Key-insights-from-olympic-history-data

Sep 11, 2021

Olympics Analysis

Questions & Answers:

  1. The winter games started in 1924 whereas the summer games started in 1896. What is the history behind? - Olympics is one of oldest traditions in the world. The modern (summer) Olympics started in 1896. Due to logistic difficulties for organizing snow and ice events, the winter Olympics was started in 1924.
  2. 4x growth of athletes in 1900 (the second edition). How was that achieved? How did the popularity spread so much in such a short duration?
  3. In 1904, 1932 and 1956, the summer olympic game participation dropped by more than 30%? What are the reasons?
  4. 1986 and 1990 summer olympic games is the only time when consecutively there is degrowth in athlete participation. Is there any reason behind the consecutive drop in numbers?
  5. Late 1950s and late 1980s saw significant increase in female representation. What are the influencing factors?

Key Insights

  1. Summer Olympics attract more than 4 times athlete participation than Winter Olympics
  2. Growth in the number of athletes in Summer Olympics have become stagnant in the recent games
  3. 34 sports competitions is the maximum in a summer olympic game
  4. Number of events have come to a saturation point in the last 5 summer games
  5. Number of athletes in Winter Olympics keeps growing
  6. 1916, 1940 & 1944 summer Olympic games and 1940 & 1944 winter Olympic games didn’t happen due to the world wars. Neither of the world war breaks affected the athlete participation in the succeeding years.
  7. Only the first edition of Olympics didn’t have any female athletes. There has been a great improvement in female representation ever since. Late 1950s and late 1980s saw significant increase in female representation.
  8. In Winter Olympic games, average age of medal winners is mostly higher than the non-medal winners.

A simple cross check with wikipedia data reveals that the number of athletes in this dataset is lesser than the actual representations. Hence, there is a possibility that this is not an exhaustive data set.

This dataset reveals that Summer Olympics attract more than 4 times athlete participation than Winter Olympics. Since the nature of these events and the number of athletes participating vary significantly, let’s analyze these 2 separately.

  • Growth in the number of athletes in Summer Olympics have become stagnant in the last 6 games.
  • 34 sports competitions is the maximum in a summer olympic game. In the last 5 summer games, 4 had 34 sports competitions.
  • Events have come to a saturation point in the last 5 summer games

In the last 5 summer games, the growth / degrowth of number of athletes in Summer Olympics ranges between -4% to 7%.

Athletics and Swimming are the sports which has the maximum number of events

Only the first edition of Olympics didn’t have any female athletes. Only from the late 1980s, there has been a great improvement in female representation.

Only in 1904 and 1908, the female athletes’ age distribution is higher than male athletes’.

Mean age of medal winners peaked in 1920 (30 years) and then hit a low during 1976-1988 (24 years) and has now recovered to around 27.

USA, Russia and Germany are the top 3 countries in Summer Olympics medal tally. Let’s analyze their data in detail.

USA has bagged a lot of medals in Swimming and Athletics.

Russia has bagged a lot of medals in Gymnastics and Fencing

Germany bagged a lot of medals in Football, Hockey, Rowing and Canoeing

Number of athletes in Winter Olympics keeps growing.

In Winter Olympics, average age of medal winners is mostly higher than the non-medal winners. Average age of medal winners in Winter Olympics started with around 31 levels and then hit low to 24 levels between 1980 & 1992. It has now risen to 27 levels.

Russia, USA, Germany and Canada are the top 4 countries in Winter Olympic medal tally. Let’s analyze their data in detail.

Russia has performed well in Figure Skating of late. They were once strong in Ice Hockey but haven’t got medals in the last 3 games.

More to come