A government needs to invest an average of 40 million euros in order for the country to obtain the highest Olympic prize. That is how much said feat costs according to the calculations of researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), who are carrying out diverse studies in the area of Sport Economics.
In order to arrive at this result the researchers calculated the price with a model that measures the number of medals according to government expenditure in sport, along with other variables. "This model allows accurate measurement of how much extra expense is necessary to win each medal," the UC3M professors Juan de Dios Tena and Ramón J. Flores explained, who carried out this study within the Sports Economics Research Group, headed by professor David Forrest, of the University of Salford (England) and which also includes Ismael Sanz from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and Jaime Álvarez from Universidad Complutense of Madrid. "We have estimated the relation between this expenditure and Olympic success once relevant economic, political, and demographic variables are taken into account, such as the size of the country,” Tena pointed out. This study was presented at the workshop "The Economic of the Olympic Games" at Groningen in July of 2008, entitled "Can governments buy Olympic medals?" and at present is in the revision process for publication in a research journal.