Olympic Medal Count 2012: Biggest Overachieving Nations at the London Games

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27:  Natascha Keller of the Germany Olympic hockey team carries her country's flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

For as dominant as the United States was at the 2012 London Olympics this summer, its performance can be categorized as anything but overachieving. 

After all, the Americans had high expectations heading into the Summer Games.

Still, there were a fair share of countries that did exceed expectations in 2012.

Here we analyze the biggest overachieving nations of the London Games. 


Great Britain

The host nation won 29 gold medals and 65 total medals—the most for Great Britain since the London Games in 1908. 

The British were extraordinary in the cycling events, where they won seven gold medals, nine in all. Great Britain also brought home four golds in rowing competitions. Their prowess in the boxing ring and in track and field led to their best Olympic performance in more than a century. 

Kudos, Great Britain. Not only did you put on a great two-week celebration of athletics and competition, but you overachieved in the medal count and will have great expectations heading into Rio 2016.



Germany managed to finish in the top five of the Olympic medal standings—which is quite an achievement for a nation with a population of less than 82 million.

The Germans turned out 44 total medals and won multiple gold medals in equestrian, rowing and canoe/kayak competitions. 

Germany's 44 medals were three more than it won at the 2008 Beijing Games, and their winnings ended a steady medal count decline that began in Atlanta in 1996.

From field hockey to cycling, the European powerhouse delivered at the 2012 Games, making a massive impact on London with its world-class athletes. 


South Korea

Only four nations finished the 2012 London Games with more gold medals than South Korea. The Asian country won 28 medals total but produced a plethora of champions in sports like archery and judo.

The South Koreans also earned multiple gold medals in fencing and shooting. The fact that nearly half of their total medals were made up of pure gold signals they are an athletic nation on the rise, and one to be feared in Rio. 

South Korea has now won 13 gold medals in two consecutive Summer Games—not too shabby for a nation with a population of just over 48.7 million. 


Final Top-Five 2012 London Olympic Medal Count

Nation Gold  Silver Bronze Total
United States 46 29 29 104
China 38 27 23 88
Russia 24 26 32 82
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Germany 11 19 14 44

*Information Courtesy of NBCOlympics.com, Click For Full Medal Standings.


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