So Who Won the Olympics?

Officially, the Olympics are a competition between individual athletes, not countries. But given that they wear national colours, compete under national banners, and play national anthems for the winners, it is worth asking: Which country won?

Over at the NY Times, their medal tally has the USA on top with 110 medals, followed by China with 100. The anti-Americans at the CBC rank by gold medals, and so have China on top with 51, followed by USA with 36.

So who won? It depends on the value you assign to each medal. The CBC’s ranking by Gold medals alone effectively gives G-S-B a value of 1-0-0. The Times treats each medal equally, thus valuing them at 1-1-1.

Other possibilities are to rank G-S-B at 3-2-1, or 5-3-1. On the former valuation, China wins by a single Gold — 223-220. At 5-3-1, China wins more comfortably, 346 to 330.

So, only if all medals are created equal do the Americans come out on top.

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