Doug Segal or our fingers: who's the better Olympic predictor?
Andrew Mickel2 August 2012
Tonight at the Gilded Balloon's Fringe opening party, mind reader ('mind reader') Doug Segal will predict who the top three medal winning countries will be at the Olympic Games, as well as guessing how many medals they will get.
How hard can this mind reading business be? We decided to put it to the test and make a few predictions of our own. We'll stack them up against Doug's on the 13th August, and then we'll see who the real mind reader ('mind reader') is. We'll see. WE'LL SEE.
First of all, we need some countries. This is Anna. She represents America as she's just moved back from New York.
I'll take Russia, as I have the clearest liver damage around my eyes.
This is America on the phone to China. China forgot she was supposed to be coming this.
SO BASICALLY this is how it is going to work: each of the three countries (it's almost certainly going to be America, China and Russia, so we've just gone with them) get to pick a handful of tiny medals out of our official Olympic chalice, like the finale of a finger-based episode of the Crystal Maze. That represents each country's medal haul.
There are 200 medals in the cup to pick from, which means cutting up 200 little squares of paper.
200 little squares of paper that need colouring in. (This was about the point that we realised cutting up coloured paper would have been faster.)
We have an OFFICIAL EAST LONDON cup to serve as our Olympic chalice from which to draw our medal predictions. An official cup for supporting social work in Hackney, but still: close enough.
So, first up, Russia...
Which comes up with a reasonable count of 35 gold, 25 silver and 27 bronze, totalling 87 medals.
Next up is America, who brings the humble attitude that made Team USA such a welcome presence at the opening ceremony.
America's failing educational standards impede their count...
But they end up – soberly – with 31 gold, 29 silver, 37 bronze. That's 97 medals in total.
And as a stand-in for China, Phil, from the table next to us. Why are you most like China, Phil? “Because I really like the colour red.” Excellent.
It's an impressive haul for China, achieved with a unique 'pick up and turn out some medals into the hand' technique that has made the country the industrial powerhouse we know and love.
It's a potent technique, as shown by our scoretable held by a triumphant, definitely-engrossed-in-what-we're-doing China:
Although we realised soon after that our shoddy grasp of maths was wrong and they'd actually won 104 medals, not the 109 shown above. So, the finals results are:
China: 104 medals (45 gold, 37 silver, 22 bronze)
USA: 97 medals (31 gold, 29 silver, 37 bronze)
Russia: 87 medals (35 gold, 25 silver, 27 bronze)
Doug, we've made our predictions. Now it's over to you...
Doug Segal will be doing some mind reading ('mind reading') at the Gilded Balloon Teviot, 2-27 August, 19:00. Get tickets here.
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