While watching the opening ceremonies and then various sporting events, I got to pondering about the shear mass that China is.  According to Wikipedia, China has approximately 1.3 billion people compared to the United State’s 300 million.  China has us beat by a mere billion people.  That is astounding.

Now with that in mind, it is no wonder that China is the powerhouse it is in the Olympics.  But then I got to thinking even more.  With all that man-power and resources and with that huge population, China ought to be getting gold in every Olympic event.  There really is no excuse for China to lose to any country in medal count.  They should be blowing us and every other country out of the water.

If I did my math correctly (I sorted by country and then “all” sports and counted the number of athletes), Yahoo sports lists 24 pages of 25 athletes with 1 page listing 20 athletes … that’s a total of 620 Olympic athletes for China.  The US of A has 25 pages of 25 athletes each with 1 page listing 24 athletes for a total of 649 athletes.

Now to the ratios … there are 2.1 million people for every Olympic athlete in China.

There are just under 470,000 people for every American athlete.

My conclusions … despite all the torture and coercion, the Chinese still haven’t figured out how to win at the Olympics.  Or, the United States is so superior and its methods (free-market) are way better, that despite how small a country we are (relative to China) we still do pretty darn good at the Olympics.