Monday, August 13, 2012

The home advantage


The Olympics just got over and the US of A has got back to the top after having been relegated to second place by China at Beijing four years ago.  Given Great Britain's fantastic performance this year, I went back to look at the effect of home advantage through the Olympics and the numbers are quite clear.

Here are the performances of countries that have hosted the Olympics in the last few years.  Given below are the top locations by medal tally along with exceptions if any.  I am leaving out USA from the list here as they have been consistently good everywhere!

Location
Rank
Gold
Silver
Bronze
Total
Great Britain





London – 1908
1
56
51
38
145
London – 2012
3
29
17
19
65
Beijing – 2008
4
19
13
15
47
Antwerp – 1920
3
16
15
13
44
Stockholm - 1912
3
10
15
16
41
London - 1948
12
3
16
6
23
Exception






China





Beijing – 2008
1
51
21
27
99
London – 2012
2
38
27
23
88
Athens – 2004
2
32
17
14
63
Sydney – 2000
3
28
16
15
59
Barcelona – 1992
4
16
22
16
54






Greece





Athens – 1896
2
10
17
19
46
Athens – 2004
15
6
6
4
16
Sydney – 2000
17
4
6
3
13
Atlanta – 1996
16
4
4
0
8






Australia





Sydney – 2000
4
16
25
17
58
Athens – 2004
4
17
16
16
49
Beijing – 2008
6
14
15
17
46
Atlanta 1996
7
9
9
23
41
Melbourne – 1956
3
13
8
14
35






Spain





Barcelona – 1992
6
13
7
2
22
Athens – 2004
20
3
11
5
19
Beijing – 2008
14
5
10
3
18
Atlanta – 1996
13
5
6
6
17
London - 2012
21
3
10
4
17


As you can see, the best performances by most of these countries are on their home soil. If you were to discount the positive effects of hosting the Olympics on the performance in subsequent years, then the home advantage is even more striking.  This effect is seen for India as well if we look at the Asian games results.

Where does this home advantage come from?  Is it because of crowd support, familiar surroundings, biased umpiring/judging or something else altogether?

As this is largely a technical blog, I will try and make a connection here, however tenuous it may be.

As an Indian entrepreneur, do you believe that you have a home (dis)advantage when it comes to running tech businesses, especially startups trying to find a market within India.

Let me know what you think.