Early medal counts from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London are in! With China jumping out to an early lead, and looking back at their amazing performance in 2008, could 2012 mark the end of 16 straight years where the United States captured more total medals than any other country at the Summer Olympics?
Since 1992, the United States has won the total medal count of every Summer Olympics. In 1992 we came in second behind Unified Team, a team comprised of former Soviet Union Republics. Four years earlier we came in third behind East Germany and the Soviet Union at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Since then we have outpaced all other countries, winning more overall medals. In 2008 China won more gold medals than the United States, but as the host country failed to capture more total medals.
If history is any indication of things to come, China is set to dominate medal counts at the Summer Olympics for many years to come. Take a look at medal counts from the past six Summer Olympics (Results from Wikipedia). Notice in 1996, when the United States hosted the games in Atlanta, our medal counts surged for the following three Olympics. After China’s hosting of the Summer Olympic games in Beijing in 2008, and their surge in medal counts there, it’s safe to assume they have an Olympics training program in place that will deliver outstanding results this year and for many years to come.
|1||Soviet Union (URS)||55||31||46||132|
|2||East Germany (GDR)||37||35||30||102|
|3||United States (USA)||36||30||27||93|
|4||South Korea (KOR)||12||10||11||33|
|5||West Germany (FRG)||11||14||15||40|
|1||Unified Team (EUN)||45||38||29||112|
|2||United States (USA)||37||34||37||108|
|1||United States (USA)||44||32||25||101|
|1||United States (USA)||37||24||33||94|
|1||United States (USA)||36||39||27||102|
|2||United States (USA)||36||38||36||110|
|4||Great Britain (GBR)||19||13||15||47|
2012 Summer Olympics Medal Table
Results as of July 29, 2012
|2||United States (USA)||3||3||3||9|
|4||South Korea (KOR)||2||1||2||5|
This years games will be fun to watch, especially taking into account the new rivalry between China and the United States. Can the USA hold on to their reign of dominating the total medal counts at the games, or will 2012 finally be China’s year to move in front?