Is it me or is the Beijing 2008 Olympics Medal Table being “Americanized”?

Ok, I became a US citizen last week and there is a danger, amidst all of the patriotic outpouring that is the citizenship ceremony, and the frenzy of Phelps generated nationalism, that in response I am over-compensating. In other words I may be seeing devils where there are none.

However, what I am about to show you seems, on the face of it, a cheap attempt to make the US Olympic effort seem better than that of the host country, China.

Here is the official medal table from the Olympic Committee’s official web site:

Official Olympics Medal Table

Now, look at the NBC version of the table:

NBC Version of Olympics Medal Table

Wow – the US is first 🙂

To be sure I checked out the BBC’s site. Here is its version:


BBC Olympic Medal Table


So…. why do all US based Olympic medal tables deviate from the official version, whilst the rest of the world does not? Could it be that the only way to get the US in first position is to add Gold, Silver and Bronze into a total and then order the results by total medals won, implying that all medals are equal?

Or to put it another way – let’s assume you applied this methodology to a single event, oh I don’t know, let’s say… swimming (ludicrous I know, but it makes the point) – that would mean that the silver and bronze medal winners in Phelps events are counted equally to him, and so a person who won 1 gold, 3 silvers and 7 bronzes (11 medals in total) would be a bigger winner than Phelps.

Makes no sense does it 🙂