U of M professor pushes for new measure of Olympic success - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

U of M professor pushes for new measure of Olympic success

United States hockey team celebrate with their gold medals after beating Canada in the women's gold medal hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.  (Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez) United States hockey team celebrate with their gold medals after beating Canada in the women's gold medal hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A University of Memphis professor is looking to change the way we rank success at the Olympics.

Roxane Coche, PhD, is a professor of journalism and strategic media at University of Memphis. She and Charlie Tuggle, PhD and senior associate dean for undergraduate studies in the School of Media and Journalism at University of North Carolina, created a system to standardize the Olympic medal count.

In America, Olympic medal count is ranked by total medal count. So the country with the most medals wins. 

In other countries, the medal count is ranked by number of gold medals.

Coche and Tuggle say there is a more accurate way to evaluate Olympic success. They call it Medal Premium Calculations or MPC.

MPC assigns different values for gold, silver, and bronze: Gold gets five points, silver gets three points, and bronze gets two points.

That point system mirrors the financial rewards the United States Olympic Committee gives to American athletes who medal in the Olympics: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.

“We are almost 2.5 years away from the Tokyo Games in 2020,” Coche said. “That gives us 2.5 years to adopt this standardized, logical, and fairer system of recognizing Olympic success, so let’s push for it.”

Below you can see the difference in each medal calculation system in determining success at PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games (the charts below list the top 15 countries). To really notice the difference, look at how each system ranks Olympic Athletes From Russia (OAR). 

Medal Premium Calculations

Countries MPC Gold Silver Bronze
Norway 134 14 14 11
Germany 114 14 10 7
Canada 99 11 8 10
United States 81 9 8 6
The Netherlands 70 8 6 6
South Korea 57 5 8 4
Sweden 55 7 6 1
Switzerland 51 5 6 4
France 49 5 4 6
Austria 46 5 3 6
Olympic Athletes From Russia 46 2 6 9
Japan 43 4 5 4
Italy 31 3 2 5
China 27 1 6 2
Czech Republic 22 2 2 3

In the Medal Premium Calculations, OAR finished 11th.

US System

Countries Total Gold Silver Bronze
Norway 39 14 14 11
Germany 31 14 10 7
Canada 29 11 8 10
United States 23 9 8 6
The Netherlands 20 8 6 6
South Korea 17 5 8 4
Olympic Athletes From Russia 17 2 6 9
Switzerland 15 5 6 4
France 15 5 4 6
Sweden 14 7 6 1
Austria 14 5 3 6
Japan 13 4 5 4
Italy 10 3 2 5
China 9 1 6 2
Czech Republic 7 2 2 3

In the US medal count, OAR finished seventh thanks to its 17 medals.

World System

Countries Gold Silver Bronze
Norway 14 14 11
Germany 14 10 7
Canada 11 8 10
United States 9 8 6
The Netherlands 8 6 6
Sweden 7 6 1
South Korea 5 8 4
Switzerland 5 6 4
France 5 4 6
Austria 5 3 6
Japan 4 5 4
Italy 3 2 5
Olympic Athletes From Russia 2 6 9
Czech Republic 2 2 3
Belarus 2 1 0

The rest of the world ranked OAR as finishing 13th, because it only took home two gold medals.

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