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Winning An Olympic Gold Medal Hasn’t Been This Difficult Since 1896

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Global Olympic gold medals per capita are at their lowest point since the first modern Olympics in 1896.

There are 306 events at the Olympics this summer, with one gold medal per event.1 There are more than 7.3 billion people worldwide. That’s fewer than 42 events for every billion people, and that ratio has been declining since the 2000 Sydney Games, when the Olympics grew to 300 events, up 11 percent from 1996 and 48 percent higher than in 1980.

In 2002, an International Olympic Committee report warned that the games were growing too big. “Today, the Olympic Movement must contend with the reality that more sports want to participate in the Olympic Games, more athletes want to compete in the Olympic Games, more people want to attend the Olympic Games, and more media want to cover the Olympic Games,” the report said. As a result, the cost of hosting the games was increasing and some countries were being left out of the running in bids to serve as host, according to the report. – READ MORE

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