>Predicted 2012 medal count: 42
>All-time medals: 443.5
>Population: 22.62 million
>GDP: $1.37 trillion
>GDP per capita: $60,642
While Australia ranks fifth in how many medals it is supposed to win in these London Games, it ranks first among the top 10 all-time medal winners for the number it has won per million citizens, with 19.6. By comparison, the United States, has 7.4 medals per million citizens. Australia has competed in every Summer Games and has hosted two Summer Olympics, Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. Many of Australia’s medals have come from its swimmers — 168 to be exact. This is 100 more medals than the Land Down Under won in track and field, the sport in which it had the next best showing.
4. United Kingdom
>Predicted 2012 medal count: 62
>All-time medals: 725.5
>Population: 62.64 million
>GDP: $2.43 trillion
>GDP per capita: $38,818
Look for the U.K. delegation to take it up a notch in front of its home crowd. With the country hosting the Olympics for the first time in 64 years, it has doled out nearly $500 million for athletic training and development since 2009, notes the Wall Street Journal. That investment may pay off as the host athletes are expected to win 62 medals this year, up from 47 in 2008 and 30 in 2004. In 2008, U.K. athletes won their medals in 13 different sports. But the track cyclists and road cyclists combined won 14 of those 47 medals, eight of them gold. Cyclist Chris Hoy will be back for his fourth Olympics to defend three of his Olympic titles he won during the Beijing Olympics. Meanwhile, distance runner Mo Farah could be a contender for gold in both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races.
>Predicted 2012 medal count: 67
>All-time medals: 1,445, including USSR
>Population: 141.93 million
>GDP: $1.86 trillion
>GDP per capita: $13,089
Counting the all-time number of medals that Russia has won over the course of the Summer Olympics can be confusing because it has competed as many different nations throughout the history of the Games. Including the medals of the USSR, the Russian Federation ranks second with 1,445 all-time medals won at the Summer Olympics, behind the United States with 2,302. The number of medals the world’s largest country by surface area has won is remarkable when you consider that it has competed in eight fewer Summer Games than the United States. Russia has won most of these medals in track and field with 256, gymnastics with 225 and wrestling with 156. Moscow was on a shortlist of five cities bidding to host the 2012 Summer Games. The only Summer Olympics that the country has hosted was in this same city in 1980. The United States boycotted the Games that year.
>Predicted 2012 medal count: 94
>All-time medals: 385
>Population: 1,344.13 million
>GDP: $7.30 trillion
>GDP per capita: $5,340
In 2008, China hosted its first Olympic Games in Beijing, winning 100 total medals. China’s strongest sporting events are gymnastics, table tennis and diving — it earned 34 medals in these sports in 2008. This year, the Chinese Olympic Delegation and Emily Williams predict that the country will win fewer medals than in 2008. According to the Wall Street Journal, a member of the Chinese delegation performed an analysis that showed that historically, host countries win medals in 32% fewer events in the next Olympics. According to this analysis, China is expected to come home with 68 medals, far fewer than the 94 medals that Emily Williams predicts.
1. United States
>Predicted 2012 medal count: 103
>All-time medals: 2,302
>Population: 311.59 million
>GDP: $15.09 trillion
>GDP per capita: $48,442
The United States is irrefutably the most dominant participating country in Olympic history. The country’s cumulative 2,302 medals is more than double its nearest rival, the USSR, which has won only 1,122 (1,445 including post-Soviet Russia). The U.S. won more gold medals than any other country at 929, compared to the USSR’s 440 (549 including post-Soviet Russia). This year, Williams predicts that 35 of the U.S.’s 103 expected medals will be gold. The U.S. won 110 medals in 24 different sports in 2008. Swimmers won 31 of those medals, while track and field athletes won 23 of them. In 2012, swimming rivals Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte could win a combined count of 14 medals, while up-and-coming swimmer Missy Franklin could alone win seven medals herself. Meanwhile, track sprinters Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross are in contention for several medals each.
Lisa Uible, Samuel Weigley and Michael B. Sauter