Today We Bring You a Nerd’s Eye View of the Olympics


A couple of days ago I whined about the annoyingly widespread humanization of Olympic athletes. Enough! We all know that what’s really important about sporting events is statistics, and the more obscure the better. So here are my candidates for nerdiest Olympic coverage so far. First up is Ryan Wallerson’s look at the best athletes of the Sochi games. Not by measuring scores or times or anything normal like that, but by measuring which athlete scored the most standard deviations from the mean in their event. The winner is Poland’s Kamil Stoch in ski jumping:

Next up is a look at which countries have done the best. Not by crudely counting medals or per capita medals or any of that nonsense. This chart looks how countries have done so far compared to how many medals they were predicted to win. The big winner, at 183 percent, is the Netherlands, thanks to their kick-ass performance in speed skating. The most dismal performance so far is from South Korea, at 31 percent. But there are still two days left!

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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