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Timo

Soviet breakup impact on men's FS medal numbers

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I have compared 2 time periods - 1960-1991 with 1993-2021 to estimate the impacts on medal counts for the former Soviet Union and Soviet bloc countries before and after the soviet union breakup.  It is an excel workbook with 2 pages and would print on 4 printed pages.  If you can't get excel and would like to look at, email me and I will paste it into Word or something else (timjoemcc@gmail.com).  The information is shown by country for both time frames with total medal count and gold medal count.  I found it pretty interesting to do but I am a nerd number type guy - not for everyone I know.  The several key messages are:

* The Soviet Union won 26% of all medals and 46% of gold medals in the 32 year period from 1960-1991.  The former Soviet Union won 47% of all medals and 53% of gold medals in the 29 year period from 1993-2021. Russia performed much better in acquiring gold medals than did the other 10 countries in the former FSU that won wrestling medals.

* The USA won 13% of all medals and 13% of gold medals in the 1960-1991 time frame.  The Soviet Union won 113 more medals than the US and 100 of them were gold during this period.  The USA won 11% of all medals and 16% of gold medals in the 1993-2021.  The US medal count dropped overall but the % of gold medals increased.  The US had 45 fewer gold medals than Russia and 85 fewer than FSU.

* As everyone knew, the breakup of the Soviet Union led to the FSU countries dramatically increasing their total and gold medal counts.

* I compared the Soviet Bloc countries to see what happened to them (Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia). Their total medal count went from 26% of all medals down to 6% after the Soviet breakup and the gold medal count went from 9% of all gold to 4% of all gold.  So the change was dramatic and the opposite of the countries in the FSU.  I had not realized this impact and don't know why it happened (eg. maybe the Soviet Union subsidized wrestling in these countries and the money dried up?, or ???).

* The combination of the Soviet Union + Soviet Bloc won 51% of total medals and  55% of gold medals before the Soviet breakup and 52% of all medals and 57% of gold medals after the breakup.  So the breakup of the Soviet Union made it harder for a non Soviet related someone to win a medal but not nearly as dramatic as when you look at the FSU numbers alone.

* One other detail, the average number of weight classes was 9.4 for the 1960-1991 period and 8.0 for the 1993-2021 period.  So the wrestling talent was more concentrated in the fewer weight classes in the post Soviet break up era (same number of wrestlers in ~85% of the weight classes).

* Wrestling medals increased for Cuba, India, and Iran after the Soviet break up (as measured by % of total medals won).  Turkey remained constant.  Every other significant wrestling country had their overall medal count drop after the Soviet break up - including the US which went from 13% to 11% of the total medal count as mentioned previously.  Japan had the biggest drop - they went from 9% of all medals to 3% of all medals.Soviet Breakup Info.xlsx

I can send anyone a list of all the wrestlers names, medals, weights, countries that I used if you want the next level of detail. Just email me if you are a glutton for data.

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20 minutes ago, Timo said:

 The Soviet Union won 26% of all medals and 46% of gold medals in the 32 year period from 1960-1991.  The former Soviet Union won 47% of all medals and 53% of gold medals in the 29 year period from 1993-2021. Russia performed much better in acquiring gold medals than did the other 10 countries in the former FSU that won wrestling medals.

This is dope. So, on average the old Soviet Union had two world-medal-level wrestlers at each weight class. At least two medalists bc I'm sure Russia and the Stans have several potential medalists stuck behind starters.

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17 hours ago, JasonBryant said:

Loss of weights at the lowest end impacted Asian nations considerably. Instead of medal contenders, those weights don’t exist anymore.

It's too bad they didn't add 50kg a few years ago. I remember discussion about it, but it never happened. 

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