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History of the Summer Games

by SAS Employee meredithbailey ‎09-20-2016 02:56 PM - edited ‎09-20-2016 04:06 PM (330 Views)


As summer wanes in the northern hemisphere and Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics games in our rearview mirror, we thought it would be fun to analyze the history of this competition dating back to 1896 to 2008.


Shown in the SAS Visual Analytics geo region map, the United States (U.S.) is the most decorated country with a total of 2,296 medals followed by Soviet Union. However, China, America's fiercest rival, has only accumulated 385 medals, pictured in the bar graph. It is interesting to note that in 1984 the United States won 83 Gold medals, which to this day holds the record for most first-place finishes in a Summer Olympics by a host nation. 


A similar dashboard was created by a data visualization company by their sport's data analyst; however, there were inaccuracies within their data. Misinforming roughly 52,000 viewers, the interactive display stated the U.S. had a total of 4,591 medals with each countries gold, silver, bronze, and total count of medals being incorrect. The report created in SAS Visual Analytics proves its capabilites of producing infographic type visualizations while conveying error-free data. 



The recent announcement of US Gymnastics team captured our attention as we recognized familiar names such as Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman. Yet, one athlete, Laurie Hernandez, is making headlines as she is the youngest of the 2016 U.S. team, at the age of 16. With this in mind, data on median age by country was analyzed, with the country of Laos having the youngest at 16 and Sierra Leone having the oldest at age 33. 


Next, we decided to take a look at the gender distribution by country and sport. Within the United States, there are only three entirely female dominated sports in the duartion of 112 years: Softball, Skating, and Triathlon. Yet, China exhibits more female dominated sports, with only two sports being completely comprised of males. The treemap below illustrates the gender distribution, with dark blue being purely male and pink being purely female.




Although we could not forsee if Michael Phelps would once again glitz in gold, we can display the top Olympic Gold medalists. Broken out by gender, athletes from all events, sports, and years (1896-2008) were ranked by number of Gold medals highlighting the top fifteen. Only four out of the fifteen athletes with the most Gold medals are women, with half of the women competing in Gymnastics (Latynina and Caslavska). Michael Phelps of course dominates the graph with 14 Gold medals, but won four more medals at the 2012 London Olympics, displaying that his only competition is himself.




Are you surprised by the gender distribution in the United States? How much influence does age have on medal winnings? Which country did you cheer on during the 2016 Games? Let us know in the comments below! 


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