Who's No. 1? Depends On How You Count Medals

Every day since the games began, the Olympics medal chart has dominated the front page of China's main state-run newspapers. China is always ranked first.

On Wednesday, the chart showed that China has 43 gold medals as compared to the 26 that went to the United States, 16 to Great Britain, 11 to Australia and 11 to Germany.

It fails to tally the total number of medals.

By that count--used by the U.S. media, including The Washington Post --the United States would be first with 79 medals. China is second with 76 medals, Russia third with 42 and Australia fourth with 35.

Don't look to the International Olympic Committee to resolve the debate.

According to the Olympic charter, medal tables don't have any meaning. The IOC says that the games are a competition between athletes, not countries.

How to assess a country's performance against another's in the Olympics has been a source of confusion for over a century but it became a prominent issue only recently--at the height of the Cold War--when medal count became a surrogate measure of the global influence of the two superpowers.

These days, most countries, like China, use gold medal count for their rankings. Silver and bronze medals are used only as tie breakers. But others have argued that if silver and bronze medals don't count for rankings why have them at all?

China's leaders have brought the issue to the forefront with predictions in the state media that the country would take home the most gold medals on its home turf during this year's Olympics.

--Ariana Eunjung Cha

Some excerpts from the Chinese press about the medal count...

People's Daily
"Chinese have not transcended victory and loss. They cannot leave victory and loss out of their minds and enjoy the process of the Games, and they cannot completely sever victory and loss from national pride--actually, no countries can. Americans also watch the list of gold medals all the time, and they are worried that they will be left far behind by China"

Yangtze Evening News
Cui Dalin, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Sports Delegation, said, "We have more gold medals for the moment, but we have advantages in a limited number of events. Americans have more medals than China, which reflects their real level in competition sports. To make a guess at the final number of gold medals has no practical significance, and it is not our goal to outrun anyone in terms of the total number of gold medals. "

Xi'an Evening News
Actually, it has been very difficult for the American team to surpass the Chinese team if athletes from both countries perform to their normal levels. In fact, the Chinese team has already triumphed ahead of schedule in the competition for the number one position in the gold medal account of Beijing Olympics.

August 19, 2008; 11:55 PM ET  | Category:  Postmark Beijing
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Comments

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Cha,

Check out the link from the official website of the BJ 2008 Olympics. clear enough to you? Notice the column on the right?

http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/INF/GL/95A/GL0000000.shtml

Which chinese leaderS predicted China would win the most gold medals? when and where? Personally I have heard they repeatedly said on TV that US is still the no.1 in sports, esp swimming and T&F. Like to know your source.

The result is what it is. Learn how to deal with it without resorting to innuendo...

Posted by: mgao | August 20, 2008 6:34 AM

The PRC and the US are both winners. China has more gold medals; the U.S. more medals. Both countries have great athletes, so enjoy their skills and the competition, but get over the sour nationalism. Thanks for the well-written article and for referencing the Chinese sources. Go PRC/USA/world!

Posted by: Neutral | August 20, 2008 7:33 AM

Traditionally, the medal tally is sorted by the count of Gold Medals a contry wins. Check out BBC, Time of India or for that matter almost most countries in the world except USA and Canada and you will see tally order is based on total Gold Medals won. A tie there will look for Silver next and then Bronze.

Posted by: kits | August 20, 2008 9:15 AM

when you said that"It fails to tally the total number of medals.", you are a liar. Every medal list here in Chinese newspaper shows the total number of medals each country won. Only that we put gold medal as more important. Isn't a gold medal medal worth more than a silver and bronze? Otherwise why come here for competition?
This is another proof shows your biased opinion against China.

Posted by: james | August 20, 2008 9:18 AM

At former olympics, The United States and the post only rank by gold medals.

They begin total medal count practice just at this olympic, when they know damn well that they will be the losers in Gold medal count. What a shame!

If you behave like this, you will always be a loser, even on total medal count.

Posted by: raydeslee | August 20, 2008 9:24 AM

Actually, in Canada, it is a mix of standings using gold medals or total medals as it varies with each media outlet. But main outlets such as CBC & the Globe use the gold medal ranking standard.

Posted by: Justin | August 20, 2008 9:33 AM

Don't think you can talk nonsense about China because we Chinese don't read your Washington Post. You have dominance of English language but still a lot of Chinese know English!

Posted by: A Chinese | August 20, 2008 9:36 AM

now total medal count is 79 vs 79 so china win
but it's nice see what espn do:

order by total:
http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/medals
order by gold:
http://tinyurl.com/6c4bc9

Posted by: Latente | August 20, 2008 10:00 AM

It is true that nearly every other country ranks by gold medal (just check the home pages of the BBC, Syndney Morning Herald, L'equipe etc..)

But, it's nothing to get worked up about. It's natural to want to portray your own countries performance in the best possible light.

And no-one can deny that these have been an amazing olympic games - China should be very proud of the show they have put on - both their athletes and the organization.

As a Brit, I feel a bit worried about how we can possibly come up with anything close in 2012!!

Posted by: Neutral Too | August 20, 2008 10:00 AM


I have been concerned about this issue, I went to the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Korea and other countries of web, found that these countries all count by gold medals!

But only USA count by medals!

If count by medals, then the gold=the silver=the bronze???

Use your brains,plese

Posted by: panzhengyu | August 20, 2008 10:02 AM

I see a chance for WP.com to get popular in US but list the medal tally by Gold. They will be the only US Media company to follow the rules rest of the world follows.

Posted by: kits | August 20, 2008 10:18 AM

As the object is to win, and the rest of the world counts this way, it should be gold medals first. Silver and bronze medals are fine achievements, but they don't equal a gold. Ask Michael Phelps on that one. Would we care much if he had two golds, four silvers, and two bronzes?

Posted by: Gary | August 20, 2008 10:33 AM

To the netizens from the PRC: the US is a proud, patriotic country with a short but achievement-filled history. There are many Americans who can read Chinese and understand your country very well. Please accept the fact that Americans like to look positively on themselves and so count medals in a different way.

To the netizens of the US: the PRC is a proud, patriotic country with a long and achievement-filled history. There are many citizens of the PRC who can read English and understand your country very well. Please accept the fact that currently the PRC has more gold medals than you do and also likes to look upon itself positively.

See the commonalities?!?! Enjoy the games and the competition, but take on a little humility and put away the mutual country-bashing nationalism. Remember the original Olympic spirit putting aside inter-national antagonism. :)

Posted by: Neutral | August 20, 2008 10:48 AM

I'm cool with the whole counting by gold medals. I am just a little shocked at how gymnast are actually being cheated of the gold medal by children. If you are younger in gymnastics, you get a better advantage.

Another thing, I have always known China to produce great athletes. I just draw concern with this Olympics because of the many things the country stands by and allows. For example, the Chinese basketball team did not want to challenge the US team again, so they threw their game by benching Yao Ming. When question was raised concerning the underage gymnast, the country stood by them in making sure their passports show them to be above the age of 16 when there are so many different reports showing them to be 12 and 13 years old.

I just do not trust any country that lies to win gold medals... I'm sure the US has done some things themself...

Posted by: Donald Johnson | August 20, 2008 10:57 AM

I believe that each medal should count but to a certain extent. A gold would give you 10 points Silver 5 and Bronze 2 just for example.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 10:57 AM

Counting Olympic medals may be fun, but it proves nothing in the real world. Just ask the Soviet Union and East Germany. They always used to come out on top of the medal standings. And if China were ahead in the overall medal count but not in Gold, which way do you think they would be ranking the medal leaders right now?

Posted by: Barry Allen | August 20, 2008 11:01 AM

don't be cheated by this cunning article.it emphasizes china want to win,purposely neglects that britain,france,germany,japan....most countries are used the same medal chart.reading this kind of articles,you have to use your brain.it uses hints to wash your brain.

Posted by: victor4000 | August 20, 2008 11:05 AM

yawn

Posted by: g. | August 20, 2008 11:06 AM

Golden Ranking is the traditional way worldwide. It has been used worldwide for 100 years. Even in US,CNN TV is still using Gold ranking.

who wrote is this article? not professional, fair to say..

Posted by: kak | August 20, 2008 11:15 AM

is this the up-to-date america way of propaganda to fool american that america is still and always the number one,long live america empire.how pathetic if american can not even admit losing a game,maybe people inside america are blinded as usual but people outside america ,i dare say anywhere but america,know whats happening ,so just dont fool urself and dont be an *******

cant believe u put this issue out like u dont care, but thats how we see u really matter this crap and totally acted like a clown

Posted by: outternet | August 20, 2008 11:24 AM

To Donald:
I am not arguing with you about the age of the gymnast because I have no proof. Do you have any proof about that? If it is true that the gymnast fake the age, I condemn it. What if it is not true? You are hurting a young Chinese girl.

Posted by: A Chinese | August 20, 2008 11:32 AM

The US always counted gold medals as the standard of winning. I should know, I was born here and have watched the olympics since was a kid. This is the first time they won't win the gold medal race and not suprisingly, the first time overall medals are being used as the "mark of excellence" by our media. Those who write articles such as this, acting as though we have always judged by overall medals, should be ashamed. Those who attack the validity of the Chinese gymnasts wins should also be ashamed. Get over it...the US lost in those events and by the standards we had and the rest of the world still has for the overall winning country, we lost as well. There's nothing wrong with losing, but there is something wrong with being a sore loser who can't accept defeat with dignity.

Posted by: JackJohnson | August 20, 2008 11:33 AM

Posted by: frank2000 | August 20, 2008 11:33 AM

"Don't look to the International Olympic Committee to resolve the debate."

What a misleading statement. The International Olympic Committee does have its own medal tally, and guess what they use - Gold medal count. See link below, the official medal tally published by IOC, China is #2 even though Russia has more overall medal count.

http://www.olympic.org/uk/games/past/table_uk.asp?OLGT=1&OLGY=2004

Posted by: amazing lies | August 20, 2008 11:36 AM

Shawn Johnson looks younger, to me.

how old is she, 16?

she surely has a babyface, and pls do not doubt her age, man.

Posted by: Bob | August 20, 2008 11:36 AM

NO...
Gold is the number one... unless you believe silver and bronze is the same as gold... Do you?

Posted by: Ric | August 20, 2008 11:38 AM

A Gold medal is worth 50 bronze or silver medals. Only a dunce would consider second and third place finishes more important than the Olympic champion Gold 1st place finish.

Posted by: shubot | August 20, 2008 11:39 AM

I stopped reading it after this:
"Don't look to the International Olympic Committee to resolve the debate."

Pathetic..

BTW gold is for the winners.

Posted by: Ric | August 20, 2008 11:41 AM

There is no second best. So forget silver and bronze.

Posted by: John | August 20, 2008 11:42 AM

if the US had more gold and less in the medal count, then you would see the count by gold count. Because they now have mostly bronze medals, the US has decided to do the count by number of medals. And us, in Canada, well we just follow in US footsteps, we have no mind of our own.

Posted by: vivian | August 20, 2008 11:44 AM

this is about the most retarded article i have read here in a awhile.
China is 1st with the gold...yay!
USA is 1st at being 2nd...yay again!

The olympics have really gone down hill in the last 40 years...its all about selling brands and marketing time.

Posted by: invictuz | August 20, 2008 11:46 AM

Should a country with a billion-plus more people than nearly everyone else ultimately win the most medals of any color? Common sense would say yes, even if that does not turn out to be the case. But then, how to explain India and South Korea? :-)

The Chinese government equates Olympic success with international validation, but I suspect that the common people of China merely experience - and express - pride in seeing their fellow countrymen and women putting on a grand show and performing well. We can all appreciate that.

JoeMac

Posted by: JoeMac | August 20, 2008 11:46 AM

If a silver or bronze is equally as important as a gold, why don't you count the 4th and 5th?

Anyway, one thing the author did not mention is why China has such a biased distribution in gold, silver and bronze medals. Part of the reason is in the games China traditionally dominate, there are all kinds of measures to limit its performances, such as the restriction on the total number of athletes a country can send to women's weight-lifting and replacing the double games in table-tennis to team games so that China can only win the gold, while leaving the silver and bronze to other countries. There are not this kind of limitations in swimming and track and field, in which US does way better than China.

Posted by: LX | August 20, 2008 11:48 AM

shawn johnson may "look" young, but it is obvious she has been through puberty and honestly looks like a typical 16 yr old. some of the chinese female gymnasts don't even look 12... not going by face going by the complete lack of signs of puberty here..
all things aside, either way it was ours to win and we blew it! so congrats China for an awesome olympics so far!

Posted by: american netizen | August 20, 2008 11:50 AM

To Barry Allen:

You know what, media in China always rank according to the gold, same for the all non-US world. Actually Chinese don't care that much about ranking the first. China has been staying around the 3rd or 4th for quite a while in the former olympics and Chinese people are ready to expect that in the next game US will come back to the 1st and they will still dominate the game.

Posted by: LX | August 20, 2008 11:52 AM

To american netizen

There is not only a difference in puberty across races, also a difference across individuals.

Posted by: LX | August 20, 2008 11:56 AM

To Joe Mark:

Are you living on Mars. How do u know we common Chinese can't "experience - and express - pride in seeing their fellow countrymen and women putting on a grand show and performing well". How ignorant you are! I guess you are totally brainwashing by your media. Do u think we ordinary Chinese living in caves? We have more televisions than your populations. Even lots of your tvs are made by our Chinese. We have much more web users than your population. I just can't understand why you Americans are so ignorant about China and the whole world. I hope it's not because of your education.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 11:58 AM

Just pointing out the fact that one nation (no names) needed to use underage competitors to win some medals. What a sham. How could someone truly be proud of that.

Posted by: We Didn't Need To Cheat | August 20, 2008 12:02 PM

Who cares? I think 99.999% of Americans couldn't be bothered worrying about this and are just enjoying the games. I'm happy for China. One of the great things about the games is the friendly and energetic spirit about it and the unity the it brings to the world. For once we are all wathcing and interested in the same thing. We love to see the athelets do their thing and are amazed at what we see. Enjoy the games while they last, this has truly been one of the best.

Posted by: Dr. R | August 20, 2008 12:04 PM

To We Didn't Need To Cheat

You choose to believe what you wish to believe. That is fine. I just don't think most American think the same way as you do. Have your fun!

Posted by: LX | August 20, 2008 12:09 PM

Here are a few ways for the U.S. to boost its gold medal count before the games are over:

- count 12 gold medals for Men's basketball
- count 2 gold medals for women's beach volleyball
- add a gold medal for being world champions in whining
- give the writer of this article a gold medal for most biased reporting

14 additional more gold medals!! Might still not catch China tho.


Cheers.

Posted by: UsainBolt | August 20, 2008 12:10 PM

weighted count would be more reasonable.
e.g. 4xgold+2xSilver+1xbronze.

Posted by: optosid | August 20, 2008 12:20 PM

US has been use to be the NO.1

I think they need some time to accept the NO 2.

No one aways wins, guy~

Posted by: Benjamin | August 20, 2008 12:25 PM

Don't u see the fact that the coach of US Women Volleyball team is a Chinese who was a player and coach of the former Chinese Women Volleyball Team. She will help u to win a medal for sure. Do we care abt this? NO, we don't. Chinese people are friendly to Americans. But what about Americans to Chinese? Just read your ignorant speeches by some of your Americans. Don't be so ignorant and naive, okay. Don't be blind about China. You have bread, we prefer rice. Besides there aren't much difference between us than human beings to monkeys.

Posted by: A Chinese | August 20, 2008 12:27 PM

Congrats to the Chinese! They are performing well and deserve their medals. As a US citizen I would like to see the US athletes win the most gold's, but as a competitive person I understand that your team cannot always win.

It is fairly easy to see how the Chinese were able to predict they would win more Gold medals. First they have many athletes that qualified very well and were considered favorites from international competition and second looking at history the home team normally shows a spike in gold medals.

In 1984 the U.S. won 83 gold medals, in LA.

In 1988 Korea for the first time won 12 gold medals at the Seoul Olympics (double any previous year).

In 1992 Spain Won 13 gold’s at the Barcelona Olympics, the most they have won in any other year is 5.

In 1996 the U.S. won 44 at the Atlanta Olympics, not a total to rival the 1984 Olympics but higher than the 1988-1992 and 2000-2004 Olympics

In 2000 Australia won 16 gold at the Sydney Olympics the only time they had more than 9 since 1956 when they won 13 at the Melbourne Olympiad.

2004 was interesting because Athens is close enough to all of Europe to deaden the advantage.

Seem’s that the stress of travel makes a difference. It will be interesting to see how the British do in 2012!

Posted by: Andy | August 20, 2008 12:28 PM

No matter what anyone says, the gold medal count is the most important number, unless the country with the most overall medals is significantly in the lead. China has performed masterfully this Olympics and should be commended for its achievements. That being said, I hope China can redirect its Olympic fervor towards other issues, say human rights, after the games have concluded. It numbs my brain to hear about "American propaganda" and "American ignorance of world affairs" from a country where the media is owned and operated by the government. Is the Chinese government going to provide homes for the millions of Beijing residents displaced before the Olympics because the state of their dwellings "looked bad" for the Chinese government? What happens to these exceptional Chinese athletes once they have served their purpose? I doubt they can expect as much attention from the government that took them from their homes as infants and neglected to teach them anything other than athletics. And what about the Chinese gymnasts proven to be younger than 16 by the records of this same State-run media and athletics program? Oh thats right, they have government issued passports, conveniently issued a week before Olympic registration, to dispel any suspicions. Of course, I could not say any of this in China for fear of having my visa revoked.

Posted by: k. | August 20, 2008 12:51 PM

As a Chinese, I really feel sorry for winning too many gold medals. We should have shared some of them with Americans. Will Americans attack us by using aircraft carrier and launching cruise missiles just because you didn't win more gold medals than us? I am frightened of that.

Posted by: A Chinese | August 20, 2008 12:57 PM

I like the IOC's reason for not stating this because it should be about the individual and not the country. We should be appreciating the athleticism in these games. We should never try to take ownership over what someone else is doing.

What I don't understand is why are people trying to debate over if it is gold or total? This debate is like listening to a bunch of 12 year olds argue in the school yard. Yet I have seen it with adults and I don't understand. The answer is obvious, just weight each medal by its importance. Gold=3, Silver=2, Bronze=1. Add them all up and take the total score. This accounts for all things being discussed. Either way China is the leader.

If anybody only uses overall medal count then they are just fooling themselves so they can say they win. Those are probably the same people that are willing to cheat to win.

Posted by: deaconballs | August 20, 2008 12:58 PM

If you think coming in second or third is the same as winning, then you should ask Tom Brady, Hilary, or even John Kerry and Al Gore!

Posted by: Mark | August 20, 2008 1:02 PM

Freedom of Press deserves Honesty of Press and truthful reporters.

China just follows the universal convention. Go to BBC.com to see that British ranks the Olympics the same way as China did, Gold Medals first, then follow by Silvers and Bronzes.

A misleading report like this one will doom future American success because Excuse is the Mother of all future Failures!

Posted by: peace4all1 | August 20, 2008 1:08 PM

Americans still have the consolation of not having to live in China.

Posted by: Spencer | August 20, 2008 1:11 PM

Why not use a point system. Gold=3 Silver=2 Bronze=1. This would currently put the Chinese on top but it rewards those with more Gold but also takes total medals into account.

Posted by: Greg | August 20, 2008 1:30 PM

Yes, just weight the medal count and then tally up the weighted values? The decision would need to be made is how much more weighted should gold be to silver, silver to bronze, but its a clear solution.

Gold=3 points
Silver=2 points
Bronze=1 points

Posted by: Ryan | August 20, 2008 1:35 PM

Do the math: the commenters who weight the medals have the right idea. Even if you vary the weights for gold / silver / bronze (e.g. 3/2/1, 5/2/1, 10/5/2) to allow for 'importance', the Chinese totals come out significantly ahead of the American totals.

The more important question is what does the comparison prove?

China's had a great Olympics. Yet China still restricts freedom of speech, uses dubious practices to develop athletes and has a rich and ancient culture.

America's had a great Olympics. Yet America still has plenty of poverty, plenty of gun violence and (arguably) the world's hightest standard of living.

And Australia is simply the world's sportiest nation. The Australian's are visible in nearly every event and punch way above their weight when it comes to medals.

My suggestion - take pride in your nation's athletes, in what they've accomplished and how they've worked to do it. You want to see a winner? Look at Lolo Jones (and plenty of others like her): no gold, no silver, no bronze but effort and achievement and class that aren't measured by any of those things.

Posted by: Rofe | August 20, 2008 1:37 PM

Total Medals (summer and winter combined, not including this year)

United States: 2404
China: 319

Total Gold Medals (summer and winter combined)

United States: 972
China: 116

Total Gold Medals (summer only)

United States: 894
China: 112

Posted by: k. | August 20, 2008 1:43 PM

Being a huge Olympic (and track fan), the US press has ALWAYS used the total medal rankings. Get out your hard copies of the NYTimes, USAToday and Washington Post from 1996, 2000, 2004 to check. And the international media has done golds. There has been discrepancy in the past. The only difference now is that the US is not winning both. Plus, the internet allows people to cross-check. Do you think in 1984, the average person was able to compare was the LA Times was printing vs. the London Times?

All I'm saying is that it's not a conspiracy. It's always been this way, not a change just for this year.

Posted by: mike | August 20, 2008 2:01 PM

Maybe being from Canada gives you a different perspective. I am of course extatic if Canada gets a gold medal but every event just hoping for "a medal" no matter what colour.

Posted by: Nonie | August 20, 2008 2:11 PM

obviously, gold is worth more than silver and silver worth more than bronze

a point system works for me

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 2:40 PM

how about this: assign each medal a point value. gold = 3 silver = 2 bronze = 1

45*3 + 14*2 + 20 = 183 points
26*3 + 28*2 + 28 = 162 points

clearly china is doing well in these games. I am happy for them. I don't cheer to see an american win, i'd rather see an athelete perform at their best, and the best person win. If any of you have competed you would know that you would not want to win a match simply by the fact that your opponent didn't perform to his/her fullest.

nationalism isn't a good thing guys

Posted by: smartone | August 20, 2008 2:46 PM

To Anonymous:

Before you post such inflammatory comments, you should make sure your translation is correct. JoeMac was making a very conciliatory, reasonable statement in saying that the common chinese people DO express excitement for their countrymen excelling WITHOUT necessarily placing any political motive on it. In my opinion, he was perhaps giving the Chinese too much credit, since apparently you are interested in politicizing what should be an athletic competition. I'm sorry; your english needs a LOT of work and YOU are the one who has been brainwashed by YOUR media. The West is not out to get you. The West is not out to make you look bad. Maybe you should turn an eye inward and see how you comport yourself before you shame yourselves and we in the US are the ones who have to suffer for it.

Posted by: A chinese-american | August 20, 2008 2:50 PM

Wow. Commies winning more gold medals in crap like diving. So what? Our best athletes do not compete in most of the Olympic sports. (Football, Baseball- we don't send our major leaguers) You see how we dominate Basketball and China can't keep up in Track with the USA and Jamaica. You can't win a soccer match to save your lives (yes, Americans are not as passionate about soccer as the rest of the world)
Your swim team is getting better but congrads on winning medals in sports no one cares about.

So good lick on being happy with your gold medals in ping pong and diving.

Posted by: mike | August 20, 2008 2:57 PM

Posted by: Karl K. | August 20, 2008 3:00 PM

No one here has mentioned that fact that number of Golds don't matter, and # of medals matter compared to WHAT ATHLETIC EVENT A MEDAL IS WON IN.

Shooting? Badminton? Ping Pong? ... lol?

China has done well in Weightlifting, Gymnastics.

U.S. has done well in many more ATHLETIC events. Keep your 10 Meter Air Pistol gold medals.

Posted by: Common Sense | August 20, 2008 3:01 PM

This fiery debate is precisely why I hate the Olympics--it just fires up nationalism, which has been the cause of most modern wars.

Posted by: Billie | August 20, 2008 3:03 PM

I have been looking at the Olympics for a long time now...our media has always counted total medals won. Who cares, Football season starts in 16 days...and I do not mean soccer!

Posted by: Mike | August 20, 2008 3:03 PM

I don't even understand why people are bickering. The olympics are the olympics. They happen every four years. Fine, it is nice to cheer on your own country. but you have to realize that no matter who wins, you should be happy for the people who get the medals, regardless of where they came from. It's like having a small country win a gold medal. You should be happy for them because they barely get much medals, while big countries like China and the USA have tons of medals and a lot of chances to win.

Posted by: Chinesekidintheus | August 20, 2008 3:09 PM

I'm surprised that no one has looked at the number of athletes from other countries that come to the US to train or go to school. For so many of the track finals, it seems like the majority of the competitors (regardless of country) went to US schools and participated in NCAA meets. Obviously the US has had some influence in helping these athletes succeed. And that's the point -- the US is an open society that allows anyone from anywhere attempt to do the best they can.

While it's fantastic that the Chinese have such a presence at these games, what is concerning for someone from the US are the methods used to train these athletes and at what cost... Taking children from their families at the age of three to completely dedicate their lives to training for a sport... that's something that would not be acceptable here in the US.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 3:13 PM

Regarding Mike's comments, yeah, football season is going to be back, yay. Basically to sum it up, China does better in sports that are more concentrated on individual winners and USA does better when it comes to real sports that prove how good an athlete really is, and TEAM sports like basketball. China sucks at soccer, even though tons of Chinese like that sport, and basketball, which they are eliminated in. It also proves that having Yao on their team means nothing because he's only good for his size. And all those people on the badminton and table tennis chinese team, look at their bodies, they're out of shape.

Posted by: Chinesekidintheus | August 20, 2008 3:15 PM

China is ahead in gold medal count but the US can make that up quickly when we when gold in Basketball both men and women. That is about 20 right there. Then there is baseball men, softball women,as well as track and field where most Asian nations do not do as well. I guarantee that the gold medal count will change in favor of the US.

Posted by: Not done yet | August 20, 2008 3:19 PM

Responding to anonymous 2 comments above me, since I have a lot of spare time. I totally agree what you're saying because the only reason why they are so good in gymnastics is because they overtrain their gymnasts. When they grow up, they'll be NOTHING, and their life will suck even more with a small body, all torn down, and they'll feel like old people with brittle bones. And in this country, we actually care about abuse of children and it's not right for them to do that just to get more medals.

Posted by: Chinesekidintheus | August 20, 2008 3:19 PM

First of all, a medal is a medal. All sports are equal, there is no objective way to say that one sport is better than another. You can't just say that just because basketball may require more strength, it is a more "valid" sport than diving. Each sport requires different skills and being able to compete at olympic level for any sport is a huge achievement. JUst because you enjoy watching a sport does not suddenly make it the best sport in the world.

The fact that the olympic committee includes all events, with no particular bias proves that there is no event with a higher degree of "athleticism."

Are you such a sore loser that you need to use lies to justify your belief that America is still winning in the more "athletic events." Get over it, China's winning and that's all there is to it.

Posted by: A Medal is a Medal | August 20, 2008 3:21 PM

Notdoneyet, you are wrong. according to my research, team events are considered one medal, no matter how much athletes you have. That would make it unfair for China because they are generally horrible in team sports like basketball, with the chinese women being inches smaller than their opponents, and the chinese men's team which is also horrible because most of them (besides Yao and Yi are shorter) and the fact that they are just starting to get better in international play. Another reason why Chinese people (besides the government) care so much about medals and stuff is because a lot of them have never traveled out of the country and censorship has led them to think that China is the best at everything, and they're clearly not.

Posted by: Chinesekidintheus | August 20, 2008 3:25 PM

As a Chinese, I really feel sorry for winning too many gold medals. We should have shared some of them with Americans. Will Americans attack us by using aircraft carrier and launching cruise missiles just because you didn't win more gold medals than us? I am frightened of that.
=======================================
Nah, the US force is still trying to find there camel of mass destruction from Iraq, they probably won't leave until they suck the petroleum dry in Iraq, then Iran will probably start to develop weapon of mass destruction.

And on the media freedom issue, taken Georgia-Russian war for example, the rest of the world reports that Georgia started the whole mess and have you seen a single US new agency honestly report this?
And let's see how far Fox news will go to distort the truth?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFcaNM2J3VE

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 3:26 PM

Amedalisamedal, that is true, but think about this. USA has over 600 athletes because they all qualified. China also has over 600 athletes because they AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFIED IN EVERY SPORT. Meaning that even if their bad athletes are capable of getting bronze or silver, they'll still make it.

Posted by: Chinesekidintheus | August 20, 2008 3:28 PM

I don't see your point, they still have to compete for the gold. It's not as if they automatically got that.

Posted by: A Medal is a Medal | August 20, 2008 3:33 PM

Don't be dissing the sports China dominates.

Just cuz you don't like them doesn't mean the rest of the world doesn't.

If you think nobody likes Badminton, go ask Bill Gates.

If you think nobody likes Ping Pong, ask all of Eastern Asia.

If you think nobody likes diving, why is it one of the most popular spectator sports?


Sports don't have to be based on brute strength. That's why I love the olympics. It has events like sailing, shooting, and gymnastics where precision and technique are far more important than pure muscle size.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 3:36 PM

Yes you are right team sports count only as one medal. But china has always done well in the sports they have won we have no gripes about that but all of those are individual skill sports. Xiang may have been the most gifted Chinese athlete I have ever seen. But the whole weight of the nation was put on his back. State sponsored and financed programs should when more Medals. In the US you do not get that all athletes and their families pay for everything and they still beat most of the world. Just think what would happen if the Gov paid for all our athletes there would be no competition.

Posted by: Not over yet | August 20, 2008 3:45 PM

I feel the need to clarify an aspect many of you are unfamiliar.

You're all believing that China's way of training an athlete is child abuse.


It is actually social welfare. All (yes, every one of them) Chinese athletes without athlete parents have extremely harsh childhoods. They were probably as poor as some people in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The state identifies promising children at a young age of 3 to 5, then gives them an option of going to a government school where all living, food, and training expenses are paid. The government doesn't force them to go, they are begging to go.


Some examples:
Every single Chinese gymnast
Liu Xiang
Yao's parents
And many more.

Posted by: Training | August 20, 2008 3:47 PM

Jeez, so many bruised egos hiding behind "facts" and "arguments" here. Everytime someone says China/US (MY country) is better, it sounds like they just want to say that they're better than everyone else. Really, when your country's athletes perform well, be proud, but don't act like you have a right to take some of that success as your own. One thing I learned from watching the Olympics, is that every athlete has worked their butts off to even get to the Olympics, and should be recognized for that. People trying to validate themselves by using the hardwork of athletes should be ashamed.

Also, the medal count really doesn't mean anything. It's a product of the amount of wealth a country enjoys, and the amount of money a country will put into sports. Example: US has a lot of medals, because we can afford a good lifestyle with a lot of food. We grow up to be bigger and stronger than a lot of people around the world. Example 2:China has so many medals this time around because they poured a lot of money into training their Olympic athletes. They made a point to win big by spending big. If the US did similar things, you would see their medal count shoot up too.

Posted by: George | August 20, 2008 3:48 PM

sorry "win" spelling error

Posted by: Not over yet | August 20, 2008 3:49 PM

China should not even be counting medals. They kidnap young children from their families when they are toddlers and force them to compete like robots. Slavery and the shattering of families deserve no medals.

Posted by: Matt | August 20, 2008 3:49 PM

@Training: Just wanted to mention, Training has a good point there. It's not forced labor, it's a way out for the children. On the other hand, is it really ethical to put kids into such physically stressing positions? It's either face extreme poverty, or go through a physically tough life in government training.

Posted by: George | August 20, 2008 3:51 PM

Re: Common Sense

Last I checked, US won quite a few medals in fencing and shooting. I am sure those athletes really appreciate you dissing their sport. Are you trying to define ATHLETIC events as sports that require big muscles but not much else, like swimming? In contrast, badminton requires stamina, skill, control, tactics, lightning fast reactions, and coordination in the case of doubles. A polar bear will always outrun and outswim the fastest human, but it will never learn to play ping pong.

Posted by: ecc | August 20, 2008 3:56 PM

The "shortness" of Chinese athletes in basketball has nothing to do with it. Last I checked, the South Korean female basketball team had some shorties but they were pretty competitive. Plus, the Chinese Basketball team has some tall players on that squad. No, commies generally do not excel in team sports unless it is a national pastime like baseball (Cuba) or basketball (Soviet Union when they had all Liturainians my spelling sucks)

Posted by: Mike | August 20, 2008 4:00 PM

Individuals are real. Countries are fictions, and countries don't win medals.

Posted by: bajin | August 20, 2008 4:03 PM

I'm American and I accept Chinese athletic and more importantly, economic superiority. They have earned their status. We have earned our defeat.

Posted by: Mo | August 20, 2008 4:04 PM

The US is a sore loser - as simple as that. They knew that they would have a tough time competing with China for Gold Medals, so the media is devising new ways for making the US look good.

Posted by: teenu | August 20, 2008 4:05 PM

Re: Training

To followup, I know a friend who was trained in China in ping pong up to grade 5, after which she and her parents decided not to continue even though her coach was a little disappointed. So, there's definitely a choice. In that sense it isn't too much different from Australia's AIS (Australia Institute of Sport) which also tries to identify athletes at a young age, and support them, with very good results if you judge by the medals Australia gets in recent years.

Posted by: ecc | August 20, 2008 4:16 PM

To mike at August 20, 2008 2:57 PM

China is "winning medals in sports no one cares about"? Who on the earth are playing American football other than Americans? Baseball is being kicked out of the Olympics because Major League Baseball is afraid to send its major leaguers to the Games and get kicked out after positive drug tests. Maybe you think the Olympics are not up to your high American standards of sports, so don't bother with the Olympics and indulge yourself in your football and baseball.

Posted by: LX | August 20, 2008 4:18 PM

Not sure why people are so concerned about medal counts. It means very little, especially since not all countries have the same number of athletes in their delegation. Regardless, please don't reduce countries to an array of sterile numbers. Countries are about cultures and families and opportunities...they're living, growing communities filled with people whom God loves. Medal counts? Who really cares?

Posted by: Yeung | August 20, 2008 4:25 PM

Re: Mike on teamsports

Last I check, volleyball is a team sport, Chinese women won it in 2004 and US women now has a Chinese coach. Nevertheless, you do have a point in that team sports tend to require more money, and a thriving professional league works better than support from the government. I think the professional leagues in China will get better as it's economy continues to develop. For men's basketball, China's weakness is the backcourt. Backcourt talents will improve with basketball become more and more popular in China, with people playing the game starting from a young age.

Posted by: ecc | August 20, 2008 4:27 PM

Truly, I'm happy for all athletes that perform well. I get excited when I see an athlete from any country win a gold because I know it's a tremendous moment for him/her.
As an American, I see the medal count as meaningless. I'm simply enjoying the games. Go World!

Posted by: Melissa B. | August 20, 2008 4:42 PM

Adorable Shawn Johnson had 3 silvers before she got a gold on the balance beam.

Below is an incomplete list of headline news from some of the Us media before and after she took the gold :

"Johnson Tries Again For Gold" -- WHO-TV, IA

"US gymnast Shawn Johnson finally wins gold", by The Express Times -- LehighValleyLive.com

"Finally, a gold for Johnson" -- Kentucky.com, KY

"Iowa Gov. Culver lauds Johnson for gold medal" -- Chicago Tribune


Well, for those who think all medals are "born" equal, do I need to remind you what ostrich means? In Shawn's case, apparently, a gold weighs more than 3 silvers per those headlines.

Posted by: Adrian | August 20, 2008 4:59 PM

who knows, US and A probably have the power to make bronze more important than gold

i can't say i don't keep track of the medal count. personally, i just feel that might be good to have a change of first place :)

the game hasn't ended yet, so i can't say it's "settled".

congrats to all the athletes who worked hard in this worldly game.

Posted by: cyan | August 20, 2008 4:59 PM

a sore loser whining.

Posted by: Hapyy to see | August 20, 2008 4:59 PM

who knows, US and A probably have the power to make bronze more important than gold

i can't say i don't keep track of the medal count. personally, i just feel that might be good to have a change of first place :)

the game hasn't ended yet, so i can't say it's "settled".

congrats to all the athletes who worked hard in this worldly game.

Posted by: cyan | August 20, 2008 5:01 PM

What would be even more interesting would be the influence of the United States training facilities on the total medal count. I would like to know how many medals have been won by athletes who train and compete in the United States. We have athletes from all over the world in many sports who are able to go and represent their home countries thanks to their training opportunities in the United States.

Posted by: Angela | August 20, 2008 5:10 PM

Chinese media can count medals any way it wants, and so can the Post. I like the total count because it takes into count each accomplishment by an American athlete.

Posted by: Mary | August 20, 2008 5:17 PM

"These days, most countries, like China, use gold medal count for their rankings. Silver and bronze medals are used only as tie breakers. But others have argued that if silver and bronze medals don't count for rankings why have them at all?"
On the same note, if we rank by total, a country with the 50 bronze is ranked higher than a country with 49 gold. China is being fairest because it has rank by gold and rank by medals, while US only ranks by medals.
The fairest way: 3pts of gold; 2, silver; 1, bronze.
The winner? Still China with at 183 pts and the US at 162 pts.
I am surprised at the bias and low-quality post from this news site.

Posted by: Nancy | August 20, 2008 6:00 PM

don't be surprised, we are just sore losers. anyone who can do better than us is either cheating, inhuman child abuser, or fooling themselves in so called sports that we great american dont care about.

Posted by: proud american | August 20, 2008 6:38 PM

Let's not forget, that not all gold metals are alike. Why is US comparing itself to China anyway? Who can't win gold metal if you subject people to dive into water til they go blind, do gymnastics until their backs and body are broken, run til their legs fall off. At least in US, people do it for themselves first then the country. They make a lot of money from the gold metal and retire with health plan. In China, thanks for the memory, and throw them away. What proud chinese there are? Why don't you visit past olympic gold metalist and see how they are living first? I'm sure they bring pride to your communist country. Are chinese treated like humans or animals, useful=cheered, no use = throw them away?

Posted by: Reality | August 20, 2008 6:41 PM

I almost never post comments but after reading some of the ignorant comments mostly stemming from Americans, I felt I needed to give my opinion as well.

First of all, I am of Chinese descent & a Canadian citizen but not born in China or Canada so I am not biased one way or the other.

It is a fact that alot of Americans are overly biased as evidenced by some of their comments. Some examples would be Bela Karolyi & Bob Costas. Judging is not perfect in any sport & is especially true in gymnastics with the new scoring system. There have always been questionable calls in sports but when an American team/individual is the victim, all hell breaks loose. Life is not always fair & you need to roll with the punches sometimes.

In regards to some of the users commenting that China doesn't win in real sports, that might be true for you but part of the appeal of the Olympics for me is that I am able to watch many different sporting events that I otherwise wouldn't be able to catch on television & if it isn't a real sport as you claim, why is it in the Olympics?. For your information, there is a lot more to the Olympics than Track & Field & Swimming & other disciplines require just as much committment.

Lastly, Americans need to graciously accept that they don't have the most gold in these Olympics. You've had your limelight & it is now another country's time. The total medals system is also faulty as logic would suggest that a point system is more appropriate in which case, USA would still be behind. Being of Chinese ethnicity, I can't say I'm not proud of China but I am also proud of our Canadian athletes & other athletes who do their best to represent their countries in the spirit of the Olympics. We should also refrain from bringing up human rights issues because the Olympics are about showcasing the athletes & the events & not about politics. All countries have their problems & there is no utopian society.

Posted by: Chinese Canadian | August 20, 2008 6:45 PM

Here are the facts: I looked back on the past five summer Olympics and discovered this is the first year that the GOLD medal winner may not be the overall medal winner. So techincally, if in the past they were posting the Gold medal winners, they were also posting the overall medal winners. Whose to say they weren't counting all the medals then anyway?

Posted by: Student or Teacher? | August 20, 2008 6:49 PM

I have a question which may be difficult to answer. I admittedly do not have the answer to this question, but only a hunch. If we were to tally all the medals, gold or otherwise, of athletes who have primarily trained in the U.S., trained in the U.S. and benefited from training in U.S. universities (Florida State, Auburn, to name but a few), and then credit those medals to the U.S., what would the medal count look like then? I'm not saying that athletes should not be able to represent countries with which they have - at times - tenuous ties. But I have a hunch that many of the best athletes in the world, no matter which country they represent, can thank their U.S. training for their medals. In that regard, the U.S. is No. 1 no matter what the medal count per country is.

Posted by: André | August 20, 2008 6:55 PM

It would make more sense to weigh the medals to get an overall value. Obviously gold, silver, and bronze count for something. If you had gold worth 3 points, silver worth 2, then bronze worth 1 point it could be a compromise between the countries. I believe if it is done this way, China would be leading by a few.

Posted by: Jimmy | August 20, 2008 6:56 PM

Seriously, who cares about China. When our government lavishly spends money on our athletes and forces 12 yr old girls to compete, we will kill China in the olympics.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 7:01 PM

The point system (gold=3; silver=2; bronze=1) is a good measure. China is ahead on that index now, but they will likely be passed by the end of the month.

A couple of those gold medals to the underage gymnasts will be retracted after the games (evidence: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-flumenbaum/scandal-of-the-ages-docum_b_118842.html)

Who cares anyway. The bottom line is not to cheat. It usually comes back to haunt the cheater.

Posted by: pro-am | August 20, 2008 7:04 PM

Andre,

In that case you would have to subtract from the US winnings all the teams that won because they were coached by non-americans, in which case the US standing would fall drastically.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 7:28 PM

Andre,
Why don't you then subtract from US winnings all athletes that are not native Americans? The US basketball teams wouldn't be the US basketball team anymore.
One aspect of it is that we attract great athletes from around the world. The other aspect is that we are really depending on the genes of other countries to pull up our medal standings.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 8:18 PM

I don't think it's really that important to compare the number of medals - or how you count them... But.... It would be interesting to see a table that compared the number of medals - taking into account the populations of the different countries... as large, populous countries, the USA and china could expect to get many medals. but smaller counties with a few medals (to me) have achieved more...
At a glance I think this would put Jamaca at the top of the list... Well done Jamaca!
for the record, I'm from the UK

Posted by: jamie | August 20, 2008 8:21 PM

Did anyone see Japan's gymnast on NBC last night? Looks as young as some of the Chinese, but even shorter. No controversies here?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 8:23 PM

I am really saddened to think that Olympics is being used by countries with "power" to brag about themselves. Have you seen a group of men or women in the coffee shop show off their nice cars, shoes, or purses? Olympics is becoming like this . . . a coffeeshop phenomenon. I lived in the third world. I don't care about how much gold China or US wins. Good for them! Let us not forget that the world does not only consists of these countries. Let us not close our eyes to the real problems our world is facing today: Sudan, Darfur, population, AIDS, environment, inflation etc. I salute the people or nations who try to solve these problems. Let us face it, they deserve a gold medal! Well, I know we all deserve a break from these problems. Here's the deal . . . unless those athletes will donate their winnings to the poor, homeless, and hungry, they should be NUMBER 1. If not, I TOLD YOU SO!

Posted by: Evic | August 20, 2008 8:37 PM

Anonymous:

Again, I have not done the math, and it's just a hunch. However, I would add that if I was so inclined to undertake that calculation, I would not subtract from the U.S. those medals earned by athletes coached by non-Americans who are, nevertheless, coaching in the U.S. in U.S. facilities. For example, Valeri Liukin is certainly a non-American, but has lived and coached in the U.S. since 1992. I would not subtract Nastia's several medals from my alternate U.S. tally.

My point is not to consider the actual nationality of the athletes or their trainers, but to recognize the nation in which the athletes' training and development occurs. If one is to take a sense of national pride, the emphasis is most appropriately, I think, placed on the nation developing the athletes into Olympic champions.

Should I not feel a sense of some national pride for Milorad Cavic's silver medal for Serbia? He was born and raised in California, training and developing his skills in U.S. schools (including U.C. Berkeley.)

I am not challenging the medal system or even taking a stance on whether total medals or total gold medals is the appropriate measure of a country's success. I simply would like to see someone - with more inclination and ability than me - to undertake a tally which considers the country responsible for the athletes' development.

Posted by: André | August 20, 2008 8:52 PM

Andre:

Your logic has no basis & the answer would be too convoluted.

Posted by: 1UsaFanboy | August 20, 2008 9:06 PM

Hey Outternet, and anyone else out there that dislikes america and americans... we don't care... but I'm sure you're capable of figuring that out, seeing as you've figured out the rest of our empirical evilness. Here's a couple of links to really prove my point:

http://www.wfp.org/english/?ModuleID=137&Key=2551

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/12/burma.relief

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0412/p07s01-wome.html

The only people who can be truly proud of the medals are the individuals who have sacrificed so much and worked so hard to earn them. The rest of us are just fortunate enough to be able to watch and enjoy their performances, as we lounge precariously on our couches. The chinese may have cheated, so may have every other country. I'd much rather watch the Beijing Games than a repeat of Tiananmen in '89 or Mao's Cultural Revolution. I'm glad the chinese are moving in the direction they are headed in, they have come a long way in a short time. We are so fortunate to get to see first hand a nation of people steadily subvert an oppressive government and change it peacefully from within. They are gradually and peacefully becoming more and more free. I wonder what county Outternet is from, and how are they helping the world today? What extraordinary accomplishments can they lay claim to?

Posted by: average american guy | August 20, 2008 9:12 PM

It's an odd thing: when the US media report on the Beijing Olympics medal tallies, they show tables with nations ranked by "total medals" won - rather than by gold medals won, which is the more usual way of doing things (since otherwise a bronze counts the same as a gold, which is hardly the case).

And yet - it wasn't always that way in America's media. Compare these two medal tables from USA Today. The first is from the 2004 Athens Olympics. The USA is number one in both golds and total medals - but notice that China beats Russia into second place, despite Russia having many more medals in total than China.
Now fast forward four years and let's look at USA Today's online medal tally from Beijing - and notice that Russia is ranked ahead of Italy despite having won fewer gold medals. Hmm.
What's the reason for this? Anything to do with the likelihood that China is going to spank America's butt in terms of golds won - but that the USA has a chance to top the overall tally? Maybe ... anyway, the way China is going it may even win the overall tally as well, making America a loser however you count it.

Perhaps the US networks should start celebrating bronze medals as the true sign of Olympic achievement? Because there the USA team still has a big lead.

Posted by: AndyK | August 20, 2008 9:14 PM

US media counted gold medals in last Olympics.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 9:18 PM

I can't believe all the bickering here: This is nationalism at its worst, and it doesn't bode well for future relations between the US and China, since people on both sides seem but too happy to pick a fight. How about this thought: Most of the athletes on both sides worked hard and with little recognition for years till the big show. I can't imagine the sacrifice! Here's to their hard work, their athleticism, grace, good sportsmanship, and competitive spirit.

Posted by: T. E. | August 20, 2008 9:18 PM

Anonymous (II):

America is the country it is primarily because it attracts the great genes of the world to live/train here. I think you are suggesting that the U.S. Basketball team is not a U.S. team because the distant ancestors of the players are African and are not Native American? I guess no matter how long a group of people live in the U.S., we will always be considered a nation of immigrants. So be it. Such is the measure of a great country that attracts the great genes of which you speak.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 9:36 PM

You can't count silver or bronze same as silver.. There is ONE winner, ONE olympic champion, representing the ONE WINNER COUNTRY to which he/she belongs.. Americans, you should really try becoming better on losing..

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 10:09 PM

Sorry, ment to say "you can't count silver or bronze same as GOLD"
cheers

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 10:10 PM

Reading these comments and article its quite obvious that problem is not americans rating by medal count but the media. Clearly americans feel fairly ashamed by the fact that they are representing themselves to be #1 when obviously China is winning by large margin.

but its not their fault. its people who wrote this article and newspapers/media that allow a rank by medal count to be shown are at fault.

its clearly seen as a joke in entire world that only US lists the count like this (and for the first time in these games lol).
Solution... americans need to boycott these biased media companies.

Posted by: I am Canadian | August 20, 2008 10:19 PM

The following article is more reasonable.
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=oly&id=3540842

China's the boss, and it's not even close
Associated Press

Updated: August 18, 2008, 12:24 PM ET
Email
Print
BEIJING -- The story line was in place even before they filled the pool inside the Water Cube. This was always going to be China's Olympics to win, and there wasn't a lot the United States or anybody else could do about it.

The message didn't come from the Chinese, though they had to have a pretty good idea what was coming. They didn't spend billions on the magnificent structures where these games are being staged with the idea of coming in second in the medal standings.

No, it was the American side playing the game of lowered expectations. Better for those at home to understand going in that these games might be tough than have them look up midway through the Olympics and wonder what in the name of Michael Phelps is going on.

Which is precisely what many have to be wondering about now.

Lowered expectations are one thing. Lowered performances are another.

Sure, Phelps cleaned up in the pool and his teammates added to the swimming haul. That's almost expected, because Americans have dominated swimming at most Olympics since Johnny Weissmuller won five gold medals in the 1920s.

And U.S. athletes are doing a fine job of finishing second and third. Already, 50 of them have spent a few Olympic moments in Beijing standing on podiums listening to the national anthems of other countries.

But the golds? Gone to China, nearly every one. Well, not quite, though it may seem that way to everyone not watching American television. While NBC has spent much of its prime-time glorifying all things Phelps, the host country has been busy collecting the most prized medals by the handful.

In just 10 days, the Chinese have not only passed the total number of golds (32) they won four years ago, but also the total number (36) won by the United States in Athens. As of Monday night they had 39 golds, closing in on the 44 won by the U.S. in 1996 in Atlanta. The U.S. won 83 golds at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, but those were boycotted by the Soviet Union and its allies.

China's success is no surprise. The country's Project 119 program was designed to match that many total medals at these games, and China has spared no resources in making sure that happens at home in Beijing.

What is a bit surprising is that the U.S. lags so far behind in a gold-medal race that figured to be competitive, if nothing else. The Olympic powerhouse that topped the gold medal count the last three Olympics has a grand total of 22, and that's after all the swimming that isn't synchronized has ended.

Take away the eight won by Phelps and things really look dismal.

"We were trying to lay expectations down that we've seen this coming for a couple of years and certainly didn't want anyone to be shocked," U.S. Olympic official Steve Roush said, referring to the lopsided medal tally. "Some felt maybe we were sandbagging. I wish we were."

Ask why the Chinese are dominating the gold-medal count while the U.S. struggles to pick up a gold here and there, and you hear the usual things. The home team always gets a boost from the Olympics, China has a sports school program that trains athletes from a young age, and the hosts have targeted certain sports (weightlifting, shooting, badminton) to cash in on.

Left unsaid is that the U.S. also identifies athletes at a young age, spends hundreds of millions of dollars to train them, and throws in a nice bonus if they win gold. And no country has done anything more to make their athletes feel at home in China than the Americans.

They took over a local university so the 600 athletes could train and live in comfort, imported tons of their favorite food, provided them with everything from masseuses to sports psychologists, and even taught them the words to the national anthem, just in case.

They still aren't winning, something the Chinese are beginning to notice.

"Track and field competitions were already in the third day and so far 'Uncle Sam' hasn't taken one gold," the nation's biggest sports newspaper, the Titan Sports Weekly, said Monday.

That changed when Stephanie Brown Trafton won the women's discus and the American men swept the 400 hurdles. U.S. officials hold out hope for a strong final push in track, but Tyson Gay didn't even qualify for the 100-meter final, what was supposed to be an All-Star shot put trio flopped, and there's not a Carl Lewis anywhere in sight.

"I am surprised we haven't won more gold," Brown Trafton said. "But you know what? I hope this sets a trend."

Much to NBC's horror, there's not a lot left out there to even make it close, unless IOC officials rewrite the rules and give the U.S. credit for all of the 12 gold medals that will surely hang around the neck of the U.S. men's basketball team on Sunday.

Purists will insist that none of this matters and that the Olympics are all about individuals and teams doing their best for Olympic glory. They'll say just competing means more than anything.

That, of course, is nonsense.

Bragging rights by countries have been an Olympic staple since the inception of the modern games in 1896. They were especially fun -- even important -- to grab during the Cold War, where the medal haul often served as a proxy for real world events.

The world has changed, but that hasn't.

And with time beginning to run out in these games, the U.S. isn't finding a lot to brag about.

----

Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlbergap.org


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

Posted by: fair | August 20, 2008 10:28 PM

I am a chinese living in mainland. My point is like this:
1. It is still the fact that China got more got, and USA got more medals. No matter what way you count.
2. Some Amercian said that china's sport is not real sport, but please be reminded this is an Olympic Game, not american national games.
3. Some American took pride in that many foreign athelets trains in USA. That is true, and that is the internationalization of sports. USA shall be proud of this.

4. Actually inside Chinese media, people admited the fact that although China is a large sports country, China is not a strong sports country.
This is not because china is not competent in F&T or swimming, it is because the fact that chinese citizen don't take in sports themselves as much as Japan, US, Australia.

5. Some criticize china's way of training athelets from young age, and consider this practice as unhuman. Let me explain it: For many children from poor family, like the child from peasant family, to be an athelete is actually the best way of uplifting their social status and chaning their fate. If you do a survey on the chinese atheletes, you will find most of the athelets are from countryside family.

6. Things are changing now, as china become richer, atheletes like Li Na of Tennis, Liu Xiang of T&F, they represent a new way, a new direction. They are professionals. They got their earning by taking part in games, and they don't require government's money.

Finally for the americans, China is a political concept, but actually there is not a Chinese market, not a chinese philosophy, not a chinese economy, not a chinese way. We china is a big country, with 1.3 billion population, different parts of china is very different from other parts.
You don't like this: Europeans love peace, or Europeans hate peace, Europeans commit no crime, or Europeans commit no crime. Because you know different part of Europe is very different, east, west, north europe.
Please be reminded China is larger than Europe both in area and population. Don't talk china this and china that, please say some chinese do this and do that, please say china in past and china now.

Posted by: KLY | August 20, 2008 10:29 PM

Why arent all team sport medals counted? US has dominated team sports and every athlete contributes to team win. Perhaps each team gold shuld be counted as higher number than individual medals.

Posted by: Gabe | August 20, 2008 10:41 PM

How do you tell the difference between an American and the rest of the world? An American thinks 101 Bronze Medals is a greater achievement than 100 Gold.

Posted by: Dave | August 20, 2008 10:47 PM

my feelings during olympics,

most chinese like americans more than any other country(that's obvious), while american press is hating chinese, don't know why, human right, excuses can be used even by child

china's peaceful rise is in america's best interest, dont know why press is always embarrassing america's own future. they want to show down like ussa or japan? no way, china is a big country, it's not going to be japan2,or ussa2, war would be deadly. hopefully both country's are responsible, this will not happen.

just because chinese like americans because of your good political system or development rationale doesn't mean american can bully chinese in pr, respect them, in the heart, they will respect you, in return.

Posted by: lovethem | August 20, 2008 10:59 PM

To those who think the Olympics aren't about politics, here's another story Ariana has done about two swell old ladies who are sure to agree with you, after their reeducation is complete.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/20/AR2008082001095.html?hpid=topnews?hpid=topnews

As for the more substantive question, gold medals are a good way to measure who has the most top athletes, but counting all three medals gives a better indication of how deep a nation's sports programs are. Shouldn't the US get some extra credit for taking the top two positions in the women's all-around? What about Jamaica for taking all three medals in the women's 100-meters?

China has won the most gold medals because it has spent tens of millions, if not more, building a hierarchical sports system that is focused on producing gold medals and gold medals only. But only one athlete stands at the top of that pyramid, where he or she can reap the benefits of that system. The U.S.'s sports system, on the other hand, comes from the grassroots. It produces lots of top athletes -- people who can win gold, silver and bronze.

I don't have the time or energy to do the research, but I'd venture that the U.S. has taken two or more medals in the same event more often than any other nation. Could be that I'm just watching the NBC coverage too much, but that's my impression.

Posted by: CSisk | August 20, 2008 11:24 PM

I do believe that the Chinese Government has the power to forge those passports- which is a shame. What is even more of a shame is that they break up families by taking the children at early ages and only allowing visitation rights from the parents once a year. China has always been a strong competitor but I believe that they have gone to different extremes knowing all eyes would be on them to make the impression in this game as the world's greatest leader. Well, good for you China, you have thus far succeeded in getting the gold medal count and allowing your athletes to have nothing else in their lives but their sport so that when they are no longer physically able to do it, they will have nothing to go back to.

Posted by: anoutsideobserver | August 20, 2008 11:26 PM

I learn something in this olympic game!
Is that the papers and many of the american people don´t know how to lose!
The gold medal counts first and is that it!
In the final the olympic have to get a winner and a second place! Is time to the USA accept his loss and keep going better to the next olympics!

Posted by: Brasil | August 20, 2008 11:36 PM

Talking about internationalization of sports, I would like to say something more
1. China went through a growing up process of internationalizaion. When football leage starts in China, there is debate whether any team shall hire foreign players. Foreign players are considered to be harmful for the "purity" of a team. Of course now this is not a problem.
2. But even today, you notice that Chinese Olympic delegation this time have 38 foreign coach, but still there is not one player who was foreigner before. I mean, Liukin is from russia and now plays for USA, some guy from Morocco has earn men 1500m for Barain this time. But chinese atheletes are all chinese from birth. So maybe this will be the next barrier for chinese people to break in the national psyche.
When He ZhiLi plays for Japan in PingPong and defeated china in PingPong in 1994's in Asia Game, chinese media called her as
a traitor to motherland.
But now when Lang Ping led the US women volleyball team as the coach and defeated china, she still got the applause from all the audience.
Things are very different now and then.

Some interesting fact:
1. Coach for Shawn Johnson, Qiao Liang, is from Beijing, a chinese.
2. The Ping Pong women's final is between China and Singapore. The coach of Singapore, Mr. Liu Guo Dong, is the elder brother of China's coach, Mr. Liu Guo Liang.
3. A french coach, coaching fencing, actually help china to grab a gold medal from French team.
4. A korean coach, coaching hockey, is the model for learning nowadays in China.

Posted by: KLY | August 20, 2008 11:40 PM

I told you idiots. Use gold=3; silver=2; bronze=1. China will lose at the end of the month.


Zhong Guo will get those medals retracted for underage gymnasts. "Anonymous" asks about the Japanese gymnast...show evidence that she is underage. Or stop wasting your time.

Evidence that the Chinese are underage: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-flumenbaum/scandal-of-the-ages-docum_b_118842.html

Posted by: pro-am | August 20, 2008 11:44 PM

I guess America likes to settle for less nowadays. We're a country of cry-babies and morons trying to compete with countries that actually invest in their own people, and populations who work hard to achieve like we once did.
On another topic though, just to burst china's land of make believe. On my last count I took all of the individual medal counts for each of the members of the European Union. If they competed as a single team would have 50 gold, 55 silver, and 54 bronze for a total of 159 medals compared to china's current 75 medals total. The European Union also has only about a third the population of china. So Europe should seriously consider dropping the whole nationalism thing to compete together next time since they have about six times more medals per-capita than china.

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 20, 2008 11:55 PM

If the Americans want to find a counting way best for them any way, they will find it.

Posted by: Claire | August 20, 2008 11:59 PM

Evidently I'm using an old count, but my point still stands and I'm not even counting a few countries. So even with my conservative estimate Europe kicks China's ass by a long shot.

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 12:03 AM

As an American, I am extremely ashamed to see how people like you would rather twist the truth than to accept a defeat with honor.

I was born here and we've always counted by the number of golds. It saddens me to see how blinded our nation can be at times...

What's gonna happen if we only get bronze in the future? Are we going to change the rules again and count only by bronze?

Posted by: American | August 21, 2008 12:06 AM

As an American, I am proud of every medal the US team has won. But I am also troubled by how many more gold medals China has won. I can't imagine feeling troubled if I didn't believe deep down that the only number that matters is the total number of gold medals. I don't know if it is home court advantage that is making the difference, but either way, China is dominating. I see no way the US can catch China in total gold medals, and therefore we have to concede that China is better, at least for this Olympic games. I hope that the US team has more success in the 2012 Olympics.

On a side note, I can't understand why there are age restrictions in the first place. If a nine year old can compete with a sixteen year old, then why not let them? I also don't believe in drug testing the athletes. I think the athletes should be able to ingest whatever they want to ingest. All foods are chemicals. Who should decide which chemicals/foods are allowed to be ingested?

Posted by: AnInsideObserver | August 21, 2008 12:09 AM

Gold medals obviously mean the most, but winning so many silver and bronze medals also shows great athletic achievement.

Overall medal count shows the most well rounded total. And right now...surprise, it's a dead lock between two countries with many great athletes.

I'd like to know more about the Chinese olympic training program that's been hinted at a few times throught this coverage. Sounds like robot training.

Posted by: Dumb argument | August 21, 2008 12:21 AM

"Gold medals obviously mean the most, but winning so many silver and bronze medals also shows great athletic achievement."

A person gets a silver when he LOSES to the gold medalist. So we're going to start counting the numbers of losers now? Just because we're losing a lot of games?

Just because silvers and bronzes are 'great' athletic achievements doesn't mean they should be rated the same as gold.

Posted by: American | August 21, 2008 12:26 AM

Why is it that the US is so afraid of China? Why does the US media constantly use lies, innuendos, slants and smears to portray China?

I am an American living in China for years. Unlike in the past, China is now a free, progressive, humane and strong country, and its government, people and society as a whole are dealing very effectively with issues and problems related to people's livelihood. Those in the US who are still stuck in the Cold War mind-set and racial bigotry will be losers. We should look ourselves in the mirror and recognize the fact that we are no longer the country and people we once were. Our social ethics are so corrupt that our founding fathers would probably immigrate to China. That's because our founding fathers were not ignorant and closed-minded like the vast majority of today's Americans who are kept in total darkness by the establishment media (including The Washington Post).

My Chinese friends are puzzled at how Americans can be so ill-informed and overcome by this fear of China (when they should really be afraid of Russia). They believe that Americans are scared because they know subconsciously that they did a lot of horrible things to other people of the world and are afraid when they are no longer capable of being the bully. There is a lot of truth to that. That's how we Americans are brought up -- that might is right.

That's why we are not able to accept that we are clearly not number one in the medal tally at this Olympics, when we should really be concerned about our economy, our lack of basic human rights to affordable healthcare and retirement security, etc., etc., etc. Our media has failed us by constantly papering over the real issues and brain-washing us into thinking that other countries and peoples are horrible. I have no doubt that our country is in a permanent decline as a result of its rotten cultural and ethical core. The media are just willing slaves to serve the agenda of the establishment, the rich and the powerful, whose interests certainly do not align with the people.

We cannot even enjoy the Olympics like every other country in the world. We have to whine like babies -- we should be number one, it's not fair, we are being cheated. Really !

Posted by: Bill | August 21, 2008 12:34 AM

To: "We Didn't Need To Cheat"

Hell yeah, we do cheat and in a big style...lol Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery.
I am for the gold count, what about our boy Phelps getting 8 brozes? Ask Sanya Richards if she is happy whith hers?
Congratulation Jamaica and Cuba only :)
:):)6 and 10 million supporting their teams

Posted by: Shssss | August 21, 2008 12:34 AM

Yeah, the judges are not biased in CHINA for CHINA, ohh no. Can't happen. Just like when their female vaulter fell on her face and the US vaulted both perfect vaults but the us still loses?? Why is that?? Pfft, China has more golds because of home team advantage. If you are too ignorant to see that yourself, maybe YOU need to use your brain.

Posted by: what | August 21, 2008 12:38 AM

Well in America someone who spends all day diving in a swimming pool defaults on their mortgage and loses their job. No one sits around handing out free cash to people with talent here. Most Western athletes have jobs and a life, as opposed to China where-in their job from infancy is to dive in a pool 2300 times a day. If we fail its an "oh well better luck next time" attitude, in china its disappear into a dark room run by their tyrannical government. Honestly this whole Olympics has reminded me of Rocky 4.

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 12:40 AM

Oh and you Sinophiles can call China progressive when the Chinese people actually give the government a mandate to rule. Tanks running over college students is not a symbol of progressive reform. That would never fly in the west today because westerners aren't drones.

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 12:46 AM

Guys let's not forget this is Olympic. Who cares if usa have the most medal or china have the most gold medal. Put your useless comments elsewhere. Just congratz every athlete for giving their best. And for those people who is disrespecting other other countries and the olypmic spirits, just go $&&@ yourself!!!

Posted by: Chinese kid | August 21, 2008 1:05 AM

Real, NY

Have you been to China? If not, well then your statements make sense. If you have, then I don't know what China you went to because modern day China is not like that. Free cash to people with talent=scholarships. And people in China do not disappear for a bad performance, at most they will probably just lose their position on the team. Please stop looking at China with such a close-minded, old-fashioned mentality!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 1:13 AM

Dumb Argument:

A overall medal count would not work because you're giving equal importance to gold, silver & bronze medals. Logically, a point system would make more sense. As for the constant debate about gold medals or overall medals, the answer is straightforward to me. The IOC determined the ranking system for each country would be based off total golds & not overall medals a while back. USA sports federation/media is obviously aware of this system but wanted to see how their athletes fared in gold medals before changing the tune of their story to salvage their reputation.

Regarding the constant backlash of the chinese cheating by using underage gymnasts, I think they are innocent until proven guilty. As for the supposedly inhumane conditions that the gymnasts are being trained under, keep in mind that a gymnast's career is very short. That is why they start so young & dedicate so wholeheartedly to their discipline with hopes of someday achieving great things. The difference is they seem to be putting pen to paper & taken the training to another level. Another misconception is the fact that once they retire, they will be discarded as just another person. That is far from the truth as the successful athletes from the past lead a privileged life compared to your average citizen. As a fellow American, I know we can be ignorant. How else would you explain George Bush serving two terms & gaining the vote from the states with the lowest iq.

Posted by: 1UsaFanboy | August 21, 2008 1:13 AM

Well, enjoy the games!

Posted by: Jeffery | August 21, 2008 1:17 AM

I really don't know what China is like because they tend not to allow unflattering news reports past their state run media. Its like having nothing but Fox news on every channel. They put the rest of the world at risk when they lie about their flu outbreaks or underestimate other risks. They are soon to surpass the US in Carbon and other greenhouse emissions. Their human rights violations are sickening in regards to baby girls, wouldn't you agree or would you attribute the gender gap to I-Ching magic?

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 1:28 AM

Americans will be among the first to congratulate a winner, as long the winner wins fairly. So will Chinese, except when an unfair winner is Chinese. Americans do not like to win unfairly. The US people will challenge injustice whereas Chinese will follow a corrupt policy into hell.

In the olympics, there are underage gymnasts, fake fireworks, fake singer in opening ceremony. It's embarrassing. I love China and I know China (wo hui shuo zhong wen) and I love America too but we need to challenge what we love to make it better when we can. Look at the evidence from China's own websites about cheating gymnasts, which they now try to hide in order to protect lies. If the US did that we would criticize such corruption.

For you Chinese, if your government says something, you interpret it to be true or use double-think. It will work now, while things are growing, but wait until you find your country sinking again. Big trouble then.

Posted by: pro-am | August 21, 2008 1:33 AM

What else can I comment on? Oh yeah the Chi-Comms' oppression of religious groups (Falun Gong anyone). The communists law regulating how many children a couple can have. Their crackdown on political opposition groups just prior to the olympics. The fact that they sensor the internet and allow only "appropriate content" to reach their populace. I'm an American Liberal and I'm beating you over the head with this, try arguing with a conservative.

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 1:36 AM

Washing Post is a influential media of USA, so CCTV translated its content and broadcasted nation wide from time to time. but I never see any chinese text translated into USA media.

So I, as a native chinese in China, will do some job, by translating the headline of the olympic mainpage of www.sohu.com, one of the 3 most viewed chinese website, the page: http://2008.sohu.com/olympic-news/comments/

headline each day are:

20th: It is actually very difficult to enjoy the party.
19th: We would like rather not to receive the greatness endorsed with injury.
18th: Don't turn the point of participation into comparison.
17: Doping: the sin and penalty of competitive sports.
16: Don't change the Olypmpic report into a report of China's National Game.
15: Please bestow the men soccer team a spirit leader.
14: Let our athelete be bold to speak, laugh, and challenge.
13: Everybody loves Phelps.
12: When a Gergian Athelete kiss the Russian athelete.
11: Fans bless Lang Ping: sports is more than win or lose.
10: A nation's power is rooted from self confidence, no need to be proven with gold medal.
9: An ancient people, a new proclaimation.
8: Let the world remember this Shining day.

So you see, chinese media is quite different from what you receive in your media, which is truly biased.

Posted by: KLYJ | August 21, 2008 1:41 AM

My mentioning of Falun Gong probably caused our bloggers in china to be blocked from reading any further entries but I'm sure they'll sleep soundly knowing that Big Brother is keeping them safe. Pucker-up for the police state boys and girls china is an example of what happens when you let the government take away your freedom for security. My university is full of Chinese bio-science majors and engineers, how come there aren't any Chinese poli-sci majors in the U.S.?

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 1:44 AM

by the way, chinese soccer team is a laughing stock for all chinese people. Some make joke that the reason of Phelps got 8 gold medal shall be contributed to chinese men soccer team, because some soccer player dip their feet into the water of water cube, and suddenly the water there become so smelly, that every swimmer including Phelps felt great dirve to swim faster and faster.
Hah, hah.

Posted by: KLYJ | August 21, 2008 1:48 AM

America has plenty of biased media, but they swing many different ways. An intelligent person can decipher truth from conflicting news reports. If everyone is saying the same thing we run into something called "group-think" where-in people act irrationally and tend to act as a mindless mass of drones, kind of like the chinese populace. No offense but democracy has a higher upkeep than authoritarian communism and also has higher long term rewards. Give it thirty or so years, you'll see what I mean.

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 1:50 AM

KLYJ, Your joke shows extremely complex thinking, thats a great compliment. Why can't such a complex people figure out democracy?

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 1:52 AM

To NY on democracy in short words.
Human rights is not as important as human rice.
Democracy is good, but just unpractical for China today, maybe in future.
We china must do things step by step, you cannot hope everything realsied within one day. When praying, we shall not ask too much from God in one time, right?
Democracy is for richer people, so let us chinese become rich first.
You may argue that poor people also have the rights to liberty and democracy, that is absolutely true. But democracy is deserved by people who ask for it.
If you delve into chinese culture, and see people's way of thinking, you will conclude that american style democracy will cause only trouble for China. We china will develop democracy with chinese characteristic.

Posted by: KLYJ | August 21, 2008 2:00 AM

Hey I can settle this!

Who has the most Gold medals, or medals period in Olympic history? The United States of America.

Maybe if the Chinese come up with a few billion more people, hand picked by the government from childhood, they can catch up with the US all time gold medal count.

Posted by: Mr. Obvious. | August 21, 2008 2:10 AM

I actually agree with the argument of this article...it really all depends on how you count the medals.

However, it is actually the US who is intentionally counting differently. China is proud of its olympic achievement, because it is winning in the traditional way of counting medals (a little bit of research will already do it). The country trying to make itself look better right now is actually the US, not China.

Posted by: Iris | August 21, 2008 2:14 AM

Congratulations to the Chinese people for putting on a fantastic Olympics and congratulations on winning the most gold medals. You have every right to be proud.
If the USA finishes on top in the overall medal count, we will be just as proud of that accomplishment, but it doesn't mean that we are somehow minimizing coming in first place in the gold medal count. Obviously, we would love to have been able to come in first place there as well. Also, please don't judge all Americans by the comments of a few rude people on this forum. I'm sure that most Americans wish the Chinese people a future rich in the same prosperity and freedoms that we enjoy over here. I don't think it's any secret that both of our governments have many areas where they need to make improvements, but in this day and time, the people in both of our great countries need to strive to reach out in friendship to each other even when our governments find themselves squabling. Nobody wants to return to the days of the Cold War and there is absolutely no need for us to do so.

Posted by: Jon Daly | August 21, 2008 2:19 AM

Makes me ashamed to be American when we do portray ourselves so poorly. U.S. as a country, especially the media, are very very sore losers. I was actually pretty confused on this medal count because, I thought we counted the Gold medals first, but noticed on this Olympics, it's total medal count. Not sure when this change happened, but it's just sad.

I wish we can learn some humility in winning, and accept some gracious defeats. All the complaining I see in events like Gymnastics just makes us look like whinny brats. Yes, there are questionable judging, but that's always the case, and I recall some instances where US was on the advantage side of those poor judging.

Lastly, I got to say it's pretty pathetic how people are bashing each other when the Olympics is suppose to be a peace event that brings the whole world together. Stop arguing and just enjoy the games people.

Posted by: Shameful | August 21, 2008 2:31 AM

Can't wait for all this nonsense to end and for all those athletes to return safely home.
My favorite was that European girl who ran around the streets of Beijing about a half a day ahead of the rest of the world runners.
She should have gotten three medals because after she finished I had time to walk the dog and fry and egg before the next runner even appeared for that final lap around the track inside the birds nest.

Posted by: Geoffrey Arend | August 21, 2008 2:34 AM

As to those who accuse China of underage gymnasts, I have yet seen a journalist actually investigate. What happened to inncocent until proven guilty?

Why are we so intent on finding excuses to blame for our losses? First we claim that "underage" gymnasts somehow causes the Americans to lose, and then I hear the judges are incompetent. The last poor excuse I heard (which came from Bela), was that the "atmosphere" of the stadium affects the "mentality" of the judges.

It seems pretty pathetic how Americans have so many fingers to point whenever they lose. If they can't win, why not try harder?

And those who randomly discuss about the Chinese government, how does that even have to do with the Olympics? Is that another finger?

Posted by: Person | August 21, 2008 3:05 AM

Nice debate, full of nationalistic attacks from both sides. To Americans, stand proud. To Chinese, stand proud.

Thanks to the Post for allowing free speech. Seems we all enjoy its realism.

How about we take a vote? Afterall, you're all reading a publication based in the US. It's a simple and fair concept.

Posted by: :)~ | August 21, 2008 3:15 AM

Americans think they are the best and it's humiliating to be No.2 on the medal chart. They have to make themselve look like a winner somehow. If China ends up winning the most medals but U.S. has the most gold, will they switch back to the standard ranking system so that they'll come out on top(again)? What if China wins most gold and overall medal count, how will they manipulate the chart?

Posted by: The Geek | August 21, 2008 3:17 AM

You make a good argument and I'm sure democracy will come to China someday. The world looks forward to it. That is the day I will say that China is truly great.

Posted by: Réal, NY | August 21, 2008 3:39 AM

The simple solution: Assign (3) points for Gold, (2) points for Silver, and (1) point for Bronze, add them up and the nation with the highest points wins bragging rights.

Or we could have death matches.

Posted by: gerrrg | August 21, 2008 3:40 AM

It was no mistake that the US already anticipated that it will Not WIN THE GOLD MEDAL RACE. it is too obvious that gold medals are precious than silver and bronze for the simple reason that these are the losers' medals. the rankings should really be based on the number of golds -as was done before- because in the end, we listing who is the winningest. now if we are to list the medal based on the total, not on the number of golds, better provide all the losers with medals and every country and nations will have the same numbers of medals. an idea which is quite absurd.;

Posted by: Tienes | August 21, 2008 4:02 AM

The Olympics are supposed to bring people together. Nerds typing on the internet shouldn't take credit for medals other people have won.

Olympic medals are for the people who won them. You should be happy for them, not proud. Unless your a parent, coach or teammate, you didn't do anything. Michael Phelps won the Olympics.

Posted by: Zeus | August 21, 2008 5:04 AM

The olympics is about being crowned champion, silver and bronze are consellation prize. If by not winning but come second and third still matters then those who came 4th, 5th and so on will have a case to argue. Michael Phelps did not become greatest Olympians by winning 15 silver or bronze, he did it winning gold and being champion.

Posted by: Simon | August 21, 2008 5:24 AM

A US Women's Beach Volley team took Gold today. A pair of PRC teams took Silver and Bronze...so I guess according to the US method of counting, China is ranked #1 in Women's Beach Volleyball...?

Posted by: j in LA | August 21, 2008 5:33 AM

Some people in this forum had been saying that China does not make use of non-Chinese ethnicity for its olympians. My reply would be this - if you have 1.3 billion people to train and develop, surely you dont need or seek to import talent. It is like "bringing coal to Newcastle".

Posted by: Ngoumo | August 21, 2008 5:39 AM

China don't need to use non-chinese because China never stole its land, so no aborigines, no navajos. Fricken china never imported slaves either..i believe.

Props to China! World Champs!

Posted by: haha haha | August 21, 2008 6:00 AM

You guys are arguing about NOTHING!!!
It's a piece of metal...!
But if you want to argue, remember: the Olympics is still a game.

Posted by: neutral | August 21, 2008 6:39 AM

What matters is the olympics is where athletes regardless of country go to prove their worth. You can have national pride and that is fine, but remember this is one of the only times when regardless of race country or religion that the world comes together. I wish the olympics were every year, just for the fact people drop their guard on their biases and watch individuals try to prove their athleticism.

Posted by: Nate | August 21, 2008 8:14 AM

I think a perfect example is the woman's beach volleyball results. If you just look at that one event, USA won gold and China won Silver and Bronze. China won the medal count, but USA is clearly the best team in the sport with the gold. I think the best way to look at it is to give 3 points for gold, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze. So the two countries would be tied with 3 points a piece in Beach Volleyball, but USA wins the tie breaker having the gold. So USA is the winner (has the best team), but China is very close behind. So today (8/21/08 EDT) the points would be China 186, USA 172. It is possible to have more points with less golds, but you have to have significantly more silver and bronze medals to make up for a deficit in gold medals.

Posted by: Stephen | August 21, 2008 9:02 AM

We're not sore looser... our media thinks that we could face the truth... and they tries to fake it up once again... it's a shame, but our average american knows what's right or wrong.

Posted by: USA | August 21, 2008 9:06 AM

This is strange: Events with a clock the USA does great.Events with judges not so good......are you guys judges?....or just USA haters?

Posted by: love muscle | August 21, 2008 9:32 AM

Count those silver and bronze medals by weighted factor.
Like Gold medal x4 + silver medal x2 + bronze medal or other formula

Posted by: Yau Lun | August 21, 2008 9:59 AM

Person writes:

"As to those who accuse China of underage gymnasts, I have yet seen a journalist actually investigate. What happened to inncocent until proven guilty?"

Here is investigative journalism and evidence: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-flumenbaum/scandal-of-the-ages-docum_b_118842.html


Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 11:06 AM

I agree with Mike. The Chinese are superior in badminton and ping pong. Now lets see them attempt to compete in something like football or baseball, or track and field for that matter.

Posted by: Andy | August 21, 2008 11:11 AM

    
    ■国际奥运官方网站 (IOC)
    1 CHN 45 14 20 79
    2 USA 26 28 28 82
    3 GBR 16 10 11 37
    4 RUS 13 14 18 45
    5 AUS 11 12 13 36
    
    ■中国 (CHINA)
    1 中国 45 14 20 79
    2 美国 26 28 28 82
    3 英国 16 10 11 37
    4 俄罗斯 13 14 18 45
    5 澳大利亚 11 12 13 36
    
    ■美国 (只有美国按总数,铜牌价值等于金牌,果然yy第一) (USA)
     USA 26 28 28 82
     CHN 45 14 20 79
     GBR 16 10 11 37
     RUS 13 14 18 45
     AUS 11 12 13 36
    
    ■英国 (UK)
    1. China 45 14 20 79
    2. United States 26 28 28 82
    3. Great Britain 16 10 11 37
    4. Russia 13 14 18 45
    5. Australien 11 12 13 36
    
    ■法国 (FRANCE)
    1. Chine 45 14 20 79
    2. États-Unis 26 28 28 82
    3. Britain 16 10 11 37
    4. Russie 13 14 18 45
    5. Australie 11 12 13 36
    
    ■德国 (GERMANY)
    1. China 45 14 20 79
    2. USA 26 28 28 82
    3. Britain 16 10 11 37
    4. Russia 13 14 18 45
    5. Australien 11 12 13 36
    
    ■日本 (JAPAN)
    中国 45 14 20 79
    アメリカ 26 28 28 82
    英国 16 10 11 37
    オーストラリア 13 14 18 45
    ドイツ 11 12 13 36
    
    ■澳大利亚和新西兰 (AUSTRALIA/NZ)
    1. China 45 14 20 79
    2. United States 26 28 28 82
    3. Great Britain 16 10 11 37
    4. Russia 13 14 18 45
    5. Australia 11 12 13 36
    
    ■西班牙 (SPAIN)
    1. China 45 14 20 79
    2. Estados Unidos 26 28 28 82
    3. Great Britain 16 10 11 37
    4. Russia 13 14 18 45
    5. Australia 11 12 13 36
    
    ■意大利 (ITALY)
    1. Cina 45 14 20 79
    2. Stati Uniti 26 28 28 82
    3. Great Britain 16 10 11 37
    4. Russia 13 14 18 45
    5. Australia 11 12 13 36
    
    ■加拿大(法语版) (CANADA)
    1. Chine 45 14 20 79
    2. États-Unis 26 28 28 82
    3. Britain 16 10 11 37
    4. Russie 13 14 18 45
    5. Australie 11 12 13 36
     (英语版)
    1 CHN 45 14 20 79
    2 USA 26 28 28 82
    3 GBR 16 10 11 37
    4 RUS 13 14 18 45
    5 AUS 11 12 13 36

Posted by: Rankass | August 21, 2008 11:27 AM

"Here is investigative journalism and evidence: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-flumenbaum/scandal-of-the-ages-docum_b_118842.html"

The person who wrote that blog keeps switching between "he" and "she" and does not know the difference between "his" and "he's"

If you look at his post history, the guy obviously has a biased opinion.

I will take his accusations with a grain of salt.

Posted by: dingo_sl | August 21, 2008 11:53 AM

Hey Neutral, is that you, Obama?

Posted by: likes to laugh | August 21, 2008 12:07 PM

in other news, the price of bronze suddnely rose high in the stock market.

scientists thinks that it might be a good opportunity to invest in bronze to make some....err... stuff out of it.


Posted by: Cyan | August 21, 2008 12:15 PM

If we rank by gold then the US wins in 1964 against the Soviets and loses in 2008 against China. If we rank by total then the USA wins in 2008 against China but loses in 1964 against the USSR.

Posted by: Go USA | August 21, 2008 12:23 PM

And if we rank by gold then Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian. If we rank by total then Larissa Latynina of the USSR is the most decorated Olympian. Unfortunately, athletes from small countries have no chance to win this title, because they have no chance in the team competitions - even the best athletes need strong comrades to collect lots of team gold medals.

Posted by: Go USA | August 21, 2008 12:32 PM

when you say:"It fails to tally the total number of medals." show me the source where you don't see the total number or I would think that you are a liar. I am a Chinese teacher who teaches English. I am concerned with the Olympic Games and I do have a strong sense of national pride though I know it's not really the Olympic spirit. I look at the charts online many times in a day though I don't watch the games live much. I have never seen any source in China

Posted by: flyingdeer80 | August 21, 2008 12:38 PM

I have never seen any source in China that fails to tally the total number of medals.Interestly I see yahoo.com only shows the toltal number of medals. As someone said earlier. Does that mean gold,silver and bronze medals are all the same? again,please show me the source where they fail to tolly the total number of medals or it's hard for me to believe you. Thank you.

Posted by: flyingdeer80 | August 21, 2008 12:43 PM

I have never seen any source in China that fails to tolly the total number of medals. Interestingly I noticed that yahoo.com ONLY shows the total number of medals and the US always rank the first except when China and US both got 79 medals in total. As someone said earlier, do gold,silver and bronze medals mean the same?

Posted by: flyingdeer80 | August 21, 2008 12:51 PM

Above somebody mentioned that the USA got 80 gold medals or so in 1984. However, as a matter of fairness we should also mention that the two strongest nations (USSR and East Germany) did not participate in 1984 because of the boycott. It is clear that the USSR and East Germany really were the strongest back then, because when they participated in 1976 1980 1988 they topped the gold count. Note that 1976 and 1988 were non-boycott games. Note also that in 1976 the USA actually was slightly ahead of East Germany in the total count, beaten only by the USSR.

Posted by: Go USA | August 21, 2008 12:56 PM

I'm American and I disagree with the people who are complaining about unfairness in the Olympics.

IOC Judges:
First think about how judges are picked.. For one to be a judge, he/she must, above all else, be fair. The International Olympic Committee judges usually have a great track record of fairness, expereience and knowledge of the sport. An average joe like you and I can't be a judge.

I'm not saying there aren't mistakes in judging, but to accuse these judges from all around the world of strongly favoring one country over another is not only an insult to their profession but also a slap on the face to the rest of the world.

Back tracking, EVEN IF your accusation is true and all these countries are in together to de-throne USA from the top spot... then doesn't that tell you something about our reputation as a nation?

Underaged Gymnasts:
I believe we should not be so quick to point fingers at that. USA has a very very bad record of cheating in the Olympics (Marion Jones is the most recent one).. China does not have an Olympic cheating record yet as far as I know. Knowing that, the smart thing for us to do is lay low and let the IOC investigate. Innocent until proven guilty is what we should believe. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, especially from us, will go a long way in improving our image in the world.

US wins the REAL sports?
That's not true, baseball, football, basketball became REAL sports to us because we were good at it. To truely gain respect as a powerful sport nation, we need to beat them at their game. To dimiss other sports as irrelevant is just immature and unsportsmanlike.

That's my 2 cents. There is a difference between patriotism and blind ignorance. I truely love my country but I believe to continue our success, we need the rest of the world.

Congrats to China on their outstanding performance.

Posted by: American | August 21, 2008 1:24 PM

Above somebody wrote: "Total Gold Medals (summer and winter combined) United States: 972 China: 116." However, as a matter of fairness we should mention that the USA participated in almost all Olympic Games since 1896, while China debuted at the Summer Games in 1984.

Perhaps it is fair to say that the USA dominated the first half of the 20th century, the USSR the 2nd half. (I am kind of ignoring Germany here - East and West Germany combined often topped the medal rankings; they collected more than 500 gold medals in total although they were often banned from the Olympics.)

Maybe now it is China's turn for the 1st half of the 21st century?

But never write off the USA, which will remain strong!

Posted by: Go USA | August 21, 2008 1:30 PM

I've been an Olympic follower since goodnessknows when, and as far as I know it (along with a few million others) that the medal tally is sorted by the count of Gold Medals. So if a country were to produce only 1 Gold but 42 Bronzes = the country gets a number #1 placing?

What's next? Include the number of INDIVIDUAL golds collected from EACH Football, Volleyball & Basketball players? (which will probably total up to 30+ golds)
Duh..

Posted by: Donald | August 21, 2008 1:34 PM

I'm not sure what Donald is trying to say, but there are two things: Athletes and Countries. For Athletes competing in a handful of events, more gold is obviously better. What this entire article is about is comparing countries' performances. I like the point system for this giving a value to each type of medal. Gold(3), Silver(2), Bronze(1). I would argue that a country with 15 golds should be ranked higher than a country with 1 gold and 42 bronzes (both with 45 points for those scoring at home). But I find it hard to argue that if a country gets a bronze in every single event of the Olympics, but no golds, that they should be ranked behind a country that got a total of 1 gold and nothing else in the entire Olympics. Is it harder as a country to send one athlete to win one event, or for a country to send 100's of athletes that compete for gold in every event?

I'm not trying to say that my country is better, I'm mostly just proposing the fairest way to compare how a country performs. China and USA are both doing really well and both countries can be very proud of their athletes. Cheating and favoritism will happen, but IOC has a decent record of sorting things out for the most part, even if it does sometimes takes 3 years to strip someone of their medal for an infraction.

I'm not surprised that the US media is skewing how they report the results, that's the status quo here unfortunately. Even the broadcast will switch away from an event once the American is knocked out. Although NBC is doing a little better on this front this year. Hopefully most Americans are able to see past that and enjoy the Olympics for the outstanding performances that all of these athletes are putting on display. I would encourage everyone to watch sports that you don't usually watch, there are some amazing athletes from all over the world showing you how their sport should be played. You might learn something and above all maybe you'll gain an appreciation for something new.

Posted by: Stephen | August 21, 2008 2:00 PM

Hi guys,

The 'Total Medals' method values a gold medal the same as a bronze.

Perhaps you could award 3 points for a gold, 2 for a silver etc.

If you want to see all the methods, visit www.medalcount.com.au where I explain how both methods are in fact wrong.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!
oi! oi! oi!

Posted by: Tony | August 21, 2008 2:40 PM

Both the gold only way, and the US total way are rediculous. Medals should be weighted and total points summed. If you use only gold, then silver and bronze are essentially not counted. If you use total medals then all medals are the same. Best the IOC assigns weighting. For example the classic gold=5, silver=3, bronze=1 etc. Then add everything up. This would give all medals worth, but the higher placing more worth, which is the way it should be. Cleary a country with 1 gold isn't more successful than a country with no gold yet 5 silver. I would take the 5 silver.

Posted by: Bruce T | August 21, 2008 3:00 PM

I really appreciate china's performance in the competition so far, It is great to see that an asian country is emerging as a champion. Well silver & bronze doesn't matters everyone is here for the gold.

Posted by: Rajveer | August 21, 2008 3:33 PM

a gold is a gold is a gold.

people go there for gold, not silver, not bronze.

only losers will tell you a silver is as good as a gold.....

Posted by: holywhiner | August 21, 2008 3:35 PM

Congrats china

Posted by: Rajveer | August 21, 2008 3:38 PM

While Total medal count is misleading, the gold tally OR even the point weight system is also flawed I think.

According to the suggestion:
Gold=3, Silver=2, Bronze=1

Then for example...
3 sport events
Nation A: 1 Gold = 3 points
Nation B: 1 Silver, 1 Bronze = 3 points
Nation C: 3 Bronze = 3 points

Tied at 3 points, how do you determine which nation is stronger in sports over all? You can argue Nation A is stronger with the gold, but at the same time it is very bad at two other sports... Nation C does decent at all sports but never the best in one particular event.

It is very subjective to compare nations' over all sporting power with just medal counts... no matter how you weight it or count it.

The only accurate comparison we'll get is when we treat each event separately.

Posted by: dingo_sl | August 21, 2008 3:38 PM

^ dingo_sl makes a good point.
Maybe that is why IOC, when asked about the issue, refuse to give a definite answer. (They do rank by gold, but there is a disclaimer on the bottom that says the rank is for informationn only and not to be used as an absolute comparison)

I'm sure the IOC has given this a lot of thought. The weight point system is pretty easy to come up with, I'm sure IOC would've adopted it if it were that simple.

Posted by: American | August 21, 2008 3:44 PM

dingo_sl makes a good point. I'd say the tiebreaker would be most golds...but I think that American is right, we could go on forever making up the rules to our backyard Olympics, but it is probably best to let the IOC figure it out. Maybe it is like a good cliff hanger movie, the director lets the viewer decide how the end should be interpreted. I'm going to use the point method, and if and when with all these events there is a crazy tie at the very end, I will decide for myself how to break the tie or maybe I'll leave it a tie...to be broken by the next Olympic Games. After all it is just a bunch of games.

Posted by: Stephen | August 21, 2008 4:00 PM

I think most arguments above have got the direction wrong.

The world should not be arquing "Total medals count" is more appropiate or " Total Gold" is more suitable.

The direction should be "Which way was the traditional way in the most recent Olympics?"
It's just like we shall not argue "Whether a net-ball by a server on a tennis game should be a foul or re-serve?" We just follow the common rules.

If my logic is right, at least the Amercians shouldn't be pissed-off for being crticized.

Posted by: NK | August 21, 2008 4:00 PM

The count is in gold, why is this even an argument?

The saddest thing I have seen at these olympic games is Saudi Arabia walking in with no women, only these 4 or 5 men in dresses. The wahhabi is alive and well I guess and probably planning another attack on the US.

The best was the spectacular opening which many of us will never forget. The Chinese who found their liberation from the French and the English through Mao, started slowly to rebuild themselves and we are seeing their spectacular rise and these olympics are sending us the message that China is on its way to the top. I am so happy for the chinese and what they have accomplished.

Posted by: jones | August 21, 2008 4:27 PM

Well I agree with dingo_sl that all the teams have equal points , But it is not possible that the team which has won the gold will only be back with the single medal, It is sure that the team will also win atleast one more(no matter which one) which will increase its points.There are certain possibilities that the team with rank 1 will not win only a single kind of medals.

Posted by: bg_007 | August 21, 2008 4:29 PM

Now americans are no more champions & very soon they will be at the bottom just because of their thinking that they are the best.
They were good but now their time is off & now it's time for the developing nations who have learned from them. So americans better get prepare to loose all the way.

Posted by: ilas_james | August 21, 2008 4:41 PM

ALL COMENTS POSTED BY RAJVEER ARE COPIED FROM SOMEONE ELSE FOR OLYMPIC GAMES 2008

Posted by: Sonu | August 21, 2008 6:12 PM

I don't see this is at all relevant. China has a population of 1.3 billion people and the United States 300+ million. That is over 4 times our population.

In terms of percentages we are way ahead.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 6:31 PM

One of the comments yesterday suggested that Gamesblog was becoming a bit cynical. I can't speak for Keith or Aleks but yes, I'll admit, I have had the odd whinge recently. I blame a ropey Q4 release schedule combined with a lack of sleep (Keith - how you bearing up?) So it's about time we emphasised the positive and, y'know, there is actually a lot to look forward to when it comes to gaming in 2006. These are some of our reasons to be cheerful:


Shadow Of The Colossus is released in Europe

The 360 should finally get a true next-gen game

PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Revolution should launch in Japan at least

Twilight Princess - brand new Zelda that will demand attention

Nintendo DS redesign - it will happen. Arthritis prevention is assured.

Pro Evolution 6 will feature the newly promoted Southampton FC

Any others?

Posted by: Sonu | August 21, 2008 6:36 PM

bbbbbbbrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaa

KING KONG CHINA

Posted by: SONU | August 21, 2008 7:32 PM

There is really no correlation between population and medals. All countries have a big enough population that they're guaranteed many good athletes. It's not as if for every 100 people you add to your population there will be a good athlete. Otherwise India would definitely be among the top 10.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 7:34 PM

CHINAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa
CHINAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa
.............
CHINAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa
CHINAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa


Posted by: park_xuwi | August 21, 2008 7:42 PM

call me a cynic, but it seems pretty underhanded that the US media is ranking the American team at number 1. you cant change the rules to suit your own egocentricity. Accept it, you've been bested by the Chinese. Maybe America doesn't need to be first all the time.

Posted by: tom | August 21, 2008 7:50 PM

I agree with you tom that US media is just satisfaying themselves & their nation because they can't see the truth .From every aspect China is on the top of the table & USA is far behind , We don't think so that USA is even going to touch the 40 golds mark which china has already achieved. Well china has already proved that what they are we wish china & every other nation all the best.

Posted by: DENISSE CARRILLO | August 21, 2008 8:22 PM

If you use the point system that many are suggesting, 3pts gold, 2pts silver and 1pt bronze then in fact the US is in first place. China has 46 gold, 15 silver and 22 bronze equaling 190 pts. The US has 30 gold, 35 silver and 34 bronze equaling 194 pts. We're in first in total medals AND in this point system. BOOYAH!!! Regardless, I'd rather live in the US then be beaten for thinking on my own any day. GO USA!! We're #1, we're #1. At the end of the day, who cares though, really.

Posted by: RZA | August 22, 2008 1:08 AM

I don't why there is an angrument.

It is very clear that the Amercian Media refuse to follow to the "traditional and international" standard of medal counts that they had used to follow for all past
Olympics.
And they suddnly start sugguesting all points of views, e.g. medal per population,that I have never heard from past games. If we start such argument, it can go forever, we know that richer country always has advantage over poorer in sports. How about medal per GDP? that is how much money you can spend per athletes. In this case China shall be on top for the at least next 20 years. Then other country will start complaining.

So Amercian media, why can't you just face the truths, and follow the "traditional" rules you used to follow happily. You always criticize China and Chinese people shall learn more from the western culture and system. How can we trust a teacher, that cannot even take one "single defeat", and defend with all type of excuses.
As I Chinese I believe "losing with dignity" > "winning with glory".

Please don't get me wrong, I'm a Chinese, but being beaten by other country doesn't mean much to me. China has been weak for at least 200 years, another defeat doesn't piss us off much, we feel happy of our improvements, we'll feel the same if we moved from last in ranking to 2nd last.

P.S. Don't be a "HYPOCRITE"
To those concerning the "underage issue" on the Chinese gymnasts. Let the IOC do their job, if this is proven to be true, dis-qualified them, like they had dis-qualified many, many western athletes on drug tests in the past.

Posted by: nasaken | August 22, 2008 1:19 AM

I'm almost 50, and I can recall seeing the medal count tallied both ways in our media in the USA since as far back as I can remember. This is not some kind of a conspiracy that was cooked up just for the China olympics. Until the IOC lays down a ruling on the matter, its simply a matter of personal opinion which country should be considered the "winner" of the olympics. But frankly, there are far more important things for people to be spending their time worrying about anyway.

Posted by: Not news | August 22, 2008 2:23 AM

Go to the official IOC site . Medal rankings are listed with Gold medals totals taking priority.

Posted by: duh | August 22, 2008 2:49 AM

http://www.olympic.org/uk/games/past/table_uk.asp?OLGT=1&OLGY=2004

for Athens from the official IOC site. Check out all other past Olympics at the site too. GOLD MEDAL COUNT RANKINGS.

Posted by: duh | August 22, 2008 2:52 AM

"The medal tables by country are based on the number of medals won, with gold medals taking priority over silver and bronze."

As stated from the IOC site.

http://www.olympic.org/uk/games/past/table_uk.asp?OLGT=1&OLGY=2004

http://www.olympic.org/uk/games/past/table_uk.asp?OLGT=1&OLGY=2000

and so on ...

check it out.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 2:56 AM

It's too bad that, at least according to this article, "According to the Olympic charter, medal tables don't have any meaning. The IOC says that the games are a competition between athletes, not countries." The IOC should just change the charter and put an end to all the arguing. They eventually allowed professional athletes to participate in the games, so making a change like this seems like a no brainer. Then we could move the conversation on to something else and eliminate some of the hard feelings.

Posted by: Not news | August 22, 2008 3:04 AM

It's too bad that, at least according to this article, "According to the Olympic charter, medal tables don't have any meaning. The IOC says that the games are a competition between athletes, not countries." The IOC should just change the charter and put an end to all the arguing. They eventually allowed professional athletes to participate in the games, so making a change like this seems like a no brainer. Then we could move the conversation on to something else and eliminate some of the hard feelings.

Posted by: Not news | August 22, 2008 3:05 AM

I don't see how populations would matter considering the US is richer. Even though many Chinese athletes are sponsored by the govt., that would only be a few athletes. A lot more American families can afford lessons. The only difference is who's spending the money. But the US still has more athletes, which gives us the advantage even though China has more people.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 3:05 AM

Réal, NY

Do you get by now ?

It is not the Chinese media lying to you.
It is your own media "brainwashing" you.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 3:54 AM

Yes, Americans had more spending cash than the average chinese family (considering the population in PRC), but that is rapidly changing as we speak. With the never ending war, housing market crash and unstable oil prices the middle class of america is dwindling, while the rich become richer. How much $$ does the USA actually owe China anyways?

Posted by: Anonymous? | August 22, 2008 4:56 AM

The USA is the greatest country in the world and has the worlds greatest athletes,period.

Posted by: love muscle | August 22, 2008 8:56 AM

American Strength----Pure Brute(track and field and swimming-----when there should be only 1 event you have swimming in many many categories, we should have Ping Pong in many many categories too so we can win even more medals
atheletes representing by the black people whom you've oppressed by social means)

China Strength----Grace and Skill such as diving, archery...etc

Posted by: 112 | August 22, 2008 9:54 AM

I am enjoying the Olympic Games; it is amazing that these athletes from across the globe can perform at this extremely high level. I cheer and want the U.S. athletes to win but the total performance of all athletes exceeds the need to 'medal count' and spout 'national superiority' claims. If anyone from the vast majority of humanity would spend one day or even one hour in training with these Olympians, I believe the need for 'medal counting' would be far down on the list of priorities and quickly replaced with exhaustion and awe. Enjoy the incredible people from the U.S. and other nations who sacrifice so much to perform so well.

Posted by: Dr. Jerry | August 22, 2008 11:49 AM

Well so much for the "Olympic Spirit". Its obvious that the medal count counts! It always has and always will. Its about bragging rights and nationalistic pride. Just look at the gold medal winners. The first thing that they do is get their national flag and then parade around the event venue. The American media have put a spin on Total medals being the "correct" way to portray the medal table that the American public has fallen for it.

Posted by: Ralph | August 22, 2008 1:16 PM

It's pretty right nasaken that US media is just like "an owl in the light" because they can't see the clear truth, Though I am not a chinese but I am very much happy for china because it is the first time an asian country is beating the western empire.
It is nothing but just the result of their hardwork which the whole world will accept very soon. If USA will continue this pattern then they will be very soon at the BOTTOM.

Posted by: Rdx | August 22, 2008 1:18 PM

It's ludicrous that the Americans value the medals as equal. It's like telling people that a $20 dollar bill worths as much as a $1,000 dollar bill.

Posted by: Harvey | August 22, 2008 1:32 PM

THE USA WAS THE GREATEST COUNTRY AND HAD THE GREATEST ATHLETES IN THE WORLD AND NOW THEY ARE LIKE SWEEPERS

Posted by: love muscle | August 22, 2008 2:26 PM

The U.S. men's Olympic basketball team, which will include Dallas Mavericks' guard Jason Kidd, is one of the top honors an athlete or coach can have, and former Mavs coach Don Nelson said Wednesday that it's a travesty that Mark Cuban views the Olympics as strictly a financial proposition.

"I couldn't disagree more," Nelson said. "It's not about the money. There is pride in these athletes. He ought to have more respect for his country. Everybody in the NBA makes plenty of money. It's not too much to ask that every four years you give something back to your country."

Attempts to reach Cuban on Wednesday night were unsuccessful.

Nelson is embroiled in a dispute with Cuban about money owed from the Ross Perot Jr. ownership. Perot sold the club to Cuban in 2000. Nelson was hired in 1997.

The ongoing litigation has nothing to do with Nelson's feelings about the Olympics and Cuban's claims that the NBA is hypocritical for allowing players to participate.

Posted by: Sonu | August 22, 2008 2:35 PM

Be aware that there is probably a 15% chance you will not get in to the event at all. This chance goes up exponentially if the event happens to have an athlete named Kobe Bryant, Yao Ming, Michael Phelps, or Liu Xiang who will be competing that day.

Posted by: Sonu | August 22, 2008 2:42 PM

americans are the biggest fools on this planet.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 3:54 PM

Who is this stupid "sonu" , He is just copying the comments from some other site.

Posted by: dominic | August 22, 2008 4:38 PM

Anonymous,

I don't know what is your nationalilty?

I'm Chinese. Please don't insult American people. Loving your country, does not allow you to insult other country.

Americans are not fool. They can't be a fool with all the success they have in history.They just devoted their trust to "wrong" persons.


Posted by: nasaken | August 23, 2008 2:03 AM

Well one things for sure, America likes to do things differently opposed to the rest of the world. The method of counting medals is not nearly as bad as opposing the UN and entering Iraq.....which will never end.

Posted by: j in LA | August 23, 2008 4:08 AM

Again, USA is the GREATEST COUNTRY IN YHE WORLD.That's why all of you want to live here.Our biggest mistake is we let you live here.........China:500 million people living on 3 dollars a day and sending your worthless crap over here.

Posted by: love muscle | August 23, 2008 9:16 AM

love muscle will never dis his own country.

Posted by: love muscle | August 23, 2008 9:19 AM

.........China:500 million people living on 3 dollars a day and sending your worthless crap over here.

LMAO...Americans can only afford to buy worthless crap from China which mean there're really cheap and poor; the proof is that demande for worthless crap from China is very hot in U.S, Noone twist Americains arms to buy chinese's products or things made in China.

Posted by: LOL | August 23, 2008 10:09 AM

Celebration of Olympics Bronzes

What happened?
How can we lose gold count to China, a third world country?
Let’s have a national holiday of mourning. No one objects I guess!
Let’s have a national contest of the best excuses of winning so less gold metals.
It has to be the BEST, so it could worth a gold in this category.

What to do?
Borrow more money from China to buy better facilities, foreign coaches, Speedo…
My secret is to import 8 Jamaican runners. Money talks!
Bribe the judges (a little harder as everyone hates us but money talks again).
Change all the rules to our favor: 5 metals for basketball, 2 for table tennis, 0 for diving…
All tiebreakers must go our way as our sponsors own the Olympics.
We will amplify their “shortcomings” like copying our advance lip sing technique (how dare you’re), small size advantage, large size advantage, working too hard…
The Chinese must have put slippery jell on our batons and/or the gym apparatus.
Develop the best dope that no one can detect – we have the best scientists.
My secret is to develop a dope that can take out all dope traces from our body so we take it before dope tests.
“One country, all metals” is our new Olympics slogan.
The more wishfully we think, the closer we succeed.

How to heal now, really?
Write to Dear Abby for starter.
Bronze is the same as gold if not better. If you do not believe me, ask any blind person.
It is harder to get a bronze as we have to LET two others to win.
We’ll train our athletes for the bronze from now on.
We will ask NBC to interview bronze winners only as they are the real winners.
Actually we’ll be happier to be #3 and build a better relationship with other nations. Stop laughing. It is a fact!!!
Phelps, we love you more with 8 bronze metals - it is no easy job to let 2 and ONLY 2 pass you 8 times.

If everything does not work, turn ugly.
Ask McDonald’s and KFC to give away their “food” to China FREE, so their next generation will be so fat that they cannot walk to the subway station.
Send soldiers to grab the metals, esp. gold. Hey, we have the best offense.
Will the world be better if we only fought for gold metals only (bronze metals in our case)?
What an Olympic spirit to celebrate the winning of the bronze!

-- The author is Tony Pow. 8/22/08. Created for fun. No politics. No dumb nationalism. No ego. 90% false, 10% true. 100% fun. Hope no offense to you. Please feel free to distribute/change... ---

Posted by: TonyPow | August 23, 2008 10:34 AM

dear love muscle, Certainly nobody wants to leave their own country & live in USA . It's US who wants to hire people from other countries as they are not intelligent LIKE asians or other countries & everybody knows it " http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3239540.stm "


It's not your mistake that you people let us live there but it's our mistake that we think to help you people.don't forget that doctors from South Asia have propped up and provided the backbone to the NHS.

We all know that USA has the greatest scientists in the world but from where those scientists came?
ANS: FROM ASIA
" http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/310/5748/606 "

YOU PEOPLE ARE LIVING JUST BECAUSE OF OUR HELP & WE HAVE MUCH MORE TO PROVE IT.

I also think you must have got your $3 answer.I am very sorry if you are feeling discouraged.


GIVE RESPECT , TAKE RESPECT...

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Posted by: dsa | August 23, 2008 1:25 PM

Yawn.

Posted by: Glad its over | August 24, 2008 5:06 AM

Gold = real winner
Silver,Bronze = consolation

-suppose a country wins 20 gold and another one 20 bronze... are they equal?
suppose that the second one wins one additional silver, according to the US press they are better!!! to the rest of the world, the answer is clear...

Like always our media manipulate our way of thinking

Posted by: logic | August 24, 2008 6:14 AM

dsa, you could not be more wrong if your ass was screwed on backwards.

Posted by: love muscle | August 24, 2008 9:49 AM

It's over. Use the gold=3; silver=2; & bronze=1 and sum the products.

US=220:
36*3=108
38*2=76
36*1=36

China=223:
51*3=153
21*2=42
28*1=28

Now we need those Chinese gymnasts' medals retracted for cheating and it will settle the score. The games are over the IOC will investigate it and report. Cheers all.

Posted by: pro-am | August 24, 2008 10:23 AM

dsa (125pm), USA has the smartest and the dumbest people on earth. The reason we are on top is because of the variety. Your comment betrays a worldview that made other countries fall behind. And your comment is racist: we're all from other countries and races in the usa. We want to come here and stay.

Posted by: ZhouLun | August 24, 2008 10:31 AM

I agree with the 3-2-1 gold/silver bronze point rating system (I have also seen 4-2-1) This is like scoring at track meets - second place counts, but not as much as first. It seems pretty harsh to say that a bronze medal is basically worthless. It's actually a pretty amazing achievement.

But what about the differences between sports? Surely the gold medal in soccer, volleyball, baseball or basketball, where there is one medal awarded to teams with 15-20 members, and it is much more difficult to even qulaify for the Olympic tournament, should be worth more than a gold medal in solo archery or pistol shooting.

What would happen if there was a weighted count of each medal awarded to an individual? For example, the Chinese gymnastics team gets 3 points for each gold medal awarded to a gymnast on their team. The Jamaican relay team gets 3 points for each member. I don't even know how that works out China vs. U.S., since I haven't done the math, but it seems a fairer way to judge the overall athletic performance of the various countries, and is pretty easy to calculate.

Posted by: KS | August 25, 2008 7:06 PM

What if i put my dick in your mouth love muscle??

Posted by: dsa | August 25, 2008 8:08 PM

Not taking sides here, but the whole "team sport gold medal should be worth more than a single person gold medal" doesn't make sense to me.

The argument is that it is much more difficult (in terms of money and resource) to train a team of atheletes for gold than it is to train a single one.
While valid, this is not an excuse for failure in single person sports. On the contrary, by this logic, if you have the funds to train team sports to gold, then single events should be even easier.

The only explaination for the lack of gold in single events is just that simple, you weren't as good as the others in that event.

The argument of team or not is a logical fallacy made up by the media again to confuse the public. Unfortunately this how things are here in the States.

Posted by: dingo_sl | August 26, 2008 10:43 AM

Well done, Olympians!

Posted by: Straight talk | August 27, 2008 11:04 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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