Grenada lies in the South Eastern Caribbean and is known as the “Island of Spice”. It is one of the largest producers of nutmeg and mace, an impressive achievement given that the country has a landmass of 344 square kilometer, a population of 110,000 and GDP of 816 million dollars.
Even more impressive is Grenada’s showing in the London Olympics. While they have won a solitary gold (400 meters, men) they are popping up at the top of every table that statisticians have contrived to make sense of the medals tally at the Olympics.
Whichever the data is diced – medals per trillion dollars of GDP or by per capita GDP or by population – Grenada comes out a winner. China’s eye-popping performance loses luster once the medals tally is normalized for GDP and population. They don’t make it to the top 10 on any list.
As to India, no amount of mathematical jugglery can explain why a fifth of humanity gets only one silver medal and three bronzes. Most of my Indian friends attribute the performance to our politicians and our system, though quite what the Congress or the BJP or our messy democracy has to do with running faster or jumping higher beats me.