Saturday, 23 August 2008

Who's Leading? China or USA

I was a little surprised during the week when I encountered a medal tally for the Olympics on a Boston newspaper website which showed the USA as the leading country. I'd though China was well ahead and wondered what the USA had done to break into the lead... 

But when I looked at the actual numbers - China had the highest number of gold medals, and the USA had most medals overall, though significantly fewer of them gold... 

So I did some research, and in my rapid global newspaper study, most newspapers tally the medals according to the most number of gold medals won per country, and where that number equals another, the number of silver and then bronze defines the leader. There are a few exceptions with some online newspapers in Canada and the UK who follow their US counterparts who uniformly give the highest marks to the country with the most medals overall

Oh, and that happens to be the USA.

So does this technically mean that if a country were to win solely 200 Bronze medals and another 199 Gold - the winner would be the 200 Bronze?

The official Olympic website defines it according to the highest number of Gold medals won.

Here are some examples from my research...

Call me a cynic - but does everyone in the USA not cope with coming 2nd to China?
Is reportage in the USA a little biased, or has the rest of the world got it wrong?

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