Posted by: ownthepodium | February 3, 2010

‘Conversion Rates’

There was discussion with the media yesterday about ‘conversion rates’ relating to Canadian athlete performances. This topic can be confusing. One of the requirements in improving Canadian team performance is converting initial success at World Cup or similar events to podium success at the ‘big’ event. So, to establish some way of measuring ‘conversion’, OTP identifies athletes who have achieved two top 5 performances in World Cup events, and then looks to see if they are on the podium at a World Championship or Olympic Games, the ‘big event’ later that year.

At the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, considering all sports, Canadian athletes had a conversion rate of 40%, with 17 medals from 43 athletes who had previously achieved the two top-five performances. Germany had a 67% conversion rate, quite exceptional, from 54 athletes to win 36 medals.

Four years later, at the Torino Olympic Winter Games, Canada had a conversion rate of 39%, with 24 medals from 61 athletes. At the 2009 World Championships our conversion rate was 49% from 59 athletes.  This conversion rate resulted in Canada winning a total of 29 medals, the most of any country in the world.

So, for Vancouver, with more than 60 medal potential podium athletes, we are expecting at least a similar conversion rate.

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