Olympic Medal Count 2012: Examining the Biggest Surprises Thus Far

Aaron Dodge@Aaron_DodgeAnalyst IAugust 5, 2012

The 2012 Olympic Games in London have not been a disappointment for those looking for plenty of upsets. With the world's attention squarely on the 10,000 or so athletes representing the 204 participating countries, there were bound to be some surprising results. 

Kazakhstan ranks seventh in gold medal count, despite only having six total medals. That's because all six of their medals are gold. Kazakhstan ranked 20th overall in the 2008 Beijing Games, where they took home six more medals, all gold. 

With a population below 20 million people, Kazakhstan's domination of the weightlifting events has been quite the surprise. 

Zulfiya Chinshanlo won gold in the women's 53 kg. bracket and Ilya Ilin won in the men's 94 kg. weight group. Both athletes set world records in their respective weight classes. 

Sitting two spots back in the gold medal count is perennial powerhouse Russia. The Russians placed second overall in the 2004 Summer Olympics and placed third four years ago, but they're suffering through a gold medal drought in 2012.

One of the more surprising defeats came at the hands of the United States in the women's gymnastics team final.

Russia struggled so mightily that a crushing defeat was almost unavoidable. The Americans simply had to perform their routines without multiple mistakes each. And they did. 

It was a result that American comedian and actor Will Ferrell enjoyed mightily

Russia has won its fair share of bronze and silver medals, though, with 30 more medals than Kazakhstan overall. With only four gold-medal athletes so far, Russia will have a tough time moving past fourth overall. 

Shout-out to the nation of Hungary for ranking 12th overall thus far. Hungary's population is even smaller than that of Kazakhstan. With under 10 million people, Hungary ranks 84th in comparison to other countries but you wouldn't know it based on their medal collection.

While it may not have come as much of a surprise, American swimmer Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals. His four golds and two silvers in the 2012 Games capped off an illustrious career, the likes of which doesn't come around often whatsoever. 

When an athlete gets to the point of dominance in which greatness is expected, said athlete is being taken for granted.

Phelps may not have surprised anyone with his victorious ways, but his body of work should be looked at with some context because it's ridiculous how much he's accomplished.