Medaling at the Olympics: The Index

Gold medalist Britain's Alistair Brownlee celebrates with the Union flag before crossing the finish line of the men's triathlon event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 7, 2012 in London.

The Financial Times has a cool Olympic feature, where they run a formula for how many medals countries should get -- based on things like historical performance, per capita GDP, and host-country advantage. Then they compare that against actual performance in the Games.

So, who's exceeding expectations so far? China has 14 more medals than the model predicts. Japan is the second-biggest over-achiever (12 “over par”), followed by Great Britain (seven).

The U.S. is performing just a smidge better than its history and demographics would suggest.

The biggest disappointment is Spain, with only three medals. Spain just can’t catch a break these days; the model says they should have 10 by now.

But things aren’t great, either, in the more economically successful part of the eurozone. They can’t be too happy in Germany, where the model shows they are more than four medals short.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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