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Were they worth it? Sailing medal costs compared

As sailing in the UK declines, Sports Management magazine reveals that the British Sailing team was beaten into second place by the British Hockey team in the cost of its Olympic medals.

With an average calculated cost at £4.29m per Team GB Olympic medal, Hockey romped home at £16.1m for the women's team gold medal.

Sailing came a solid second at £8.5m for each of their three medals, two golds and a silver.

Hockey of course had only two chances of winning a medal (men/women's teams) and so their gold was a 50% result.

Sailing had the chance to win ten medals, so managed a 30% result for the £25.5m investment.

At the 2012 London Games the GBR sailing team won five medals, a 50% result.

Obviously needing to improve, sailing has already sent a squad to Japan, the next Olympic host, to test the waters.

Sports Management magazine names Shooting as the most cost effective of all sports, delivering two bronze medals at a bargain of £1.98m each.

In total, UK Sport invested a record £274,465,541 in Olympic sport and £72,786,652 in the Paralympic disciplines.

Since the involvement of Lottery funding British Olympic medal performance has soared.

The Olympics are a great feel-good event, but could the £345 million have been better spent on improving the facilities and opportunities of sport for everyone, rather than concentrated on the top few performers?

Average cost of a GBR medal at Rio for each sport

- Hockey £16,141,393
- Sailing £8,501,351
- Judo £7,366,200
- Rowing £6,524,572
- Equestrian £5,997,620
- Badminton £5,737,524
- Canoeing £5,010,904
- Boxing £4,588,145
- Athletics £3,832,029
- Swimming £3,465,971
- Taekwondo £2,684,612
- Cycling £2,522,318
- Triathlon £2,485,992
- Diving £2,489,286
- Gymnastics £2,087,918
- Shooting £1,975,444

To read the full analysis by Tom Walker, click here for the October issue of Sports Management.

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