John Hawksworth, head of macroeconomics at PwC, used a measure of GDP, population and previous medal hauls to come up with the figure, which is slightly down on the 28 medals won at Sydney 2000. It may even include previous Olympic gold medal winner Denise Lewis.
‘It is interesting how far you can explain past medal performance with this kind of model,’ said Hawksworth. ‘As you would expect, larger and wealthier countries do better, but the effects do not seem to be fully proportional: relative to their size, many smaller countries do very well.’
The PwC study also took into account whether a country was formerly a member of the Soviet bloc, because of the ‘high political importance given to sport in many of these countries’.
The financing of the British Olympic team has long been the subject of arguments. A spokesperson for the British Olympic Association said around £16m was raised over a four-year cycle to send athletes to both the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics and to run the BOA itself.
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