YEARS OF BIRTH
So far, apart from a few Curiosity
Corners and a mention in Aries about Ice Hockey players, the birth years of
athletes have not been mentioned. This is the subject of this section.
Strangely, there is a four year cycle
that appears to influence what Zodiac signs get the most medals and a two year
cycle that appears to affect the age at which some athletes receive their medals.
However, I will first show a chart of
the numbers of medallists for all sports in every Olympic Games against all
All medallists for all sports over all Olympic Games
There is a very clear seasonal effect
here. 36% of all medallists have been born in the period 22 December (the start
of Capricorn) through to 20 April (the end of Aries). This shows that there are
almost 10% more medallists than expected by chance.
As the Olympics occur every four years,
I thought it would be worth dividing the years of birth into four groups. The
first group includes all those born in the same four year cycle as 1896, the
year of the first modern Olympics. This coincidentally includes 1900, the start
of the last century and all other years exactly divisible by 4. A further
nuance: since the Zodiac year starts on 21 March, some of Capricorn and all of
Aquarius and Pisces are rolled over into the next year, e.g.., the 1900 series
Pisces athletes were actually born in 1901.
Here is the chart for all these
medallists that were born within this series.
All medallists born in a year exactly divisible by 4,
What stands out about this series in
comparison with the chart showing every medallist regardless of the year in
which they were born, is the high number of Cancer medallists. Overall, Cancer
medallists have scored slightly less than chance, but here they have won more
medals than any other sign. Not only that, but when comparing the number of
Cancer medallists (500) with the number expected (454.5) which is the total
number of Cancer medallists (1,818) divided by 4, it is found to be
significantly greater at around the 1 in 100 level.
A devil’s advocate would argue that I
had no reason to suspect a significantly higher than expected number of Cancer
medallists in particular, as opposed to medallists belonging to any other sign
in this series, so I should really divide that probability by 12, meaning that
the real chance of getting any Zodiac sign to be significant at the 1 in 100
level is just over 1 in 8 (100/12). And that is something not very remarkable.
And if I had found nothing very
remarkable in the next series, then I would have to agree. However, that was not
The next series I looked at was the set
of medallists born in the year following the Zodiac years of the first series.
That is, those born in years such as 1897, 1901, etc.
This is the chart for this series.
Series 2 Medallists, i.e. those born in 1897, 1901, 1905,
The most striking feature about this
chart is that Capricorn has replaced Cancer as the sign with the highest number
of medals. And doing the same significance test on Capricorn as was done on
Cancer, shows by how much. The actual numbers of Capricorn medallists in this
second set (531) compared with those expected (465) is greater than chance at a
probability level of 1 in 5,000. This means that Capricorn medallists are hugely
over-represented in this series.
Now, the devil’s advocate was arguing
that there was nothing special about Cancer in the first series. Using this
argument for Capricorn in the second series, does not work. Cancer and Capricorn
are direct opposites in the year. Cancer starts on the day of the northern
solstice, the only day that the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the
northern hemisphere, and Capricorn starts on the southern solstice, when the sun
is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere.
Something very strange indeed is
happening here. For this to have occurred by chance is in the region of 1 in
Series 3 takes in those years one year
on from Series 2, i.e., 1898, 1902, etc.
It would be neat to report that Aries
was the highest sign in this series as it is the sign that starts on the March
equinox but, as the chart shows, this does not happen.
Series 3 Medallists, i.e. those born in 1898, 1902, 1906,
Aries almost makes it, though. It is
only four athletes short of the 525 Aquarius medallists. But, although there are
a higher number of Aries medallists in this series than any of the other 3
series, it is not a significantly greater number.
And what about Libra and Virgo
medallists? That question is asked because Libra is opposite Aries on the Zodiac
wheel and Virgo is the sign that includes the September equinox.
Virgo and Libra have a similar pattern
to each other. Both have their lowest count of medals in this series. Is there
an underlying pattern here? Series 4 will tell.
Series 4 contains all those medallists
born in the Zodiac years, 1899, 1903, etc.,
The numbers of medallists in this series
are shown in the chart below.
Series 4 Medallists, i.e., those born in 1899, 1903, 1907,
Aries medallists now have their lowest
count, whereas Virgo and Libra medallists have their highest combined count.
Moreover, the Pisces medallists show the same low count pattern as Aries
medallists. Could this mean that the March equinox should be in Pisces rather
than Aries so that it is in line with the September equinox being in Virgo
rather than Libra? I looked at the medallists born on March 21 and there is some
supporting evidence there for this change. There have been six Swimming and
Water Polo medallists born on this date compared with only one Ice Hockey
player. Changing 21 March from Aries to Pisces would have increased the
probabilities in both Swimming/Water Polo for Pisces and Ice Hockey for Aries.
The final thing I did in this research
was to test the numbers of Aries + Pisces medallists in Series 3 and Series 4
with the numbers of Virgo + Libra medallists in the same series. In statistical
terms, this meant doing a Chi-square 2 x 2 matrix test for each series ,with X
being (Aries + Pisces) and Y being (Virgo + Libra). The result was significant
with a probability of 1 in 175.
Putting this in layman’s terms, for the
medallists in Series 3 and Series 4, 52.3% of the Pisces + Aries medallists were
in Series 3 compared with only 47.8% of the Virgo + Libra medallists.
Considering the numbers of medallists under review, this is considered by
statisticians to be a highly significant difference.