What's buzzing:

Eh Game

Slovenia tops the more intellectually honest Olympic medal table

Neate Sager
Eh Game

View photo

.

Urska Zolnir of Slovenia (right) won a gold in judo for the small nation (Getty Images)

There's a sneaking suspicion even Americans put little stock in who wins the overall medal count.

It's a relic of the Cold War era, when the U.S.-USSR were always out to one-up and undercut each other. There is still an Olympic arms race and China still treats the Games as a chance to flex its muscle, but really, it's generally accepted the medal table is just a reflection of a country's affluence and population base. So how's the leader of real medal table?

It turns out Slovenia is the true leader by medalspercapita.com's reckoning.

What is perhaps more compelling are the nations that carry their weight in medals, like Slovenia. The Slovenes have won four medals: gold in judo, silver in track and field and bronze in rowing and shooting. With a population of 2.06 million people, that works out to one medal per 514,385 residents, the best per-capita medal rate among the 59 countries that have won at least one medal through Sunday.

New Zealand (seven medals, or one per 633,231 residents), Jamaica (four medals, or one per 676,456 residents) and Denmark and Australia round out the top five. (The New York Times)

What's the Slovenian edge, at least one that can be envisioned by skimming the country's wiki? It is a mostly hilly and mountainous country, which probably gives people more avenues to be active. Whatever the reasons, Slovenia is well-represented in individual sports, particularly the endurance variety.

[Photos: Biggest stars of the London 2012 Olympics]

To put in perspective, Canada would have win 68 medals in London 2012 to match Slovenia. That probably is not happening.

For what it is worth, Australia, which is just beside itself about its showing, was still sixth in medals per capita through Monday. Canada is 29th, with the U.S. and their referee-aided women's soccer team 40th. So there's that.

Obviously, dividing a country's estimated population by its medals doesn't say it all. It leaves out the amount of support (per capita, again) that each nation devotes to sports. The Huffington Post is maintaining a weighted medal count that factors in gross domestic product.

No doubt some University of Waterloo or CalTech math major at this very moment is trying to work out the ultimate theory to determine the most proficient Olympic nation. Other people just like to watch the events.

More Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Canada Sports:
Photos: Hottest Olympic athletes
Rosie MacLennan's remarkable journey
Why Brent Hayden is quitting swimming
Video: Is Ryan Lochte ready to become a sex symbol?

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

View Comments (38)
  • Hart hopeful for a solution surrounding his City future

    Hart hopeful for a solution surrounding his City future

    (Reuters) - Joe Hart is positive that a solution will be reached surrounding his future at Manchester City, the goalkeeper has said after helping the club advance to the group stages of the Champions League. The 29-year-old made his first start … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Postscript: After US sentence, Sharper goes to state court

    A week after he was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison in federal court, disgraced ex-football star Darren Sharper is set for formal sentencing in state court to charges that he drugged and raped multiple women. Thursday's sentencing for the … More »

    AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
  • Blatter appears at CAS for appeal against ban

    Blatter appears at CAS for appeal against ban

    By Cecile Mantovani LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter appeared before sport's highest tribunal, the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), on Thursday to appeal against his six-year ban from soccer. The … More »

    Reuters - 27 minutes ago
  • Drinkwater signs new five-year deal with Leicester

    Drinkwater signs new five-year deal with Leicester

    (Reuters) - Midfielder Danny Drinkwater has signed a new five-year deal with Leicester City that will keep him at the club until 2021, the Premier League champions announced on Thursday. Drinkwater, who joined Leicester from Manchester United in … More »

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago
  • FIFA pay panel meets next week to set Infantino's salary

    After six months of working without a contract, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is set to get a pay deal. FIFA said Thursday that its newly appointed compensation panel will meet next week to work on setting the salary for Infantino and other top … More »

    AP - Sports - 34 minutes ago