All Time Olympic Medals Table

Everyone who has been following Olympic Games in London 2012 or Rio 2016 knows that the person with the largest number of medals of all time is Michael Phelps, but do you know who is the second and third? As you can see in the following table, the second person (for summer Olympic games) is Larisa Latynina who won 9 gold medals for Soviet Union between 1956 and 1964 and the third is Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi, also with 9 gold medals from 1920s.

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The table shows the most important facts, but there is a lot more information that you can get from the data if you change options of the visualization or if you change the source code that generates it. Here is a couple of simple things you can try on your own:

  • Find out where each athlete competed — To do this, click on the "options" button. This analyzes the visualization and automatically lets you change some parameters. In the "Group by athlete" table, you can add aggregated attributes for the table. Add "concatenate values of Games" and drop "concatenate values of Teams".

  • Who is the least lucky athlete — Counting gold medals is easy, but who has the largest number of bronze and silver medals? To find out, remove all items from "Sort the data" in "options" and specify your own criteria. Choose "by Bronze descending" to find the person with most bronze medals!

  • Look at medals from London 2012 only — You can find this in an alternative version of the visualization, but to do this on your own, click on "source" and change the second line from olympics.data to olympics.'by game'.'London (2012)'.data. This filters the data to only medals from London 2012. As you type olympics., the editor will let you specify other filters too. You can, for example, look at specific teams rather than specific games.

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

Olympic Medals Timeline

How has the geographical distribution of medals in Olympic games changed over the last century? In the first Olympic games in 1896, medals were awarded to 11 teams and all were either from Europe or from the United States. The number of teams with medals started growing rapidly after 1980 from 36 teams to 85 teams in 2012. The visualization tracks the number of medals awarded to different countries over time.

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As the visualization shows, the number of different countries winning medals in the Olympic games started growing rapidly after 1980. You can see this visualized in a separate chart. The visualization above is also easily adapted to show medals in different disciplines.

  • To see the timeline for a specific discipline, you can go to "options" and select disciplines you want to include in the first control. This lets you choose one or more disciplines. This will make the bubbles smaller - you can make them bigger by changing the size function in the code (change 0.5 to a bigger number between 0.5 and 2.0).

  • You can also edit the code to show not just specific disciplines, but individual events. For example, to see medals in long-distance running. To do this, you need to change 'by disciplines'.then on the second line to 'by sport' and then choose the sports you want to visualize. You can also use this to see only women Olympic medalists by using olympics.'by gender'.Women.data.