Rough cost of the Olympics – £9bn, US national debt – $15.8tn, Quantitative easing – £375bn. These numbers blow my mind. I know they’re big but I don’t really have a concept of how big. So I thought I’d try and put them into some context. I took a look at the national debt of the Euro’s peripheral countries and calculated how many gold medals each country would need to win to pay off their debts.
Of the 412 grams that a London 2012 gold medal weighs roughly 6 grams are gold, 381 are silver and the remaining 25 copper. Giving a market price today of about $700.
Below is a table of how many gold medals each country would have to win to get themselves out of the red:
|Gold medals needed|
That works out to each member of the population needing to win the following:
|Gold medals needed per person|
That there are only 302 possible medal events in the entire competition makes this pretty depressing reading for our European friends, especially given where they are sitting the medals table (as I type). If it makes you feel any better every US citizen would have to win 73 gold medals to get them out of their hole.