- Medal Count -- worksheet for 2014 and 2010 Winter Olympics
- Article on factors related to winning Olympic Medals.
Silver – Norway
Bronze — Canada
Special mention: USA (fourth place)
Interestingly, psychotherapist and founder of StayInTheZone.com, Dr. Jay Granat notes that athletes use similar systematic techniques. Granat encourages his clients to come up with their own "ritual" to help with focus. This can take the form of tennis players bouncing the tennis ball three times before serving, or baseball batters taking several practice swings before each pitch, for example.
In some ways, these rituals and habits are designed to improve repeatability -- and are an athlete's method of systematizing his or her approach. Dr. Granat, who has worked with athletes of all levels, including Olympic gold medalists, has also worked with professional traders.
It should stand to reason that a country among the global leaders in available financial and human resources would be far more successful in athletic events that require elite athleticism, expensive training and state-of-the-art facilities.
Based on key hockey statistics and expectations, we performed a Monte Carlo simulation to study the odds of the United States hockey team winning the gold medal. Monte Carlo methods use a random process to solve complicated problems...
In a similar manner, hockey games can be modeled based on certain random variables and key statistics, including shots on goal, save percentage and shot efficiency. If we model the United States team as a seventh seed, the probability of the United States winning the gold medal approaches odds as high as 1 in 1,000.
But the United States turned out to be a stronger team than expected. Entering the medal round of the Olympics, the United States and Soviet teams were undefeated. The United States was 4-0-1, outscoring their opponents by 25-10, while the Russians were 5-0, outscoring their opponents by 51-11. The Soviet goaltenders, Vladislav Tretiak and Vladimir Myshkin, averaged a solid 88.2 save percentage, and the American goalie Jim Craig had a 91.7 save percentage.
If we base our simulations on the team’s performance in the tournament, the odds could have been as low as 17-to-1 for the United States win the gold medal.
Q: Shannon, almost every athlete wants to learn how to get into the zone more often. Many of the athletes who come to see me for counseling ask about how they can best do this. How would you describe the zone?
A: The zone is the place you enter where everything else disappears. If there are television cameras or a million people watching you, it does not matter. For some people, entering the zone is innate. For others it is learned. For me, it was a combination of both.
Q: Managing injuries is an issue for many gymnasts and for many athletes. How did you learn to perform when you were not feeling well?
A: No athlete is healthy 100 percent of the time. I learned that working through a sickness or injury, being able to truly focus on the competition at hand was an extremely important skill. At the Olympics in 1996, I was battling a severe wrist injury. Not only was I having to learn how to train and compete with the pain but also understanding the importance of doing "smart" gymnastics.
Q: Were you born mentally tough?
A: I'm not really sure. I know that I was not the strongest, most flexible or most naturally talented athlete. I knew that I had to find another route to success. For me it was hard work. I was a work horse. I also found that being mentally tough; not allowing others to derail you or get into your head made me a fierce competitor."
Q: Do you have three tips for athletes who are trying to excel at their sport?
A: Set long and short term goals. Don't limit what you can accomplish and don't let others limit you in any way. Keep believing in yourself every day.
Read more here:
Dr. Jay Granat, a psychotherapist and sports psychologist, is co-author of "Who Will Win the Big Game? A Psychological & Mathematical Approach" with Carlton Chin, CFA, an MIT-trained "quant" and fund manager. Granat is founder of StayInTheZone.com and Chin is chief investment officer of CARAT / Adamah Capital.
Gold Medal Trivia Question: Which of the following is/are made out of solid gold?
a) Olympic Gold Medal
b) Nobel Prize Gold Medal
c) Congressional Gold Medal
(The answer is at the end of this post.)
What is the value of Olympic gold?
(Please click on the link)