Beijing '08 Medal Count Will Go Down to the Wire

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Before I even begin, I know that many people will say that, a) the overall medal count is the only one that counts, or b) the gold medal count is the only one that matters. But let us add a little excitement to the final weekend of the Olympics.

The weighted medal count is probably in most people's minds the least important of the three medal counts that I have mentioned. However, it can be the most useful as it gives credit to the other medal counts.

For those who are not sure what I am talking about, the weighted medal system gives a country three points for a gold medal, two points for a silver medal, and one point for a bronze medal.

After all of Friday's competitions were completed in Beijing, the overall medal count was 102-89 with the U.S.A. leading China, and the gold medal count was 47-31 with China leading the U.S.A.

If we look at each individual medal count, China has 47 gold medals, 17 silvers, and 25 bronzes. The U.S.A. has 31 gold medals, 36 silvers, and 35 bronzes.

Now let's follow the points system for the two countries. China gets (3*47+2*17+1*25) and the U.S.A. gets (3*31+2*36+1*35). I will be kind and save you the time of calculating the results. It simply comes down to the fact that China has 200 points and the U.S.A. has 200 points. How cool is that? A perfect tie.

This is about as good as a baseball season closing out with a Yankees-Red Sox series with the two teams tied for the division lead, or the Colts and Patriots playing each other in week 17 for homefield advantage.

Every single event could make the difference in deciding which country ends up winning the points race. One point could decide it.

So let's forget all of the controversies that have occurred over the past two weeks and enjoy the two days that we have left. After all, the Olympics are supposed to be about uniting the world for one great competition.