tominator1uk asked in SportsOlympics · 1 decade ago

Has Anyone else seen America's manipulation of the Olympics Medal Table?

I saw an American news report saying they were leading the medal haul at the Beijing Olympics. I raised an eyebrow at this because China was WELL in the lead. So I went on some US websites and apparently the US have manipulated it so that TOTAL medal count is more important than GOLD medal count.

Americas view of the table

Real view of the table

This is ridiculous, as it has always been the officially recognised case that GOLD medals triumph all other medals. This is the method the International Olympic Committee use!

They have won 16 golds less than China, yet they still think they're winning because of a couple of bronzes and silvers.

In this scenario two bronzes are better than 1 gold......that's stupid.

I think the real story here is that China has taken over USA as the sporting superpower, but USA are trying to airbrush it to make them the leader. That's a bit pathetic, they should be more dignified.

what do you think?

*P.S all though I'm having a pop at the US media here, I'm not America Bashing so don't start saying stuff about Bush or Iraq, because I don't want this to descend into a squabble


Guys defending the American way......YOU DON'T GET IT.

The 'Gold triumphs all' method is the OFFICIAL method sanctioned by the IOC (the official olympics organizers/regulators). The American method is unofficial at not recognized.

I can't believe they are deluding themselves.

China win 41 gold

USA win 25

But because of a few 2nds and 3rds.....America are winning?????

Update 2:

Again! People think i'm bashing America as a whole, i'm not. A few people have said the 'gold by population' argument. Welli've found a table of golds to population so far. Interesting viewing

20 Answers

  • wgh
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Well the reality is hard to swallow for Uncle Sam after he has been first for so many years. Anyone with some brains will find the US versions of the tables hilarious.

    Obviously, the official medal tables isn't the most scientific way of measuring success of a nation at the Olympics. But no matter how the US tries to twist it up it's still not in first place! At this moment in time, China has 17 GOLDS more than the US and only 3 less medals than the US in total. Do we need to hire a maths professor to do some calculations for us?

  • 4 years ago

    I've not heard of GDP per medal why would that be helpful? I think it should be by golds won, the gold is what everyone wants and it tells us which country has won the most times. That's not to say the country is the best or whatever, because its quite clear when say GB is up there, that it is an achievement, even though China has twice as many. Regardless, I don't see the point of a table telling us who has the most medals overall? Second and third is nice, but its not what you came for. Per Capita is a good thing to know, it is obviously crucial and helpful in making everything a level playing field, but I don't think we'd need a table showing it? A table listed who has won the most golds is the way I want to see it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I expect they did the same thing in the days of the USSR, but have had a few games where they've been ahead 'officially' so didn't need a (ahem) meddle with the medal table.

    Try this example. Australia are below Great Britain. But they have only a third of the population. The Aussies actually punch above their weight when they beat Great Britain. Britain should be aiming to beat France and Germany, both of whom have similar populations, and thus a similar sized pool of people to send.

    Using that variation of the medal table (and I don't know whether it is still the case), the other day Jamiaca were winning on gold medals per head of population.

    The medal table is a headline-grabber, but you have to look at it a bit deeper to judge success. I prefer to make compaisons with previous performances. By that measure the USA is probably on course to get their usual 30-40 golds. In 1984 they got over 80, but of course there was no USSR in those games.

    Most Americans aren't stupid, but if the US wants to consider silvers and bronzes on a par with gold, well frankly that suits me. I wish them nothing but luck in chasing 2nd and 3rd places in London 2012. More golds for the rest of us!

    PS Not that I want to be accused of American bashing, but I heard that the (UK) Channel 4 TV website (link below) has an interactive medal table that you can play around with to give different results. I haven't tried it, but you could probably find a way to put Cuba ahead of the USA on it if it makes you feel better!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I've said it before and i'll say it again.

    It is not the athletes (the US athletes have performed some magnificent feats), it is a cynical and self serving US media who have conveniently chosen this moment to interpret medal tallies completely differently not only to the IOC and the rest of the world, but differently than the USA has ever done in the past also!

    It is sad because it diminishes the achievements of the US olympic champions (why should Michael Phelps have gone for 8 Golds when, according to the media of his own country, 8 Bronzes would have been just as valuable).

    It is also sad because in adopting this inane count to try and justify that they are number 1, the US media has failed entirely to acknowledge and even belittled the efforts and achievements of a number of other countries and their athletes.

    What has been saddest however, has been the overwhelming inability of many (not all but the majority) of US fans on YA to acknowledge this fact. Instead, they have more often than not abused the athletes and nations who object to this cynical medal count and in doing so miss the whole point of the Olympic ideal.

    CONGRATULATIONS to the USA for another Olympics in which some of your individuals have achieved historic milestones and many of your athletes have medalled.

    Congratulations on another Olympics in which you have been a sporting superpower and the "national" benchmark all other countries strive to meet or beat.

    Congratulations on being one of the top two (albeit the 2nd) of ALL the nations on Earth AGAIN!

    Now would it really hurt to acknowledge (as some of your compatriots here have done) that other nations are proud of their achievements and that the host nation has done exceptionally well?

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  • 1 decade ago

    I do have something to reply on this....I agree and really disagree. I do agree that gold are obviously better to win than silver and bronze, but lets remember a few things. One China has 1 Billion 300 million people! I would hope that occasionally someone special is born that has skills to beat an american athlete. Two, Yao Ming was bred from a very young age to compete in international basketball. With his genetically superior parents, he was chosen by the Chinese Government. When the government is in control, the way it is in china, families are forced to give up their child, to train them and groom them to be dominant in many areas including sports. What would happen if we did this in america? Do you think that Phelps' mother from Ann Arbor michigan, gave up her son at birth? Nope! I would assume his mom/dad(i don't know who he had around) worked their butt off to send him to swimming lessons. I would also assume that they didn't live some rich kid life, seeing as how his dad was a police officer and mom was a teacher. In america we have a choice, and many of our families work hard, to finance the dreams of just going to the olympics and competing. China is quickly becoming a very dominant country in the world in many aspects more than just gold medals.....this may not be the best thing for the world....

    Source(s): I give no reference to this, except one that told me what phelps' parents did for a living. Its mostly opinion.....and i would love to hear what others have to say!
  • 1 decade ago

    Its America, what would you expect? The media will do anything to be on top. America cant stand to lose. We are not the friendly country you ( or anybody at that) expect maybe. Most Americans are sore losers, I am to. The media in America will only try and make it seem we are the best, unfortunately we can only win at a few things not everything.

    Source(s): Me
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wow that's ridiculous, in the Australian medal tally, China has been first every day, and they haven't tried to make it look like Australia was doing any better than we actually are.

    Why is it that rest of the world can acknowledge China is winning and America are just being be sore losers, I really don't understand that.

  • 1 decade ago

    well them ol'e Chinese have probably taken there athletes to secret training camps to train them to win, a bit like the Soviets in their heyday.

    Many will probably have a story to tell if they can escape communism, others who fail as the hurdler(name escapes me) will probably be banished to some far off place, sent, and told he has disgraced his country.

    OK the USA may tell their people that they have more medals but it is only trying to boost moral.These games will be remembered for events such as Phelps's 8 but also the Chinese governments manipulation of the press and people of China just as the Nazi regime did in 1936.

  • 1 decade ago

    Interesting post, well spotted :) Doesnt surprise me really. Although I thought the womens bar event was a bit dubious. The Chinese took gold although the scores were the same with the American, Nastia Luikin who took silver. To be honest in that one I thought the US actually deserved a gold they didnt get. Not that I know much about gymnastics but it just looked to me like the US performance was better.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    In the reports that I have heard on radio and television, both TOTAL medal count and GOLD medal count were announced, letting the listener/viewer decide for himself which is more important, I suppose. Can't we all just get along and say both countries are doing really well and congratulations to all the athletes for working so hard, instead of nit-picking?

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