Olympic Medal Count 2012: Countries That Took Biggest Steps Forward in London

Tim KeeneyContributor IAugust 14, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with his gold and silver medals holding a union jack after the medal ceremony for the Mixed Doubles Tennis on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The overall medal tally may belong to the United States, China and Russia, but plenty of other countries made it known they are well on their way to the top. 

It may seem like the US and China have dominated the Summer Olympics for, well, forever, but you only have to go back to 2004 to find Russia finishing second in the overall tally and 1996 to see China fall out of the top three.

Things change, and while maybe not drastically, they change fast.

With that being said, let's take a look at the countries in London that showcased a potential rise in the future. 

Note: A complete look at the medal count can be found at the bottom of this page. 


Great Britain (29 Gold, 65 Total)

Yes, the Brits had "home-field" advantage, but even so, no one expected them to do quite this well. 

The 29 golds, which is 10 more than their 2008 total, nudged out Russia for third place and was just nine behind China for second.

The 65 total medals was 18 more than their 2008 total. Great Britain's step forward in London, was, without a doubt, the biggest of any country. 

The venue had something to do with it, but the British are clearly on their way up. Being at home doesn't automatically make Mo Farah run faster or Jason Kenny pedal his bike with more ferocity. 


Japan (7 Gold, 38 Total)

Japan actually took a step back in the gold medal count from 2008, when it brought home nine, but the rise in total medals from 25 is an increase of 52 percent. 

A country that has always been thought of to be on the rise, Japan, which has the 10th largest population in the world, made it clear it is going to be a force to be reckoned with in Rio and beyond. 

The Japanese athletes brought home an amazing 11 medals from the swimming pool, seven in judo and six in wrestling. Throw in impressive medals in football, gymnastics and volleyball, and this country clearly has the versatility to be one of the world's best.

If Japan gets some better track and field athletes, it would easily crack the top three. 


Hungary (8 Gold, 17 Total)

Here's a country I bet you weren't expecting.

Hungary, which has the 84th largest population in the world, hasn't finished in the top 10 in the medal count since 1992.

In 2008, it brought home three golds and 10 overall medals, which was its worst output in quite some time, but it appears the Hungarians are back. 

Thanks to some domination on the water (both swimming and in the kayak), this European country took a huge step forward, more than doubling it's gold out-put and increasing the total count by 70 percent.

Hungary won three golds aboard the kayaks, two in the swimming pool and added medals in six other sports, displaying its versatility. 


Final Olympic Medal Leaderboard

Visit B/R's Standings and Medal Winners Tracker for a complete look at the standings.

Olympic Medal Tracker Gold Silver Bronze
United States Total: 104 46 29 29
China Total: 87 38 27 22
Russia Total: 82 24 25 33
Great Britain Total: 65 29 17 19
Germany Total: 44 11 19 14