From The Wall Street Journal:
My print column examines the Olympics medal table, and how countries should be ranked by their athletes' performance. The most common question is, what should count for more, gold medals or overall medals? Most of the world - including the Olympics' official website, BBC, Xinhua, the Moscow Times and even an electronic screen on the side of a trash bin in central London on Sunday - rank countries by golds. In the U.S., including the websites of The Wall Street Journal and Olympics broadcaster NBC, overall medals are the basis for country ranking. Then there are other options, such as calculating medals per million people. "It is easy to create a method to favor a particular country, said Donald G. Saari, director of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Saari added, jokingly, "Stated in another manner, 'For a price, I will design a counting rule that will make your country look much, much better with the medal count!' "

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