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).
In the Medal Premium Calculations, OAR finished 11th.
In the US medal count, OAR finished seventh thanks to its 17 medals.
The rest of the world ranked OAR as finishing 13th, because it only took home two gold medals.