What is the most important element to win the Winter Olympic Games? The actual ability of the athletes to compete, the weather conditions (enough snow), or the economic development of the country the athlete comes from?
There have been about thirty studies looking at the summer games, but there are very few economic models for the winter games. Just before the Sochi games, a study by Madeleine Andreff and Wladimir Andreff has been released to guess number of medals to be won by American athletes.
Below, we present a simple chart comparing number of medals each country won since 1896 until 2014 at the Winter Olympic Games with the economic development of each country measured by GDP per capita.
Snow matters, but it's the economics, dude...