Olympic Medal Count 2012: Countries Who Struggled to Win Gold Medals

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIAugust 11, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11:  Japan stands on the podium with their bronze medals after the Women's Volleyball gold medal match on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Earls Court on August 11, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There's nothing quite like winning a gold medal in the Olympics, but some countries struggled to take gold, instead winning silvers and bronzes.

Medals are not made equal for a reason. Some countries placed very well in the 2012 Olympics but failed to earn the right to call themselves the best in most events.

Of the countries on this list, the criterion is that they won a lot of medals but very few were gold. These are the countries who are always playing second-fiddle.


Medals Won: 36

Golds Won: 5

Japan is currently sitting in sixth in total medals with 36. However, with just one day remaining, they have struggled to win golds, finishing with a silver or bronze 31 times and a gold just five.

As a country, Japan did very well, medaling in a ton of events. However, the color of those medals was hardly ever gold.

The Japanese were good-not-great 31 times and only have five events where they are truly the best in the world.


Medals Won: 16

Golds Won: 3

Spain is known as an international powerhouse in a lot of team sports including soccer and basketball, but it doesn't look they are the best in the world in any of them.

Spain was eliminated in soccer in the Group stage after losing twice and tying once. Their men's basketball team faces a tough test in the gold-medal game against the U.S. on Sunday, and they will likely take home yet another silver.

With just three gold medals to their credit, the Spanish have not been able to prove that they are the best in the world in many sports.


Medals Won: 35

Golds Won: 7

With 35 total medals Australia is just one medal behind Japan for sixth in the 2012 Olympics. They have so many medals, but just seven are gold.

With just 20 percent of their medals being gold, the Australians are repeatedly failing to stand at the very top of the podium.

The Aussies could have won gold in women's water polo but lost to the U.S. in the semis before taking bronze.

This has been a common theme for Australia, as they continue to come close to winning but fail to take first.


Medals Won: 18

Golds Won: 1

One gold medal. Are you kidding me?

Canada is one of the top countries in the world with 18 total medals but is among the lowest of the low in the all-important gold medal count.

Countries like Grenada, Georgia, Trinidad, Tobago and the Bahamas have as many golds as the Canadians.

With a population of almost 34.5 million people (per World Bank), you would expect more than one person to win a gold.

London Olympics Medal Count (Courtesy Donald Wood)

Olympic Medal Tracker Gold Silver Bronze
United States Total: 102 44 29 29
China Total: 87 38 27 22
Russia Total: 78 21 25 32
Great Britain Total: 62 28 15 19
Germany Total: 44 11 19 14
Japan Total: 36 5 14 17
Australia Total: 35 7 16 12
France Total: 32 10 10 12
South Korea Total: 27 13 7 7
Italy Total: 21 7 6 8
Netherlands Total: 20 6 6 8
Canada Total: 18 1 5 12
Hungary Total: 17 8 4 5
Ukraine Total: 16 4 4 9
Spain Total: 16 3 9 4


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