China and the United States were squaring off during this year’s Olympic Games as each nation tried to beat the other for most medals won. China was ahead at the start of the final week – at least for gold medals – but the U.S. claimed back the top spot eventually, winning 113 medals (39 of them golden ones) over China’s 88 (38 gold medals among them).
Taking population into account, however, some smaller nations have to work much harder at winning those Olympic medals, and some actually have done just that. Dividing the inhabitants of a country by the medals it won in Tokyo, tiny San Marino comes out on top. The nation’s shooters clenched two medals, silver and bronze, while another bronze was won in wrestling. In the nation of around 34,000 inhabitants, this means one medal won per every 11,313 people. In comparison, the U.S. is only bringing home one medal per roughly 3 million people, while China’s count is even lower at one medal per approximately 16 million people.
Bermuda’s win at the women’s triathlon means that the island’s final medal count stood at 1 per roughly 64,000 people – the second-highest per-capita result as well as the highest gold-medal-per-capita ratio. While Bermuda is not a sovereign nation, but a British overseas territory, it does have its own Olympic delegation.
Island nations were the big winners of the per-capita medal count. The biggest among them – New Zealand – won 20 medals this year and even made rank 13 in the overall medal count. Slovenia and Hungary were also among the top 10 countries for most medals won per capita, while the Netherlands features in both the top 10 of per-capita and overall medal wins.