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  • Pauline Hoffmann

Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Sports is one area in which data are plentiful!

How do you "balance" fact from fiction? (Get it, I have a picture of a balance beam. It's one of the events at the Olympics.)

This week's podcast celebrates athleticism, determination, grit, ambition, strength, fortitude....I could go on and on.

What doesn't go on and on? Athletes. At a certain point, you age out of the system, so to speak. Hey, I get it. I am not doing things I was able to do in my 20's. It is what is it. That said, there are some sports that are "friendlier" toward more seasoned or senior athletes. USA Today had an article noting the oldest - and youngest - Olympians in Tokyo.

I noted that sports has more statistics and facts than any other field I've researched. That is good and bad. Good because you can parse the data in a number of ways. Bad because you can parse the data in a number of ways and forget to eat meals or sleep because there is so much and you can get lost if you are a nerd.

If you want to get lost in some data, I recommend looking at Top End Sports. This site has much info for you to view. That link highlights where the games have been held but if you keep clicking and digging you will find so much more. Someone or some many compiled that info. THANK YOU!

I am also a fan of data visualization. It's one thing to list the host cities; another to visualize them. Architecture of the Games has some nice maps to view noting Olympic host cities.

In any Olympics we want to talk medal counts. Who has won the most medals? The fewest? NBC Sports, the US broadcaster of the games, has much information about all things Olympics. Take a look at its site and this article particularly, related to medal counts - countries and individuals. Top End Sports takes this even further by listing all participating countries and regions and allowing you to click on said country or region for some fun facts. For example, if you click on Albania, you will see the following opening paragraph:

Albania first joined the Summer Olympics in 1972 sending a five athlete delegation that included Fatos Pilkati and Afërdita Tusha for the 50m free pistol event, Ismail Rama and Beqir Kosova for the 50m rifle prone event, and Ymer Pampuri for weightlifting (60 kgs. division) to Munich, Germany.

In the podcast, I also reference the cost to host the Olympics. I found several graphics that depict the cost to host cities adjusting for inflation. I've pasted several below with the associated references in the graph. Investopedia discusses the cost to host the games as well as the cost to bid for the games, which is also incredible.

Additionally, I note broadcast revenue from the Olympics as depicted below.

I conclude the episode this week with an Arbitrary Random Stat (ARS). As I was thinking about the astronomical cost of the Olympics, I wondered why people declare bankruptcy (come inside my head and try to figure out that segue). Investopedia list the top five reasons individuals declare bankruptcy in the U.S.

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