Team USA will take home more medals than any other country at the 2012 London Olympics, says a new report by investment bank Goldman Sachs. The U.S. will win a total of 108 medals, including 37 gold medals at the Games, according to forecasts in the Olympics and Economics 2012 Research Report.
China will rank second in the medal table with 33 gold medals, while Great Britain will benefit from the home-field advantage and grab 30 gold medals — a considerable improvement from the 19 it won in the 2008 Games. Other countries that will make it on the top 10 medal table are (in descending order of gold medals): Russia, Australia, France, Germany, South Korea, Italy, and Ukraine.
The top 10 medal-winning countries, according to the report, are some of the world’s most industrialized nations and the economists who worked on the report say there is a correlation between national economies and Olympic performance. “Countries with superior growth environment and higher incomes are expected to win more medals,” explain economists José Ursúa and Kamakshya Trivedi. “So ultimately, it appears that gold does go where growth and the overall growth environment are best.”
The Telegraph, however, warns that the investment firm’s sporting predictions should be viewed with some skepticism. Two years ago, Goldman predicted that Brazil would win the World Cup; in reality, Brazil was knocked out in the quarter-finals.