I don't think anyone ever doubted that the U.S. would demolish the medal count. Sure, they may have gotten nervous in the first few days, when China ran ahead on the backs of people who spend their lives falling gracefully, but such nervousness was unnecessary. After all, the U.S has a long history of winning the overall medal count. You have to go back twenty years to shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union to find them anywhere other than at the top. In the end, I'm pretty cool with that. It's kind of expected. What I'm less cool with is stuff like this:
I guess I can't blame certain individuals for spiking the football. I know I would, if I had the chance. I don't care how Uncanadian that would make me. The trouble is, winning summer olympic medals also appears to be somewhat Uncanadian. We tend to be relatively humble about it. So humble, in fact, that we set for ourselves the lofty goal of placing 12th in the overall standings. And how did that go?
|Close but no cigar.|
Don't get me wrong. Canada deserved every one of those 18 medals. We were also heartbreakingly close to a lot more, with 14 fourth and fifth places finishes, along with a demoralizing disqualification for the men's 4x100 relay. I'm proud of what Canada's athletes were able to do with what they had.
Still, it doesn't seem quite fair for the U.S. to lord the medal count over the rest of the world. After all, if a country as populous and well off as the U.S. didn't walk away with that many medals, something would have to be injuriously wrong. For Canada, on the other hand, with just under a 10th the population of the U.S. and a fraction of it's political and economic clout, getting just under a 5th of the U.S.'s medals should count for something. I decided to crunch a few numbers and find out just how much something. Here's the top 20 reorganized and adjusted according to population. That had to put us somewhere in the top 5.
|Well. Look at that. Mission accomplished?|
Hmm. How about GDP? If I just keep adjusting for crap it'll work out, right?
|Frick. This isn't helping.|
Sigh. Oh well. I guess my dream of olympic victory via statistical manipulation will go unfulfilled. Seriously though, what are they putting in the water in New Zealand? That just makes me feel like a sack somehow. Anyway, at least I have one small consolation:
|Oh. Hello Americans. Didn't see you down there.|