2016 Olympics Dashboard – Explore Rio Olympics data in Excel

2016 Olympics - Excel Dashboard

The purpose of this 2016 Olympics Dashboard is to create an interactive tool to access and explore results of the recently concluded Rio Olympics (link to Wikipedia).   This was the first Olympics that I watched with my son and so it’s very special to me. 🙂

Another important objective is to openly share the data on the results with the users in a consumable format so that others can use the data for various analyses. I will share more about my challenges in data collection later in this post.

2016 Olympics - Excel Dashboard - Olympic View
2016 Olympics – Excel Dashboard – Olympic View


As with any such dataset which spans a variety of data elements, the possibilities are endless. (My attempt to capture Cricket World Cup 2015 in Excel Dashboard) I decided to approach the Olympics data set in the following dimensions.

  1. Olympic View
    • Which countries won the most medals overall in 2016 Olympics?
    • Who are the top athletes and how many medals did they win?
    • Which sports contributed to most medals?
  2. Country View
    • In which sports did a country win the most medals?
    • Who are the top athletes in a country and how many medals did they win?
    • Which sports were dominated by the country?
  3. Sports View
    • Which countries won the most medals in a Sport?
    • Who are the top athletes in a Sport and how many medals did they win?
    • Which countries are most dependent on the Sport for their medals?
  4. Event Results
    1. Who won the medals in a specific event in Rio Olympics?

Having access to such rich data, while still keeping the tool simple and compact was a challenge. I ended up with a one-page compact dashboard which allows the user to switch between 3 views (Olympic View, Country View and Sports View).

Key Features of 2016 Olympics Dashboard


Now, let’s see how the dashboard works. If you prefer the video, please watch this video demo. If you prefer text and screenshots, please continue reading.


At the top of the Dashboard, we choose one of the three views. Let’s start with Olympic View.

Olympic View

2016 Olympics Dashboard – Olympics View Summary

There were 306 events that awarded 307 Gold, 307 Silver and 360 Bronze medals – totaling to 974 medals.

Top Countries with Overall Medal Count in Rio Olympics

In total, 87 countries won at least one medal and the top countries are displayed along with their rank, flag, number of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. You can scroll using the scroll bar to see the next set of countries. The Ranking method used is Total, where Total medal count is given the most importance. So, China is ranked #2 based on its higher medal count of 70 compare to 67 from Great Britain.  (Reference: 2016 Olympics Medal Tally  in Wikipedia)

We have an option to choose the Ranking Method of Gold to rank countries based on Gold-Silver-Bronze medal count and ignoring Total medal count.

Ranking Method for ranking Countries and Athletes
Top Countries with Medal tally – Ranking based on Gold medal counts

Now, China moves to 3rd, as it has only 26 Gold medals compared to Great Britain’s 27.

Let’s get back to the Total ranking method and view the next table.

Olympic View – Top Athletes – Ranking Method based on Total medal count

When we look from the athletes’ perspective, there were 1859 athletes who received at least one medal and totally 2026 medals were given to all athletes. You can use the scroll bar to view more athletes. (Reference: Medal Count by Athletes)

We have to remember here that this athlete level medal count will not match the country level medal count. For example, a Swimming 4 X 100 Relay team that won the Gold medal will count as 1 medal for its Country, but each of the 4 swimmers of that team will individually receive a Gold Medal – counting as 4 medals in total.

Usain Bolt doesn’t appear in the top 5 athletes based on the total medal count. If we switch the ranking method to Gold, then, he comes at #5 as he has 3 Gold medals. (4 athletes including Usain) have 3 Gold medals.

Olympic View – Top Athletes – Ranking Method based on Gold medal count

The chart below shows which sports contribute to most medals.

% of Total Medals by Sport

Athletics and Swimming add up to about quarter of all medals.

Country View

Let’s switch to Country View.

Choose Country from drop down list to refresh dashboard

I have chosen United States, as the country with most medals.

Country View – United States – Total Medal Count, Gold, Silver and Bronze

The top section updates to show the number of events where United States has won at least one medal, along with Gold, Silver, Bronze and Total medal counts. Flag appears as well.

Country View – United States – Medal Count, Gold, Silver and Bronze for each Sport

This table above helps us understand which Sports United States got its medals from.

Country View – United States – Top Athletes – Medal Count, Gold, Silver and Bronze

212 Athletes received at least one medal and we can see the top 5 medal winners including Michael Phelps. The medals won by the athlete are shown using the circles of corresponding color (Gold/Silver/Bronze).

The next chart is very interesting to me. I was curious to know which sports were dominated by a country.

Country View – Sports Dominated by United States in Medal Count

We see that of all medals in Swimming, 34% is won by United States. 23% of Athletics medals is won by United States.

Sport View

We can switch to Sport View and then choose a Sport from the drop down list.

Sport View – Choose Sport from Drop down

I have chosen Athletics here.

Sports View – Athletics – Dashboard Summary
Sports View – Top Countries with Medal Tally in Athletics Sport – 2016 Olympics
Sports View – Top Athletes with Medal Tally in Athletics Sport – 2016 Olympics

Another angle in which we can view is the dependency of a country on a specific Sport.

Sports View – Countries that depend on Atheltics for their Medal Tally

For Athletics, we see a lot of countries receiving all their medals (granted, there could be just one medal and 1 out of 1 is 100%) from Athletics alone. Let’s take Swimming as an example.

Sports View – Countries that depend on Swimming for their Medal Tally

Singapore received 100% of its medals from Swimming (Singapore’s Gold medal), while USA received 27% of its medals from Swimming.

Event Results

In the bottom right of the Dashboard, we can view any event’s results. The drop down list is dependent on which Sport you have selected at the top of the dashboard. In this example below, we have selected Badminton as Sport.

Choose Event for Results – Badminton- Women Singles – Normal Results – Drop Down

We can view the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners – Flag, Country and Athlete name. The above results are in the usually expected format. Sometimes we see ties and here are some examples.

3 Silver medal winners and no Bronze winners in Men’s 100m Butterfly Swimming

3 Silver medal winners and no Bronze winners in Men’s 100m Butterfly Swimming

2 Bronze winners in Women’s 100 m Backstroke in Swimming

Event Results – Swimming – Women 100m Backstroke- 2 Bronze Medals

2 Gold medal winners and no Silver medal in Women’s 100 m Freestyle in Swimming

Event Results – Swimming – Women 100m Freestyle – 2 Gold Medals

Data Collection

The collection of data for this Dashboard was a huge challenge. When I started looking at 2016 Olympics’ results, I found cleaner data on events’ results in the official Rio Olympics site. There are some minor issues with events where there are 2 Bronze winners (Example: Judo, Taekwondo), but that was manageable.

After compiling the event results, I needed the data on Athlete medals. For example, a Swimming 4 X 100 Relay event will list United States as the Gold medal winner, instead of the swimmers’ names. But I need each of the swimmers’ names so that I can count their individual Gold Medals. This count is important as Michael Phelps needs to be assigned that medal. Otherwise, his medal count will be incorrect.

Unfortunately, the official Rio Olympics site does not have this data in an easily exportable format. I went back to Wikipedia (for 2016 Olympics) to see if they have better data structure. They did, but I couldn’t use it. It wouldn’t be so much fun if everything was so easy. 🙂

Wikipedia lists Athlete names differently (First name first) compared to Olympics’ site (Last name first). Without going further in detail on my challenges with data collection, it should be obvious already that the data collection was very painful. I had to finally collect the data by few different ways (copy/paste from web page, PDF, etc.) – 99% from the Rio site and rest from Wikipedia.

I want to make this data easily accessible for anyone looking to use it. You can unhide the hidden sheets 1) 2016_Events_Results – which has the results of 306 events (one row for each event) and 2) 2016_Athletes_Medals – all the 2026 medals received by athletes.

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I would like to place 2 requests to you.

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