. Click To Tweet