The official method of figuring out who “won” the Lymps is to count who won the most gold, in which case China comes first with 51, and the USA comes second with 36. The USA, however, reckons the combined total is a better method on account of they won 110 medals altogether, while China only won 100.
If you use the first method Australia came sixth; if you use the second we came fifth.
3. Dominica Republic
6. New Zealand
(USA comes 33rd and China 47th out of the 87 who won medals.)
Australia remains a top ten nation but the truly outstanding effort of places like Jamaica are underlined. They won 6 gold medals with a population of less than 3 million. That’s less than the population of Sydney. Pretty amazing, eh?
1. North Korea
(Australia comes in 29th, China 30th and the USA 47th.)
I like this table a lot because it illustrates just how much money it takes to be a top-ten Olympic nation. The US and China and Australia and the other top ten nations in the official list have much bigger GDPs than many of the other medal winners. Winning medals without massive amounts of funding and Insititutes of Sports is an amazing achievement.
I am much more proud that the one openly gay male participant in the Olympics, gold-medal winning diver Matthew Mitcham, is Australian than I am of how many medals we won. Watching him win live was my highlight of the Lymps. The Australian coverage of his win was fabulous. I loved that a photo of him kissing his partner was printed in the Sydney Morning Herald. Ten years ago I doubt that would have happened. Here’s hoping in another ten years it will be so ordinary it won’t occur to me to blog about it.
- Their figures are taken from wikipedia so I suspect there are some inaccuracies. [↩]