Where Phelps Got All His Medals

Another way of looking at the data is to group it by the different games. Michael Phelps competed in 3 different games (excluding Rio 2016) and got 8 medals in Athens 2004, 8 medals in Beijing 2008 and 6 medals in London 2012. How many medals will he get in Rio 2016? We'll update the visualization when we know!

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If you sort athletes based on the number of Olympic games from which they got a medal, you'll find that there is a number of athletes who got medals from 6 different Olympic games. (You might think that Istvan Szivos has medals from 7 games, but that's because he and his father of the same name both got Olympic medals from water polo!)

To look at some of the other athletes, you can easily adapt the visualization and look, for example, at the 6 different Olympic games of Aldar Garevich, who is a Hungarian fencer, German kayaker Birgit Fischer, Romanian rower Elisabeta Lipa and German show jumping rider Hans Gunter Winkler.

If you are interested in the project or you would like to collaborate on visualizing interesting data, drop us an email at [email protected], ping us on Twitter at @thegamma_net. All source code is available under Apache 2.0 license on GitHub.

If Michael Phelps Were a Country

Back in 2012, The Guardian put together an amazing table treating Michael Phelps as a country. We can do the same and count the total number of medals per country and total number of medals for Michael Phelps. Sorted by the number of gold medals, Michael Phelps beats for example Belarus and Kazakhstan. And after Rio 2016, probably also Zimbabwe, Nigeria and a few more countries!

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This visualization involves a bit more logic, so it is not as easy to modify, but you can easily change it to look at another athlete or even add multiple athletes. When you look at "options", you will see a number of parameters for both of the parts of the calculation, but the very first one lets you select a different athlete. When you do that, you'll also need to change what range of countries you are selecting. In the code, look for skip(47).take(10). This skips the first 47 countries (who have way more medals than Michael Phelps) and takes the next 10, so that we get a nice chart. You'll need to guess the right number for your favorite athlete.

Aside from showing one athlete, you can also modify the visualization to include multiple athletes. For example, see the visualization If Phelps and Latynina were Countries, which shows a similar chart with the two top athletes when sorted by gold medals.