While the Americans and Germans have been neck and neck in the medal race at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, they have hardly been going head to head in competition.
The U.S. team, which sits atop the medal count with six days of competition remaining, has collected its 25 medals in seven disciplines so far—eight in alpine skiing, five in snowboarding, three in speed skating, three in freestyle skiing, three in short track, two in figure skating, and one in the Nordic combined.
Germany has only won four of its 21 medals—two in speed skating, one in figure skating, and one in alpine skiing—in those seven disciplines.
It has instead won five medals in luge, four in biathlon, three in cross-country skiing, two in bobsled, two in skeleton, and one in ski jumping. The United States has not won a single medal in any of those sports in Vancouver.
Only in alpine skiing’s women’s super combined, where German Maria Riesch took gold and American Julia Mancuso took silver, have the two leading nations medaled in the same competition.
With the U.S. and German teams so clearly experiencing success in different events the winner of the overall medal tally may well be determined by the nature of the remaining 32 medal events and the 96 medals they have to offer.
Nine of the 32 remaining events are in disciplines in which both nations have medaled, 11 are in ones in which only the Americans have done so, eight are in ones in which only the Germans have medaled, and four are in hockey and curling, which are yet to award any medals at these Olympics.
While that analysis might seem to narrowly favor the Americans, the more complete answer comes from looking at each remaining event and the German and American medal hopefuls.