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The Eurovision Guide to the Olympic Games

23 July 2021 at 12:00 CEST
After the Eurovision Song Contest and Melodifestivalen, the Olympic Games is one of the world’s most important events on the global calendar. The 2020 Summer Olympics get underway in Tokyo today, providing another opportunity for Eurovision Song Contest fans to enjoy competitive televised events involving points and flag ceremonies.

For the next fortnight, we’ll be celebrating the world’s biggest sporting event across the official Eurovision Song Contest Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook accounts by presenting our very own Eurovision Games! So make sure you follow us to join in with the fun across our different channels.

Before we get down to the statistics and trivia, let’s take a look at what the Eurovision Song Contest results (1956 – 2021) look like if we apply medal table criteria (number of ‘gold’ medals followed by silver, bronze and then 4th placed finished to separate our table):

The Top 20 competing Eurovision nations

The Top 20 competing Eurovision nations
  1. Ireland
  2. Sweden
  3. United Kingdom
  4. France
  5. The Netherlands
  6. Luxembourg
  7. Israel
  8. Italy
  9. Denmark
  10. Norway
  11. Germany
  12. Spain
  13. Switzerland
  14. Ukraine
  15. Austria
  16. Russia
  17. Belgium
  18. Monaco
  19. Turkey
  20. Azerbaijan

And, of course, for every song topping the scoreboard, there has to be one propping up the table. We can now exclusively reveal 'The Wooden Spoon League’ of Eurovision last places:

The Wooden Spoon League

A wooden spoon is awarded to whichever country finishes last at the Contest

Norway tops the table with an impressive 11 last place finishes and a whooping 4 nul points (only matched in that respect by Austria). We’re counting combined scoreboard results, otherwise the United Kingdom’s impressive double zero (jury and televote) this year would have counted twice. Tied nations are separated by number of zeros and chronologically.

Alexander Rybak: Norway has had its ups and downs – but they can’t fiddle with the results! Julia Marie Naglestad

United by Emotion

The Games of the XXXII Olympiad kick off in Tokyo with an Opening Ceremony today (Friday 23 July) at 13:00 CEST and much like the Eurovision Song Contest, the Olympics take on different themes and slogans according to the Host City.

The 2020 Olympic motto is ‘United by Emotion’ and like Rotterdam’s ‘Open Up’, takes on a poignant significance during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

As with Eurovision, there’s a bidding process to decide the Host City. There are number of cities that have hosted both a Summer Olympic Games and the Eurovision Song Contest.

Host Cities of both the Eurovision Song Contest and the Summer Olympics:

  • Athens (Greece)
  • Paris (France)
  • London (United Kingdom)
  • Stockholm (Sweden)
  • Munich (Germany)
  • Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Helsinki (Finland)
  • Rome (Italy)
  • Moscow (Russia)
Oslo were ready to 'Share the Moment’ as Eurovision hosts in 2010 and Winter Olympic hosts in 1952

Oslo (Norway) has hosted the Winter Olympics and the Eurovision Song Contest, and it’s also worth noting that Turin hosted the winter games in 2006 and is currently one of 17 Italian cities in the running to host next year’s Eurovision.

Harrogate (home of the 1982 Contest) has yet to host the Olympics, but is sending a notably high number of divers from Harrogate District Diving Club, taking places on the Irish, Australian and Great Britain teams in Japan this year.

Eurovision Song Contest 1982: We still don’t know!

During the Olympic’s Parade of Nations, Team Greece (a nod to the birthplace of the Olympics) and the Refugees team always enter the stadium first, followed by all other nations in alphabetical order.

This year, 'alphabetically’ means Japanese characters in Katakana script, so Iceland enter Tokyo stadium first.

There are 4 Icelandic athletes this year (swimmers Anton Sveinn McKee and Snæfríður Jórunnardóttir, air pistol pro Asgeir Sigurgeirsson, and discus thrower Guðni Valur Guðnason)… that’s two fewer Olympians than members of Gagnamagnið. Whether they’ll wear matching green jumpers remains to be seen.

Gagnamagnið during the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 Grand Final Gisli Berg

We have a very special historical surprise that will be revealed on Wednesday, so keep your eyes on our website as well as the official Eurovision Song Contest Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook channels.