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David Mitchell

Olympic Data in Wolfram|Alpha: Let the Games Begin

January 27, 2010 —
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Since Wolfram|Alpha first launched, we’ve received countless queries about Olympic Games and medalists. The countdown has begun to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, February 12–28, and we are pleased to announce that we’ve added comprehensive Olympic data to Wolfram|Alpha. It can now answer dozens of different types of queries about every medalist and event from past Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

Let’s start with something basic: “Olympic medalists from France”.  The results lead off with a summary and plots of medals won by French medalists in each Olympic Games—all the way back to the first modern games in 1896. The last pod lets you dig further into the data, showing complete, detailed results by sport and event.

Data for Olympic medalists from France

If you are interested only in a particular sport, you’ll be excited to see the results for a query like “Olympic swimming” Here we show ranked medal totals for every country that ever won an Olympic medal in any swimming event, plus details on individual medalists and results for each Olympic Games.

Wolfram|Alpha displays Olympic data for swimming

But these are the kind of simple questions that other sites can already answer without much difficulty. Things start to get much more “computable” when you try complex queries, like “how many olympic gold medals did canada win in 1988“; you can find this information in other Olympics references, but in most cases you’ll have to wade through several levels of links and menus to locate it.

Wolfram|Alpha highlights the number of Olympic gold medals won by Canada in 1988

Or if you can’t remember what events Michael Phelps won bronze medals for, Wolfram|Alpha can help jog your memory.

Wolfram|Alpha calls up the swimming events won by Michael Phelps

We’ve also been working on building more connections within Wolfram|Alpha, so our new Olympic results are also linked to biographical information on individuals: ask Wolfram|Alpha “who is allen iverson” and you’ll not only get basic biographical details, but also see that he was a member of the 2004 bronze-medal-winning U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team.

Biographical information for Alan Iverson

While we can’t predict the future, we can at least handle queries like “where will the 2016 olympics take place?”

Host city of the 2016 Olympic Games

As we count down to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, we invite you to explore Olympic history with Wolfram|Alpha.


Can you compare two countries? i wasn’t able to get that to work such as in trying Olympics medalists from france vs. olympic medalists from china. Thanks

Posted by Ryan January 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Ryan,
    Comparing Olympic medals for two countries are not available at this time. We have passed your suggestion along to our development team.
    Thank you!

    Posted by The PR Team January 28, 2010 at 10:15 am

W00t! This was one of the first thing I beta-tested for. I feel so awesome.

Posted by BlockJuice January 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    This is the coolest thing ever!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Mitchell Siegel January 28, 2010 at 10:27 am

This really is awesome!

How can I compute the limit of the result on 100m? ^^

Posted by cryptix January 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Who holds the mens 100 meter world record ?
100 meter record ?

We are excitedly waiting

Posted by Matematik Ö?retmeni January 29, 2010 at 9:31 am

Great work. I support this suggestion that W|A be extended to include Olympic RECORDS as well as medallists.
Then you could start on World records…

Posted by AdamT January 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I wonder what we will see in Olympic game this year, it is amazing, love to be there.

Posted by alisveris February 16, 2010 at 3:08 am

Really cool but i wonder is it possible to get something like:
olympic medals per polpulation ?

Posted by Michael February 21, 2010 at 9:19 am

its very nice and amazing project.

Posted by konteyner February 3, 2011 at 9:10 am