Sorry China; The United States Still Won The REAL Gold Medal Count
The way the gold medal count is perceived, China dominated us, right? In terms of winning, China won 51 golds, the US won 38. No ifs ands or buts.
Well, that's almost true. If you use the Olympics's archaic method of tabulating gold medals, where a basketball (or soccer, or volleyball) gold medal for a country adds only...one medal to that country's said gold medal count. Doesn't make much sense.
Every athlete gets a gold medal. Does it really make sense to give team sports the weight of one medal? Don't you think when the Redeem Team wins it all, their 8-0 domination should only be tabulated with one measly medal?
Well, I don't. If the Olympics are about its athletes, every athlete should be counted into the gold medal standings. Here are the revised gold medal counts for the United States:
We won 12 gold medals for track and field (4 individual golds and 8 golds for the men's and women's 4x400 relays), 24 in basketball (both men's and women's teams triumphed), 4 in beach volleyball (both two person teams), 1 in cycling, 4 in equestrian (all on the jumping team), 18 for the women's soccer team, 1 for fencing, 2 for gymnastics, 9 for rowing (all on the Women's 8 team, which is a little confusing because I count 9), 1 for sailing, 2 for shooting, a staggering 31 in swimming, 2 in tennis (the Williams sisters in doubles), 12 for men's volleyball, and 1 in wrestling. Overall? 124 gold medals are heading home to America.
As for China? 1 in archery, 4 in badminton (2 in women's doubles), 2 in boxing, 2 in canoe/kayak (double event), 11 in diving (8 in synchronized diving), 1 in fencing, 19 in gymnastics (12 in team competition), 2 in trampoline, 3 in judo, 4 in rowing (the women's quadruple sculls competition), 1 in sailing, 5 in shooting, 1 in swimming, 1 in taekwondo, all 8 in table tennis (2 singles, 6 team), 8 in weightlifting, and 1 in wrestling. 51 events got them gold, but only 74 athletes contributed to those golds.
Yes China might have better athletes on an individual basis in more events. But they still are trying to master the concept of winning together as a group, and in real life teams triumph over individuals. Outside of table tennis, China still hasn't quite gotten to that point.
(Note: I'm not counting the team gymnastics because ultimately it's not a team sport. All the individuals are doing their routines separately and only marginally influence how the others perform.)
In practically every team sport this Olympics, from water polo to softball to volleyball, the US medalled. And it's not like we didn't have the best of both worlds. Where were the individuals who were the most decorated of these games from? Exactly.
But let's keep China in the dark on this. They might have more talented athletes, but in terms of coming together to win, the US is still firmly #1 in the sports world.
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