2010 Winter Olympics: One Final Burning Question

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IJanuary 15, 2017

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Here’s an interesting question. What exactly makes an Olympic team superior to the next? Total medal count, or total Gold medal count?

As we say goodbye to the 2010 Winter Olympics, the norm is to pay more focus towards total overall medal count to speculate country and competition superiority.

In smaller circles, we find the argument to be, in fact, who garnered the most Gold? Since that is the ultimate goal for any competitor.

It shows itself to be a topic that is of high debate, and while the majority of us will undoubtedly say total medal count rules supreme over any specific medal, I wager to say nay.

Of course this is only an opinion, so for those of you who may lash out at me for creating such a debate I ask that you keep this in mind.

Total medal count has its associated representation. While said country wasn’t good enough to win the gold, they were, in fact, good enough to win something in the top three tiers—just ask the Finland hockey team.

But in competition, winning everything is…well, everything; second best simply won’t do. Just ask the USA hockey team.

An accumulation of overall achieved medals is nothing to sneeze at—quite frankly achieving A medal is an achievement in itself—but when you are a competitor, you’re not dreaming of winning the Silver or Bronze are you?

The USA wound up with 37 total medals, followed closely by Germany with 30 and Canada rounding things out at 26.

But in regard to the Gold, it was third placed Canada that won the most of the coveted award with 14, with Germany again a close second at 10, and the USA rounding out the bottom at nine.

So who actually comes out on top?

Do the USA competitors who did not win the Gold feel they are the overall winners due to count only?

Does Canada walk away feeling proud of being top dog in Gold Medal count?

Or does German take comfort in knowing that they placed second best in both categories?

Or does each country truly believe total medal count is key?

And, if total medal count is key, how does that affect the overall value of each award tier?

In the end, to be able to say your country led in total medal count is absolutely staggering, but it is also this writer’s feeling that, to be able to say we placed third in total Gold is something less of a desirable omission.

And I am just a spectator; I couldn’t possibly imagine what the actual competitors feel like.

So, what does the B/R community think? Do you think total medal count is better, or just Gold count?

Leave your comment below and let me know, as I think it’s a neat topic to discuss.