I really don't know what we're going to post on now that the olympics are over, but in a final attempt to hang on, here's this.
In one of the posts I hypothesized about GDP correlating with winning medals. Well, if you couldn't tell from the start, that was oversimplifying things a bit. Andrew Bernard, a Dartmouth Economist, worked out a formula for predicting medal totals. In 2000 he predicted the exact number of medals the US won, and for the Athens olympics he was an amazing 97% accurate.
Bernard writes that four factors determine where the medals go:
2. Per Capita Income
3. Past Olympic Performance
4. Host effect
Here's the article, it's an interesting read.