A forecast of the performance of China in the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 and the underlying performance management issues

SHIBLI, Simon and BINGHAM, Jerry (2008). A forecast of the performance of China in the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 and the underlying performance management issues. Managing Leisure, 13 (3-4), 272-292.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13606710802200977
Link to published version:: 10.1080/13606710802200977

Abstract

This paper is concerned with making a forecast of the number of gold medals that China will win as host nation at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Historical data reveal that China's achievement in the Olympic Games has shown considerable improvement by all commonly used performance measures. However, China's success is heavily dependent upon four key sports and the performance of its women athletes who significantly outperform their male counterparts. A review of previous research reveals that reliance on population and gross domestic product as predictors of Olympic success underestimated the performance in Athens 2004 of some nations taking a strategic approach to elite sport development. For these nations, regressing gold medals won over time produced more accurate predictions of actual gold medals won in 2004 than a multivariate regression based on macro-economic variables. Based on our analysis, we forecast that China will win 46 gold medals in Beijing 2008. In making our forecast, we sound a note of caution that in some sports China has little room for improvement and in others with high number of medals available, notably athletics and swimming, there is no current evidence of China developing significant gold medal winning capability. However, China's ambitions are underpinned by strong central government support, the extensive use of performance management principles, and seemingly little concern for the issue of value for money. Under these conditions, China's approach to developing medal winning capability suggests that the strategies of priority and diversity are not mutually exclusive. For nations which have stated ambitions about the level of success they wish to achieve in the future, the principles raised in this case study of China are equally applicable.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sport Industry Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1080/13606710802200977
Depositing User: Rebecca Jones
Date Deposited: 15 May 2012 12:44
Last Modified: 15 May 2012 12:44
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5049

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