Population size and the level of income per capita are major determinants of the number of medals won by a country in the 1952–2004 Olympic Games. A parsimonious count (Poisson) model fits the data very well: the squared correlation between the predicted value of the number of medals won and the observed value is about 56%. There exist strong country-specific effects in Olympic medals results. While the USA and China tend to outperform other countries relative to their size and income, the Asian dragons tend to under-perform in the Games.
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