What is it about?

Countries that host the Olympic Games tend to not win more medals than competitors when controlling for economic factors, findings that challenge the notion of the “host effect,” the widely-held belief that countries win more medals when they host the games

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Why is it important?

Nations bidding to host the Olympics claim having home advantage will help their athletes perform better and win more medals and previous research has indicated countries will typically win 1.8% more medals when they host the Summer Olympics, according to the report. When we adjusted for socioeconomic factors like GDP per capita and population size—which can benefit Olympic teams through better living standards for athletes and a larger talent pool—researchers found that the “host effect” was effectively neutralized for most countries.


Results suggest that countries bidding to host the Olympics should “be cautious about expecting to win more medals than usual,” and noted more research is needed into a wider range of Olympic Games to confirm their findings.

Professor Imre Ferto
Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences: Budapest

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This page is a summary of: The less obvious effect of hosting the Olympics on sporting performance, Scientific Reports, February 2023, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-27259-8.
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