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LONDON 2012 Olympics

INTRODUCTION

The 2012 summer Olympic games in London in the United Kingdom were the 30th summer Olympics. It was the 3rd to be held in London, with the city previously hosting the games in 1908 and 1948. The games were held between 27th July and 12th August. There were 302 events in 26 sports. This page looks at the regional distribution of Olympic medallists in different sports in the 2012 Olympic games. 

Charts

1. Medals by Region and Sport at 2012 Olympics

2. Gold Medals by World Region at 2012 Olympics (%)

3. Gold Medals for Athletics by Region at 2012 Olympics

4. Gold Medals for Swimming by Region at 2012 Olympics

5. Gold Medals for Wrestling by Region at 2012 Olympics

6. Gold Medals for Gymnastics by Region at 2012 Olympics

7. Gold Medals for Cycling by Region at 2012 Olympics

8. Gold Medals for Boxing by Region at 2012 Olympics

The chart above shows the total number of medals for each of the major sports in the games. There is a huge variation in the number of medals awarded for each sport with Athletics having by far the most events and medals. Some sports tend to be dominated by one or two few regions while others have a more widespread distribution of medals. For example, Equestrian is dominated by western Europe. This is because it is an elitist sport which costs a lot to participate in. On the other hand, Athletics is much more accessible to participants from developing countries. This explains why Sub-Saharan Africa has more medallists than western Europe.

The opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics were held in the Olympic Stadium which was the venue for the Athletics events.

The United States topped the Olympic medal table as they usually do with 47 gold medals. China came second with 39 gold medals. The host nation, Great Britain, won 29 gold medals. This was far more than any other western European country. 

Athletics gold medals were more widely distributed compared to many other sports. There were 3 gold medal winners from the Arab world which was a record for the region. Sub-Saharan African gold medallists dropped to 7 gold medal winners from a high of 11 gold medallists in 2008. This was partly due to the success of Somalian born British runner Mo Farah in the 5,000 and 10,000 metre events which are traditionally dominated by Ethiopians and Kenyans. 8 Caribbean athletes won gold just as in 2008 and most were from Jamaica, notably Usain Bolt.

The United States tends to dominate swimming at the Olympics and 2012 was no different with the US swimmers winning 16 of the 34 gold medals. 

The Swimming 10k marathon was held in the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park. It was won by Tunisian swimmer 

Oussama Mellouli. 

There were 18 wrestling events at the 2012 Olympics, divided into 7 Greco-Roman and 11 Freestyle events. Wrestling is overwhelmingly dominated by non-western countries with the countries of the former Soviet Union doing especially well. Japan is also a strong performer with 4 gold medals, all in the freestyle events. This comes from the Sumo wrestling tradition in Japan. Middle Eastern countries, particularly Iran, do much better in this sport than in any other in the Olympics. Iran won 3 gold medals, all in the Greco-Roman events. 

Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu of Japan defeated Sushil Kumar of India in the 66kg Freestyle event to win the gold medal. He was one of four Japanese wrestling gold medallists in 2012. 

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