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USA Crowned Global Sports Nation for Third Consecutive Year

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World Cup Luge competition in 2014 in Lake Placid. Photo: ORDA/ Whiteface Lake Placid

By Colin Stewart and Tim Rollason |

The United States has once again topped Sportcal’s Global Sports Impact (GSI) Nations Index in 2018, extending its lead ahead of second place United Kingdom and China, which climbed to third in the ranking.

The GSI Nations and Cities Index is based on in-depth analysis of major multisport games and world championships over a rolling 14-year period, covering seven years in the past (including the current year) and seven years in the future. In total, 88 nations and 587 cities have hosted, or are scheduled to host events during this period.

Within the analyzed period, the United States has accumulated a total score of 39,681, having secured no fewer than 48 major sports events, more than any other nation.

Recently-awarded events contributing to the United States’ score include the Winter Universiade 2023 (Lake Placid), WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup 2018 (Viera), FIL Women’s Lacrosse World Cup 2021 (Maryland), Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Championships 2021 (Lake Placid) and the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships 2020 (Salt Lake City). The addition of these events has more than doubled USA’s lead at the top of the index to 3,112 points.

As the index spans a 14-year period from 2012–2025, the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games are yet to register and will ensure USA remains a contender for years to come.

The United Kingdom has held on to second place thanks to Birmingham securing the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Despite hosting 30 events in the analysed period, the United Kingdom has lost 2,487 points compared to last year, as high-scoring events such as the Rugby World Cup and IAAF World Championships have been and gone. With this year’s index being the last to include the year 2012, the United Kingdom could find itself falling down the rankings as points from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will no longer register.

China has climbed one position to third at the expense of Russia, having secured the FINA Diving World Cup 2018, UIPM World Championships 2020, IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships 2020, World Wushu Championships 2019, World Rowing Championships 2021 and the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships 2017.

Russia, despite being the subject of a major doping scandal and its subsequent ramifications, was awarded three major world championships in boxing, gymnastics (trampoline and tumbling) and swimming in the past year, keeping it inside the top five.

With the Rugby World Cup 2019 and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games approaching, Japan moves above Canada into fifth place. Similarly, France also climbs one position to eighth place, having been awarded the same events in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Germany holds seventh place, while Italy falls to ninth, with Brazil remaining in 10th position.

Spain (+2), Switzerland (+1) and Qatar (+1) all rise within the top 20, while Austria and the Netherlands each fall two places.

Read the full Sportcal Press Release here.

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