Olympics data tracks all data related to the modern Olympics, whether Summer, Winter, and Youth. Some datasets may include the Paralympics.
In addition to data on countries, sports, and athletes, this data tracks attendance, viewership, the economic impact on host countries, mascots and art, Olympic events, and historical events that impacted the Olympics, such as boycotts or terror attacks.
Official data come from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) itself, participating countries, and coaches. These organizations also collaborate with various professionals, such as economists and other researchers. Notably, the IOC collaborates with local and international law enforcement agencies, sharing data that helps curb crime. Of these initiatives, the Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) has become one of the most well known. This IT system uses data analysis in cooperation with various sports federations and law enforcement agencies to identify and punish unfair sporting behavior like match fixing.
The most common types of Olympics data concern players or teams and the participating countries divided by year, sport, and whether the event occurred during the Summer or the Winter Olympics.
Other attributes include doping data and historical data. Relevant historical data include events only relevant to the Olympics and wider events that impacted the Olympics. For example, comparisons of Russian and US Olympic gold medal wins should account for the US boycott of the Games in 1980 and the Russian boycott in 1984.
It may be helpful to note that the IOC differentiates between a sport and a discipline, such that a discipline is considered a subcategory of a sport. For example, synchronized swimming and the men’s 100 meter breaststroke are disciplines of the sport of swimming.
Additionally, as noted above, Olympics data may include information about illegal activity in the host country or about the economic impact of hosting the Olympics.
There are as many uses of this data as there are users. Fans use this data to make predictions about or place bets on outcomes, analyze the reasons behind a country’s standout performance in a sport it hasn’t previously excel in, and so on. Law enforcement agencies use IBIS to maintain sport integrity. Countries and travel agencies attract tourists and, hopefully, kickstart a trend of increased tourism in coming years. Coaches and athletes craft training plans and prepare for matches against rivals.
With the number of official sources publishing data, this accurate and consistent data is easy to acquire. Analysis, however, is more difficult. One solution is to supplement the data with either historical event data or IOC declarations. For example, future analyses of Russian Olympic athletic performance must account for the fact that the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned Russia from official representation at the Olympics for the next two years due to doping scandals—yet Russia will send athletes to represent themselves. Depending on the purpose of the dataset, these athletes may be included in Russian Olympics data.
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