2016 Olympic Medal Count Predictions: GMM presented by SwimOutlet.com

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com

The Olympic Medal Count, by countries, matters. It is a measuring stick of success, a reflection of a nation’s swimming governance, health and performance. Since 2004, Team USA has had the golden bullet,  Michael Phelpsand he’s back for his 5th Olympic Games–like a one-man Fast and Furious franchise. However, this time, he’s focused on fewer events, 100-200 fly, 200 IM, and the 400 medley relay. Will he swim on the freestyle relays? Who knows? But after studying the team medal count over past Olympic Games… Phelps matters.

In 2004, Phelps contributed 8 medals to Team USA’s 28 total medals.

In 2008, Phelps pushed 8 gold medals into the Team USA column for their total of 31.

In 2012, Phelps helped Team USA with 6 medals, contributing to their tally of 31 again

Over the last three Olympics Phelps’ 22 Olympic medals makeup 24% of the total medal count.

On the Team USA men’s side, new talent is rising, like Ryan Murphy, Caeleb Dressel and Townley Haas. Conversely, established stars, like Matt Grevers and Tyler Clary, didn’t make the team. And Ryan Lochte, who contributed 5 medals in 2012, is in just two events in Rio, the 200 IM and the 4×200 free relay. Then there’s Nathan Adrian, quiet, dependable, the defending Olympic Champ in the 100 freestyle…but he’s facing intense competition globally, and specifically from the Aussie Physicist, The Professor, Cameron McEvoy.

On the women’s side, Missy Franklin struggled at US Trials, but secured a respectable schedule of 3 events, 200 free, 4×200 free relay, 200 back. In 2012 she contributed 4 medals. In 2016, she’s got a fight on her hands to contribute two, with the 4×200 free relay being a solid podium performance. Then there’s Katie Ledecky, racing the 200, 400, 800 free and the 4×200 relay. 4 medals is an easy bet (3 more than she contributed in 2012) and 3 medals is a lock.

In sum, Team USA heads to Rio with a fight on their hands.  In past Olympics they’ve been in the same situation, 1992 and 1996, and performed well.


I got some help from our friends, the swimNERDs at Swimulator. The data? It’s magical and proprietary…but they’ll reveal some of the metrics as we near the Olympic Games, (and Swimulator will be generating a lot of data for us heading into Rio.)

By country, these are individual medal predictions and do not account for relays, and the predictions are not rounded up or down.

Team USA Men and Women – 17.3 medals

That’s a tough number. Not good. I’d pepper in 6 relay medals to bring the total to 23.3. Would you add 6 medals, or 5 medals?  

17.3 would be the lowest since 1988, when Team USA won 18 total medals. In my opinion, Team USA in Rio is really competing against itself historical. It’s on them to make their mark in history.

2nd – Australia comes in at 12.5 (without relays)

3rd – Japan lands 6.6 medals (not accounting for relays)

4th – Hungry at 5.3 medals (again, no relay factored in)

5th – Great Britain at 5.2 medals

These are our predictions. We’ll dive deeper into the metrics as we near Rio and with a longer list, going through the top 20 nations’ medal count predictions.

But who cares what we think. What do you think?

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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bobo gigi

Don’t forget that the medal table is based on gold medals. And I see around 7 or 8 gold medals for the US team in Rio compared to the impressive 16 in 2012.

Zika Ziki

I see around 10 golds:
men: 100 fly, 200 IM, 200 breast, 4×200 free, 4×100 medley
women: 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, 100 breast, 4×200 free

We will see who’s better in reading the crystal ball in 3 weeks time 🙂


I would almost agree.. but 5 of these medals are tough to nail as a sure call.. all men individual and women 200 free/100 breast (the later one especially). But I would add the men 100 back as a possibility.. so anything up from 5 to 11 is possible.. I would bet on 8 (Phelps winning both you predict but Koch winning 200 Breast and Ruta winning the 100 breast)

Zika Ziki

You are right. I listed the events only as guidance, but I do believe USA will win around 10 golds regardless of which events they are won.


I think the US has a legitimate shot in the men’s 100 back, 200 back, and 200 fly. I think they have a praying chance in the 4×100 free relay. I think the US women have a legitimate shot in the 4×100 medley relay. I’d really like to see Vollmer win the 100 fly. Less likely, I’d also really like to see Missy surprise us all and win the 200 back. Some of the events listed above are much less than a sure thing. I’m going to say the US wins about 12-14 golds.


all the events you mentioned are tight actually..
100 and 200 back, Mitch Larkin vs Ryan Murphy 😀
200 fly, Phelps vs Cseh and Le Clos
4 x 100 free relay, USA,Australia, France and Russia
Yup I agree, they have a praying chance, depends on how fast Cameron McEvoy can be lol
For US women, I think so they have a shot in 4 x 100 medley relay but they have to lead at least 1 second for the final leg, probably is Abbey Weitzeil who swims around 53.3 in freestyle, battling Cate Campbell – who can swim around 52 seconds lol


Like ive said many times the 4 x 1 Im relay for the ladies all comes down to how fast Georgia Bohl swims for OZ
If she does a low 1:06 or faster…the race is over
Back – Seebohm leads handily – Breast The US draw level or slightly lead – Fly – McKeon will match the US – And down to the Free – Campbell hasn’t been behind in any race of late …So who knows how fast she can swim from behind if Aus are actually trailing. But id suggest the US will need every bit of that 1 sec lead


For the men side I agree but I still have doubts of Phelps and Lochte competing Hagino in 200 IM, That would be very tight and close match lol
For women I would say Ledecky is highly favourite but can’t miss Sarah Sjostrom.. she is a breast too lol
And 100 breast, Lily King will be closed to Efimova and meilutyte, so it’s hard to tell usa can win gold at this event 😀
Oh one more thing, I think they can get 4×100 medley too but the anchor leg – Cate Campbell can swim around 52 seconds in the last leg freestyle.. it will be very close too lol


Possible chances for gold in the men’s 50, 100 and 200 free, 100 and 200 fly, 100 and 200 back, 200 breast, both IMs, 4×2 free and medley relay, women’s 200, 400 and 800 free, 4×2 free, medley relay, 100 breast, 200 back. That is a total of 19. if the us team has a bad meet they win 1/3 of that for 6 golds. If the us team has a great meet they win 2/3 of those for 13 golds. Somewhere in the middle is more likely 9-10. as far as total medals the us can medal in every event except the women’s freestyle sprints and 200 breast probably 40 chances in sll events including relays. With a bad… Read more »


Why do I see your comments get so many dislikes even though ou’re leaving a positive comment? XD

80,84 olympic team member

Just wondering what will happen when the Chinese show up in Rio? No mention of them here. Don’t they come out of the woodwork every four years?


I would not be surprised if they put something unexpected on women 4×200 free and 4×100 medley..

Zika Ziki

I’d put money on at least one of their women 200 flyers to medal.


No chinese woman can catch ledecky as the anchor on that relay .


They are likely to excel in the 4 x 200m Free for women……..Neck & neck with the US

Jim C

Do you mean neck and neck in the sense that the Chinese anchor will be close enough to see Katie Ledecky’s heels? That will depend upon how good the Chinese anchor’s vision is.


That would be almost as mediocre as last summer (when the us won 14 individual medals in the corresponding Olympic events) and we considered that on this board to be very disappointing. It is true that the us is competing against itself and its past success in olympic swimming for the last 60 yrs. it is true that there are no gold medal locks this time like Lochte in the 400 IM or Soni in the 200 breast were in London. It is going to be up to the athletes to perform at a very high level and make this prediction seem low ball.


The World has caught up to our training and identifying swimmers at an earlier age, it seems. Plus, it does not hurt that we have great coaches that are able to contribute to the globalization of training.

Attila the Hunt

There is no gold medal locks this time?

Have you not heard of Katie Ledecky?

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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