Determinants of National Sporting Performance : Indicators from the Summer Olympics

Countries can affect their international performance based on the resources that are committed to elite sports along with specialization in the sports in which they are more competitive. But, how should resources be allocated between elite sports and sports at the national level? These decisions go beyond economics and competitiveness issues and involve broader national priorities.

  What determines national competitiveness in international sports?
The question has generated increasing interest over the past 15 years or so. It has a special resonance in Jamaica, given the success of our athletes in international competition, a performance that reached phenomenal heights in the 2008 Summer olympics in Beijing. In a perfect world, the development of indices based on all sports competitions between nations over a number of years should provide us with the answer; however, the extent of data collection requirements and the resulting gaps make such an enterprise unmanageable. Fortunately, the Summer Olympics held every four years since 1896 (except during the two world wars)—hence 26 competitions—can be considered a reliable proxy. Moreover, it includes a wide range of sports, has been conducted under controlled conditions and has fairly detailed, readily available data.

Subscribe here for access to Full text articles.

Google Videos Like This