Daniel Johnson, the Colorado College economics professor who has predicted Olympic medals with a 93 percent accuracy rate over six consecutive Olympic Games has done it again, this time with 97 percent accuracy at the London Games. He uses a model that, surprisingly, does not include athletic ability as one of its factors.
Johnson correctly predicted the rankings of the top five nations, anticipating that the U.S. would top the podium most often, followed in order by China, Russia, Great Britain, and Germany.
There is a 97 percent correlation between the predictions, released before the Games, and the actual medal results, and a 96 percent correlation for gold medal totals alone. Of the 134 nations predicted, 51 of them (or 38 percent) were predicted exactly correct without any error in total medals at all, while 106 nations (or 79 percent) were predicted within two of their actual medal count.