HRD ranking & Rio Olympics


Sujit De

There is a close link between Human Development Index ranking and Olympics medal tallying with a few exceptions, which only proves the rule. We see that in Human Development Index, countries have been grouped in the category of Very High in Human Development (VHHD, Rank – 1 to 49), High in Human Development (HHD, Rank – 50 to 105), Medium in Human Development (MHD, Rank – 106 to 144) and Low in Human Development (LHD, Rank – 145 to 188). Now, if we look at the Roll of Honour at Rio Olympics, we will find that a country, which won at least 3 gold medals, got a place among the first 26 countries in the medal list. Of them, 17 (65 per cent) belong to VHHD group, 8 (32 per cent) to HHD group and only 1 (3 per cent) to MHD group. Moreover, among the first 26 countries, 15 have spectacular Human Development Index ranking from 2 to 27. Of the top ten, 8 countries are from VHHD group and 2 countries (3rd and 4th) from HHD group.
Mainly, the number of gold medals determines the ranking of gold medal winning countries at Olympics. Here, silver and bronze medals are only considered for ranking in case of a tie. A close study reveals that out of the total number of 300 gold medals which were at stake at Rio, as many as 196 (almost two third) went to the VHHD countries, 90 (nearly one third) to HHD countries, only 9 to MHD countries and a mere 5 to LHD countries. Indeed, a country with a high score in HDI can get higher in every field it wants to, including Olympics.
— Kolkata, India

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