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Olympics Need to Weight Medal Counts

Every day for the past two weeks I’ve been giving the medal count on-air. Problem is it just never felt right saying it, or just looking at the standings, that the U.S. was first. When China has won almost double as many golds as us while we’re just racking up silvers and bronzes, doesn’t that mean they’re doing better at the Olypmics than us? When Chinese reporters and news outlets give the medal count, do they have themselves as the top country? I wouldn’t be surprised if they did — it makes more sense that they should be first. It’s just odd that we can spin the medal count to make it look like we’re winning the games. Thing is, there’s a very simple way to solve this issue — have the IOC create an official Weighted Medal Count.

In order to make the total count seem more reflective of a country’s performance, the easiest way to keep score of medals would be a simple 3-2-1 with three points going to the country that won gold etc. But there’s even a problem with that; should every gold won in fencing, track, swimming, and shooting count the same as a medal won in a team event that required several wins in pool play a la soccer, basketball, and volleyball? An improved weighted system should assign points to each event — a gold in soccer worth 14, silver 12, bronze 10, and a gold in shooting worth 3, silver 2, bronze 1. Wouldn’t that make a lot more sense? They’re constantly making tweaks to which sports can or cannot be played in the Olympics, why not come out with an official scoring system? Not as if they don’t have four years to figure it out, right?


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  • Keith

    Interestingly, if you do the 3-2-1 weighting with the current standings (as of 11 pm EST, Friday 22nd) China and the United States are tied at 200 apiece.

    China 47×3 + 17×2 + 25 = 200

    USA 31×3 + 36×2 + 35 = 200