Prepare, Visualize, Predict: Paris 2024 Olympics with Minitab

Oliver Franz | 6/10/2024

Topics: Minitab Statistical Software, Fishbone, Minitab Workspace

The 2024 Summer Olympics are right around the corner! As anticipation builds in Paris and around the world, athletes and coaches alike have turned to data-driven strategies to maximize their performance on the global stage.  

Additionally, analytical enthusiasts and fans around the world are preparing to root for their country and favorite athletes. At Minitab, we thought it would be an interesting opportunity to use the vast functionality of the Minitab ecosystem to better understand how athletes prepare, visualize the medal counts from past Olympic games, and generate forecasts for the upcoming games.  


Prepare: Athlete Preparation 

Do you have what it takes to be an Olympic athlete? For some, training for the games may conjure up images of long days in the gym or on the track.  

Training regimes require so much more, though, especially in the modern era. Athletes need physical preparation and mental fortitude, nutrition planning, and injury prevention to compete at the highest levels.  

To visualize this, we conducted research of the elements generally included in training regimens for Olympic swimmers. We used a Fishbone Diagram—a tool readily available in Minitab Workspace and Minitab Engage—to see all the different elements that go into creating an Olympic-caliber athlete. Here’s what we generated: 


Fishbone Olympics

As is evident, so much more than lifting weights and going on runs helps to create an Olympic athlete.  


Visualize: Data Insights 

Most of us, however, will never compete in the Olympics. And if you don’t have Olympic aspirations, you likely will still be cheering for your country this summer. In fact, over 3 billion people, or almost half the world’s population, watched at least some of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  

We used Graph Builder in Minitab Statistical Software to help visualize the leading countries in terms of total medal count from the London, Rio, and Tokyo games. Here are our results: 


Minitab’s pie charts show us not only that the United States has consistently received the most medals over the past few Olympics, but also how many more medals than the second and third place countries. While the United States earned nearly double the medals of second-place China in 2016, the games in 2020 were significantly more competitive. 


Predict: How Many Medals in 2024? 

The dominance of the United States made us wonder how many medals they might receive this year. And while we can’t predict the future with 100% certainty, a time series trend analysis can give us a pretty good estimate of how many medals the United States may win this year based on Olympic medal trends dating back to 1964.  

After entering the total number of medals the United States won each year (excluding 1980), here is what Minitab projected: 

image (16)

Note that the U.S. won a significantly high number of medals in the 1984 Olympics largely due to the Soviet-led boycott, which reduced competition, and the advantage of hosting the games, which provided favorable conditions and strong home support. Additionally, the U.S. benefited from substantial athletic training programs, innovative training methods, and a political drive to excel during the Cold War. 

Based on the historic trend, including the 1984 anomaly, it is reasonable to assume that the states will earn roughly 113 medals this summer.  


Start Training for Your Own Goals 

Regardless of whether you are an athlete, volunteer, superfan, or casual observer, over the course of the Olympics you’ll be exposed to many different data points. You’ll hear explanations about the data from past champions, commentators, and the media. Data is a key part of our day-to-day lives and business operations, and Minitab has been training and coaching professionals and organizations for over 50 years on the best ways to leverage their data for optimal results. Follow along with Minitab this summer for more data insights, predictions, and even volunteer highlights.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to become an Olympic level data analyst, get started with one of our training courses or start brainstorming ways you can improve your performance – at home or at work – with Minitab Workspace.  

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