The 2012 Summer Olympic Games have come and gone, and congratulations to Great Britain for hosting the event so magnificently and for the outstanding performance of Team GB.
This reminded me of how well Australian athletes performed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, as did Greek athletes at the 2004 Athens Games, and Chinese athletes at Beijing in 2008.
I wondered: is the performance of the Summer Olympics host nation exceptional?
I began by gleaning medal counts (gold, silver, bronze and total) and rankings (number of gold then silver then bronze medals) for all host nations of all modern Summer Olympic games. I also included the 1906 Athens Intercalated Games. I found the data at Sports Reference and Wikipedia.
Then I created an interactive line chart visualization of this data using D3.js. You can use the interactive version of the visualization if you have a modern, standards-compliant browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, etc.) or you can try Chrome Frame (Internet Explorer).
Two types of interaction are possible:
+ transition between medal counts and rankings using the radio buttons
+ highlight host nation performance by mousing over lines or Olympiad labels on the x-axis