U.S. On Pace To Win Olympic Medal Count, Should Keep Lead at Three Today

David WhiteCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2010

WHISTLER, BC - FEBRUARY 23:  Erin Pac and Elana Meyers of the United States compete in United States 2 during the Women's Bobsleigh Heat 2 on day 12 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at the Whistler Sliding Centre on February 23, 2010 in Whistler, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

With five days of competition remaining at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the U.S. Olympic team maintains its narrow lead in the overall medal standings over Germany.


The U.S. has collected 26 medals to Germany’s 23, with each nation having won seven gold medals a piece.


Yesterday’s analysis of the final 32 events in Vancouver (U.S. Versus Germany) projected that the U.S. would finish the 2010 Games ahead of Germany by a tally of 39 to 35 medals.


Yesterday’s results kept that predicted four medal margin more or less on track.


The Germans collected both medals that they were expected to yesterday with a bronze in the women’s biathlon relay and a bronze in the men’s Nordic Combined relay.


The United States capitalized on just one of two projected medals, as the Nordic Combined team took silver, but neither Ted Ligety nor Bode Miller was able to take a U.S. podium spot in the men’s giant slalom. These results change the projected final medal count to 38 to 35 in favor of the United States.


The beginning of two-woman bobsled, however, swung in favor of the Americans. The two German sleds, both projected to win medals, sit in third and fifth after two of four runs. While the top U.S. sled driven by Olympic silver medalist Shauna Robbock struggled, the second U.S. sled piloted by Erin Pac sits in a surprising second place just behind Canada.


If Pac can hold onto her podium position through the two concluding runs of the bobsled this evening and keep one German team off the medal stand in the process, it would result in a two medal swing in favor of the United States.


The updated projected medal count would then read 39 for the U.S. and 34 for Germany.


Today, several other Olympic events factor into the competition for supremacy of the overall medal table.


Aside from the bobsled, Germany has three additional projected medals at stake today.


Stephanie Beckert should medal in the women’s 5,000 meters in speed skating and the men’s cross-country ski team should reach the podium in its relay today. In the women’s giant slalom, either Maria Riesch or Kathrin Hoelzl is projected to claim a medal for Germany.


The U.S. also has three projected medals at stake today.


Julia Mancuso or Lindsey Vonn should medal in the women’s giant slalom. Emily Cook or one of her two U.S. teammates in the 12-woman final in aerials should reach the podium and the women’s 3,000 meters short track relay team should be able to claim a podium spot out of a four-team final.


Additional medal possibilities to look out for are either the Germans or Americans claiming a second podium spot in the women’s giant slalom, Germany taking a second medal in the women’s 5,000 meters, and the United States collecting a second medal in women’s aerials.


Also of relevance today is the U.S. men’s quarterfinal hockey game against Switzerland. The Americans must advance to keep their hope of a projected medal alive.


If the initial projections from yesterday hold, Germany would collect five medals today while the United States would claim three, bringing the overall medal tally to 29 to 28 in favor of the U.S. team.


Given how the first two runs of the two-woman bobsled played out yesterday, however, the new projection is that both nations will earn four medals today and that the United States will lead the standings 30 to 27 at the end of the day to keep on pace for a new final projected tally of 39 to 34 in favor of the U.S.


Germany is a traditional Winter Olympic powerhouse and has finished atop the standings at the last three Games, while the United States has not won the overall count since it hosted the Olympics in Lake Placid in 1932.


Prior to 2002, when the team collected 34 medals in Salt Lake City, the United States had never won more than 13 medals at a Winter Olympics.


Also at stake is the record for most medals by a nation at a single Winter Olympics. Germany won 36 medals in 2002. Both the United States and Germany are within striking distance