Norway clinches 2019 Per Capita Cup

Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway came third in the men’s Beach Volleyball World Championships

Norway have made it a record five wins in the Per Capita Cup, claiming the mantle of world’s sportiest nation for the third year in succession (another record), in addition to their victories in 2010 and 2011.

The annual Per Capita ranking is obtained by dividing the population of any country with at least 10 top-eight placements in any GSN tournament by the country’s total GSN points earned in the year. In other words, it measures how sporty a nation is by calculating how many inhabitants are ‘needed’ to score one GSN point. The fewer the inhabitants needed, the sportier the nation.
In the 2019 Per Capita Cup, Norway set a new inhabitants-per-point record with 2,747, the previous record having been established by Jamaica in 2015 with 2,881. The fleet Jamaicans finished second in this year’s ranking, after a highly successful month of October courtesy of the Athletics World Championships, which left them only 788 inhabitants-per-point behind Norway at the end of the year. The narrowest winning gap was recorded in 2018, when Norway won by only 594 inhabitants-per-point over Croatia.
A few stats to sum up the 2019 performance of Norway, population 5.2 million:
- Winner Per Capita Cup
- 11th in the Global Cup
- Winner Per Capita Cup men (ahead of New Zealand)
- Runner-up Per Capita Cup women (behind Jamaica)
- Winner in Snow & Ice Sports
- Winner outright in four sports: Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing, Handball and Nordic Combined
- Second in Orienteering and third in Ski Jumping.
Norway’s 2019 result was mostly based on its Snow & Ice Sports performances, though not exclusively so: it scored points in 19 different sports in the course of the year, among them Football, Swimming, Archery, Beach Volleyball and Road Cycling.
Two other countries are worth a special mention among the top 10 sportiest nations of 2019:
the Netherlands, the only nation this year (and one of only two ever, the other being Australia in 2015, 2012 and 2008) to claim a top-10 finish in both the Per Capita Cup and the Global Cup, as it also did in 2018; 22.5% of the Netherlands’ 2019 points came from the women’s Football team, runner-up at the World Cup, but the sporty Dutch scored 100-points-plus in another six sports (out of 26 point-scoring sports altogether), among them Track Cycling, Speedskating, Athletics and Handball
Bahrain, the first-ever Asian nation in the Per Capita Cup top-10, thanks to their performances in Athletics, Marathon and Free Wrestling.
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