Trying to make sense of nonsense

Dutch Dominance & Sankey Diagrams

I haven’t been writing a lot lately – partly because I have been busy finishing up my PhD thesis, partly because writing said thesis has drained all the joy from writing for me (hopefully temporarily). So instead, I’ve been tinkering with data and graphs, which led me to discover Sankey Diagrams earlier this week. They’re pretty neat, and easy to put together in Excel with the spreadsheet over on Excel Liberation. Unfortunately, they use some Javascript that WordPress blogs don’t allow, so for now, I’ve just taken some screen shots of the diagrams I’ve been putting together.

If you’ve been following the Olympics in Sochi a bit (like I have), you might have seen the occasional person in orange fly by. Us Dutchies are not particularly well equipped when it comes to the winter Olympics, but we usually win a couple of medals in our favourite sport: long track ice speed skating. Sure, we’ll lose out on the occasional medal because some American inline skater decided their sport wasn’t going to turn Olympic any time soon, but we win our fair share. Until Sochi.

With our previous record being a total of 11 medals at the Nagano winter games in 1998 (all speed skating), the aim for the 2014 Games was to win about 9 medals. We’ve won a spectacular 22 so far, all but one in our favourite sport: speed skating (and the one not in speed skating, we won in short track speed skating). We’ve done so well, we’ve won almost 75% of speed skating medals:

Olympic medals - long track speedskating

Sochi Olympic medals in long track speedskating

We’re doing so well, that we’ve even managed to make it to the top 10 of the overall medal table*:

Sochi overall medal table

Overall Sochi medal table as of 19/02 showing medals won by each country, and sports they won them for (this was supposed to be a fancy Javascript enabled graph that would allow you to hover over the lines to see where they’re going, but alas, WordPress doesn’t allow Js scripts).

As a small country (we like to emphasise that we’re small when we lose, and even more when we win), we’re doing pretty well for ourselves. So you might think our skaters would be happy with their medals. Well not all of them (prepare for Tumblr style end of post).

Disappointed Dutch Olympic silver medallists:

Ireen Wüst – didn’t manage to defend her 1,500 meter gold medal she won in Vancouver (though she has won a gold medal on the 3km, and two more silver medals on the 1,000 meters and 5km) – Picture by de Volkskrant

Sven Kramer (left) – did not win his favourite distance: the 10km. In Vancouver, he missed the gold medal after being disqualified for forgetting to change lanes. Won a further gold medal on the 5km (picture by het Parool).

Jan Smeekens – was 0.012 seconds removed from an Olympic Gold medal (picture by schaatsupdate.nl)

Koen Verweij – 0.003 seconds short of an Olympic gold medal on the 1,500 meters (picture by schaatsen.nl)

*As of 19/02 – will update results at the end of the games


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