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2012 India Olympic Medal Count
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India is off to a relatively good start in the 2012 summer Olympics, with a single bronze medal so far. Granted, the other giga-country, China, has 34 total medals. But that one bronze puts India roughly on pace to come close to its total of 3 medals in 2008 and beat its totals of one medal in each of the 2004 and 2000 Olympics.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
 
• Tags: India, Olympics 
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  1. But Mexico is doing pretty well. And the girls who earned Mexico its medals – cute!

  2. In a way, it's pathetic. Such a big country with so few medals. In another way, it's cool. I mean who cares? So, China won a lot of medals in 2008? Does anyone remember?

  3. Though China wins a lot of medals, a bulk of them are in either bogus sports or in sports in which the best in the world don't participate.

  4. Sweden did well at the last couple of London Olympics:
    http://www.medalspercapita.com/#medals-per-capita:1908
    http://www.medalspercapita.com/#medals-per-capita:1948

    They don't seem to do so well nowadays.

  5. How a war between China and India would be?

  6. The Indian boxing team is actually well regarded, they are expected to medal at least once.

  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Reminds me of a conversation I was having today regarding the blackout in India. Fifteen years ago investors were trying to figure out who would be the economic juggernaut of the early twenty-first century – both India and China seemed poised to be that. Remarkable that only fifteen years ago India and China were nearly at the same stage of development.

  8. vijender singh may medal in boxing

  9. Hahaha… Steve, sometimes you can be just mean.

  10. Is there anything as boring as the Olympics?

  11. there are about 150 million people in bangladesh, and i don't think anybody from bangladesh has ever won an olympic medal. i'd have to check but i think this is an official stat, i'm not exaggerating or making it up. 0 medals of any kind in any sport ever, in 30 olympic games.

    HUGE countries like this, which have more people than russia or mexico, are routinely ignored as data by people like rushton and lynn. probably because, they are so bad at everything, and have no effect on anything, they have remained at a level of anonymity that fools even scientists. you don't think about stuff which is so far in the background you don't even notice it when you're actually looking.

    so you end up with memes like "white men can't jump" even though they win medals in long jump, high jump, and triple jump pretty regularly, and can dunk basketballs, but then you have south asians, who are not competitive at all, whatsoever, despite there being over 1 billion of them, but…no stereotypes about not being able to jump.

    famiiliarity is a prerequisite for derision. you have to at least be noticed, before you can be bashed. if you can't even get in the game, you don't even warrant a mention.

  12. How does India do in the Commonwealth Games?

  13. Brazil doesn't seem to do that well either.

  14. Great, but did anyone in India actually get to see the Olympics, what with the power out all over?

  15. In the commonwealth games, India comes 3rd in medals after UK and Australia

    In Badminton-womens, Sania Nehiwal has reached the Semis

    In Badminton, Archery, Shooting, Wrestling and Boxing, lots of Indians show up in the top 15 and some of them win medals

    Moving from 15 to 3rd rank, will take one or 2 more Olympics

  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Infrastructure is a major factor. Infrastructure in general, and then the sports infrastructure that can be built on top of it.

    Large countries like India, Brazil, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. have terrible infrastructure or just none at all.

    China is large and still relatively poor, but has lots of infrastructure.

    The Soviet bloc was large and relatively poor as well, but had lots of infrastructure.

  17. @Mathew, the power went down in the backward North Indian states due to over-stealing of electricity , which tripped circuit breakers

    And even there, the upper middle class has generators and do watch TV

  18. In the commonwealth games, India comes 3rd in medals after UK and Australia

    In Badminton-womens, Sania Nehiwal has reached the Semis

    In Badminton, Archery, Shooting, Wrestling and Boxing, lots of Indians show up in the top 15 and some of them win medals

    Moving from 15 to 3rd rank, will take one or 2 more Olympics

  19. It's so hot and muggy in India, nobody wants to play sports.

    Air conditioning is still a luxury there, and they don't have lots of public infrastructure with AC.

    This is why infrastructure is so crucial.

  20. I think Michael Phelps has more medals than India has ever won.

  21. The evidence suggests that South Asians are the world's worst athletes. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined are about 1.5 billion people, but they've only won a total of 31 medals in the history of the Olympics. That's shockingly pathetic.

  22. "Though China wins a lot of medals, a bulk of them are in either bogus sports or in sports in which the best in the world don't participate."

    Yep. The rest of them are in sports where they blatantly cheat (steroids) or the government can force young kids to practice endlessly for years. For example, I'm convinced that they achieve dominant in synchronized swimming by putting pairs into separate hamster wheels and make them spin for hours in synch.

  23. cheap(read free) power for software piracy start-ups

    locally known as 'katiya'.

    "the upper middle class has generators and do watch TV"

    sadly the cable guys don't.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "The evidence suggests that South Asians are the world's worst athletes. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined are about 1.5 billion people, but they've only won a total of 31 medals in the history of the Olympics. That's shockingly pathetic."

    If I want a collar with a piece of metal around my neck, I'll be reincarnated as a dog.

  25. You don't see many Indian guys in the gym hitting the weights or pickup bball.

  26. How many medals do Arabs and South east Asians win ?

  27. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What struck me is the rise of NE Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea) in Olympic sports:

    2004 Total Medal Count
    #1 USA
    #2 China
    #5 Japan
    #9 S.Korea
    #25 Thailand
    #31 Taiwan
    #48 Indonesia
    #57 N.Korea
    #65 Hong Kong/Paraguay/India
    #71 Mongolia/Syria/Eretria/T&T (last)

    2008 Total Medal Count
    #1 China
    #2 USA
    #7 S.Korea
    #8 Japan
    #31 Thailand/Mongolia
    #34 N.Korea
    #42 Indonesia/Bulgaria
    #50 India
    #70 Vietnam,Malaysia,Singapore+5
    #79 Taiwan
    #80 7 countries (last)

    2012 Total Medal Count (as of 8/2)
    #1 China
    #2 USA
    #3 S.Korea
    #9 N.Korea
    #12 Japan
    #29 Mongolia,Indonesia+4
    #35 Thailand,Taiwan+3
    #41 India,Singapore+7 (last)

    On a per capital basis, Koreans and Mongolians are the most atheletic in NE Asia:

    2004 per capital
    #28 S.Korea
    #29 Mongolia
    #40 USA (reference)
    #42 Japan
    #49 N.Korea
    #50 Taiwan
    #57 Hong Kong
    #60 Thailand
    #70 China
    #73 Indonesia
    #75 India (last place)

    2008 per capital
    #6 Mongolia
    #19 S.Korea
    #33 USA (reference)
    #39 N.Korea
    #43 Japan
    #47 China
    #49 Thailand
    #53 Indonesia
    #54 India (last specific listed)

    2012 per capital (incomplete)
    http://simon.forsyth.net/olympics.html

    #3 Mongolia
    #11 S.Korea
    #23 N.Korea
    #24 Singapore
    #27 Japan
    #31 USA (reference)
    #38 Taiwan
    #44 China
    #46 Thailand
    #48 Indonesia
    #49 India (last)

  28. India is smart, because they don't need a huge publicly funded, sports industrial complex to feel good about themselves. The Olympics goes completely unnoticed there, because no one cares.

  29. How many medals do Arabs and South east Asians win ?

    Indonesia is another country with a large population and few medals.

  30. "How a war between China and India would be?"

    – I see even modern history is ignored by schools now…

    "I think Michael Phelps has more medals than India has ever won."

    – Wait 'til 2016 when they introduce medals for call center tech support…

  31. "If I want a collar with a piece of metal around my neck, I'll be reincarnated as a dog."

    He-he.

  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "How a war between China and India would be?"

    – I see even modern history is ignored by schools now…

    Tangential, but because this reference might easily slide by, search on "India-China War" or "Sino-Indian war", "1963", or the like [1] [2]. Since this war coincided with the Cuban missile crisis, although it is not widely known, it may have had outsize influence on policy makers at the time. (Essentially the Indians got trounced.) Onward, Comrades!

  33. One day in our dreams we will win a lot Olympic medals.

  34. to be fair to india, by some bizarre fluke which no one seems able to explain, cricket isn't an olympic sport.
    Soccer is, but not cricket.
    Now, with the IPL-formatting making it "television schedule" friendly, it's cruelty to exclude it.
    India would almost certainly medal were it included

  35. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "How many medals do Arabs and South east Asians win?"

    Not many, but a lot more than South Asians on a per capita basis. Indonesia has won slightly more medals (27) than India (21) with a fifth the population. Egypt (23), Thailand (22) and Morocco (21) are comparable to India with a fraction of the population. Non-North African Arabs are nonexistent in sports, while the Persians have won 48 medals, almost all in wrestling or weightlifting.

  36. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Never understood the obsession with medal tallies. We are usually among the top 3 medal winners because (1) we're the largest economy in the world, (2) we have the second most populous country in the world and (3) we have excellent sports facilities at the primary and secondary school levels that local boosters ensure are kept up and improved even as property taxes skyrocket. What we have here is something akin to the Chinese sports machine, except (1) it costs, in totality, a heck of a lot more money than China's system, (2) it generates less Olympic medals than the Chinese sports machine, and (3) we can't blame the unnecessary expense on a dictatorial regime with no respect for the interests of its citizens, since we did it to ourselves. And after the massive expenditures, we almost always lose, on a medals per capita basis, to the top 10 countries in the medal table (with the exception of China).

    On the plus side, however, it has to be said that unlike its Chinese counterpart, our sports machine doesn't wreck the lives of its participants by making athletics their full-time occupation at an early age (in return for a stipend), thereby generating as a waste byproduct illiterate burnouts who can't even read. Enterprising reporters at various stateside publications have written about a significant number of failed Chinese athletes who went on to beg in the streets or menial jobs like street cleaning.

  37. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "India is smart, because they don't need a huge publicly funded, sports industrial complex to feel good about themselves. "

    They have cricket, where they can win!

    "by some bizarre fluke which no one seems able to explain, cricket isn't an olympic sport. "

    It was played in London olympics once upon a time and as you can see, it's not hard to seek reasons why it didn't stick.
    Later issues like time-constraints and lack of gender equality got in the way.

    Remedial programs are on the way.

  38. Never understood the obsession with medal tallies. We are usually among the top 3 medal winners because (1) we're the largest economy in the world, (2) we have the second most populous country in the world

    LOL

  39. "rec1man said…
    In the commonwealth games, India comes 3rd in medals after UK and Australia"

    No it doesn't. It comes in WELL behind Canada. Canada has had 1388 commonwealth medals overall. India has had 379.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All-time_medal_tally_of_Commonwealth_Games

  40. Got to love the "anonymous" idiots. In a post about India, where you write about China, you call the US the world's second most populous country.

    You say we're usually among the top three medal winners when we've been #1 every year since the USSR fell, and top three since i don't even know when.

  41. Alas, there is no medal for Slurpee making and endless talking.

  42. "we have the second most populous country in the world"

    Since when?

  43. Interesting that India is so unathletic, what with having a warrior caste for hundreds of years. One would think that selection within that caste would have forged them into one of the most athletic peoples on earth. It almost makes one wonder if the thinking castes of India have had such inefficient selection or lack of raw material.

  44. My observations:

    Australia, with a population less than 25 million, seems to punch well above their weight in the Olympics. A strong argument can be made for Australia being the most athletic country on the planet.

    And based on the medal count relative to population, the Chinese are not the most athletic of the Mongoloid peoples. The Koreans are.

  45. India is smart, because they don't need a huge publicly funded, sports industrial complex to feel good about themselves. The Olympics goes completely unnoticed there, because no one cares.

    They seem like blacks in that regard: they can do anything and feel good about themselves.

  46. Never understood the obsession with medal tallies. We are usually among the top 3 medal winners because (1) we're the largest economy in the world, (2) we have the second most populous country in the world and (3) we have excellent sports facilities at the primary and secondary school levels that local boosters ensure are kept up and improved even as property taxes skyrocket.

    I have no idea who this "we" you're referring to is supposed to be.

  47. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    LOL

    LOL, that we've not even been in the top 10 on a medals per capita basis for the past 50 years. And China's not even been in the top 50 for the past 30 years. For the kind of money that we pay in property taxes, we really ought to be number one. Not that it would be any consolation for the high tax bills, of course.

    http://www.medalspercapita.com

    The average star-struck fan obsessing over medal counts really needs to get a life – no matter how much he/she'd like to think otherwise, the successes or failures of athletes are theirs alone. No amount of hero worship or heavy breathing will make these highs and lows transferable.

  48. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    ***"They have cricket, where they can win!

    "by some bizarre fluke which no one seems able to explain, cricket isn't an olympic sport. "

    It was played in London olympics once upon a time and as you can see, it's not hard to seek reasons why it didn't stick.
    Later issues like time-constraints and lack of gender equality got in the way.

    Remedial programs are on the way."***

    Paris Olympics, not London. Click on your link.

    We have ODI and T20 cricket now, as well as women's cricket. There is no reason why cricket can't be an Olympic sport.

  49. 11 of 21 Indian medals are in men's field hockey

    after a few European countries decided to start playing men's field hockey, the men's team from India couldn't even qualify in some years

  50. Pakistan with a population of 175 million has had 10 medals but 8 of those 10 have been in men's field hockey.

  51. Indian families strongly discourage sports and favor education.

    Many of Indian cricket stars actually have college degrees in commerce, engineering and other hard fields due to family pressure

    Indians are very aware that on average those trying for athletics fail to make a living

    Meaning there is no pipeline like in other countries and in India unless you make it very very big in sports, you end up in poverty

  52. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Commonwealth_Games

    In 2010 commonwealth games

    Australia got 177 medals
    UK got 142 medals
    India got 101 medals
    Canada got 75 medals

    Pakistan got 5 medals
    Sri Lanka got 2 medals

    Bangladesh came in last with 1 medal

  53. "India is smart, because they don't need a huge publicly funded, sports industrial complex to feel good about themselves. The Olympics goes completely unnoticed there, because no one cares."

    No cares about nuthin' in India.

    That's not "smart". It's like a blackout of the population.

    Steve likes to call India "interesting".

    Makes me wonder how smart Steve really is.

  54. "Though China wins a lot of medals, a bulk of them are in either bogus sports or in sports in which the best in the world don't participate."

    Yes, frankly. I'd be embarrassed that my nation excelled in men's synch diving. Shooting and archery, no. Those are marvelous sports.

    Steve's assessment of swimming is spot on. The freestyle for speed. The breast stroke for efficiency.
    Even though the breast stroke looks funny (in competition) and has a juvenile's joke of a name, it's a the best way to get around in water for most people.

    America piles on the medals in swimming. It's fatuous. More evidence that America is all blubber, no substance. But we've known THAT since way back.

    And the so-called glory sports of running, lifting, basketball.
    Don't sleep too hard on these. They aren't "all that".

  55. "The evidence suggests that South Asians are the world's worst athletes."

    Hunger, abject poverty, casteism, a cultural disdain for physical activity etc may explain some of that. Besides genetics.

    South Asia/Indian subcontinent is actually poorer and hungrier than Africa.

  56. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The biggest story of the last couple of Olympic cycles is therise of China in everything – including some events white racialists would have never given the a chance in.

    The biggest story of this Olympics is the hathos on display in the opening ceremony. What an awful and pathetic show – the great achievement of British culture apparently being the disease-inducing smokestacks of the industrial revolution and Mr. Bean.

  57. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The biggest story of the last couple of Olympic cycles is therise of China in everything – including some events white racialists would have never given the a chance in.

    That doesn't even make sense. Japan has won lots of medals and they're of the same racial stock. What the Chinese medal tally shows is that the Soviet sports machine can be exported anywhere in the world. If you field doped-up illiterate paid professional athletes whose full-time job from an early age (when normal children are learning how to read and write) is to try to win gewgaws called medals in athletic events where your competition is composed of weekend warriors paying their own way, you will win lots of medals. But that medal tally will still leave you in the bottom half of the per capita medal rankings.

  58. Lol white people. Can always trust white people to bitterly explain away the accomplishments of others as white people begin to lose their grip on the olympics.

  59. Two of Russia's 3 gold medals so far have been won by muslim dagestanis. Both in Judo.

    Besides the rise of the Chinese and Koreans, the other big trend in the Olympics is the decline of the russians and germans.

  60. Hunger, abject poverty, casteism, a cultural disdain for physical activity etc may explain some of that. Besides genetics.

    South Asia/Indian subcontinent is actually poorer and hungrier than Africa.

    Yes, India actually hasn't been doing that bad so far in terms of medals per GDP/capita:

    http://www.billmitchell.org/sport/medal_tally_2012.html

    They are 18th so far in those terms.

  61. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Lol white people. Can always trust white people to bitterly explain away the accomplishments of others as white people begin to lose their grip on the olympics."

    This is more true of Americans in general than "white people". The belief in American exceptionalism is the last thing that really unites Americans, who are otherwise balkanized. That's why China poses such a threat. In the economy, Olympics, education, etc., China has the potential to eclipse the U.S.

  62. In 2010 commonwealth games

    Australia got 177 medals
    UK got 142 medals
    India got 101 medals
    Canada got 75 medals

    Pakistan got 5 medals
    Sri Lanka got 2 medals

    So India has a sponsored program for sports but it just can't pull it off during the Olympics.

  63. One of the biggest stories this Olympics is the end of European/American/Australian (i.e. white) domination in swimming. The East Asians have consistently medaled. Also, a surprising number of black and other minorities from Western countries are also excelling in swimming.

    Expect this trend to continue.

  64. So far, India has won 3 medals in 2012, and matched 2008 tally

    Some more are expected in boxing and wrestling

    The pipeline is also healthy with lots of Indians between ranks 5 to 15 in badminton, boxing, shooting, archery and wrestling

  65. If 10% of Indians lived a life with leisure time that's 120 million middle class people. And still the country only wins 3 medals. So hunger is not the explanation.

  66. I watched an Indian boxer smacking around one of the American heroes the other day.

    No medals for American boxers. Somewhere, Cus D'Amato is spinning in his grave.

  67. India has two problems. Bad genes and a lack of masculinity.

  68. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Arab countries have more of an excuse for being bad at the olympics than Indians do.

    There are a lot of medals to be earned in ridiculous women's sports. And in most cases, Islamic societies do not promote a robust sports culture for women.

    The olympics are pretty stupid anyway, there is always going to be some horrible country forcing people to become professions to earn "olympic glory".

  69. The weather and poverty might explain a lot for Indians in their native country, but how does the Indian diaspora do, per capita: Indians in America, Indians in the UK?

    Raj Bhavsar won a bronze in 2008 in men's gymnastics. He's only the third Indian-American to win an olympic medal. Two of them (both gymnasts) won their medals as part of a team, not as individuals. Perhaps spelling should be added to the Olympics.

  70. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Besides the rise of the Chinese and Koreans, the other big trend in the Olympics is the decline of the russians and germans."

    In terms of gold medals the Russians stink so far, but in overall count they aren't too far behind their 2008 pace. Perhaps Russia's athletes, who would mostly have been born in the late 80s/early 90s, suffered physically in some way from the government collapse that happened early in their lives. Early childhood malnourishment is linked to lifelong health problems.

  71. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "On a per capital basis, Koreans and Mongolians are the most atheletic in NE Asia:"

    Per capita medal counts aren't quite fair. Physical limitations of the human body mean that the best in any sport will mostly be quite close in terms of peformance. Ceteris paribus, a country with 5 times the population of another won't win five times the medals.

  72. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In the Summer Olympics from 1984 to 2008, the USA won 783 medals. Only 3 medals were won by Indian-Americans, and 2 of those were won as part of a team. I didn't tally up the winter medals, but none were won by I-A's. Of course the number of I-A's has climbed dramatically over the last few decades, so what the future brings who knows.

  73. Maybe this guy reads your blog. This was posted a day after your post:

    "Neither the Will nor the Cash: Why India Wins So Few Olympic Medals"

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/08/neither-the-will-nor-the-cash-why-india-wins-so-few-olympic-medals/260693/

  74. From the Atlantic article linked above: "India, it seems, has yet to identify an Olympic event where its people might exceptionally excel."

    I'd target (pun intended) sports where hand-eye coordination is most important: racket sports like tennis, table tennis, and badminton; and archery, fencing, shooting, etc. India's three medals this year are in these events (one in badminton, two in shooting). These sports place less emphasis on strength.

  75. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Meanwhile, the much-maligned Ayatollah-run Iran has won 4 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 1 bronze so far. Compared to 0 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze for India. Population of Iran is 80 million. Population of India: 1200 million.

    Interestingly Iran also does far better than India in the Math Olympics…..

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