I have solved the medal-table controversy irrefutably.
Is that total medals or gold medals, you ask. Popular vote or electoral college? Is this the 2000 presidential election all over again? Will there will need to be an emergency session of the Supreme Court to decide who the “winner” of the Olympics is.
Of course, there is no official winner. But the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ranks its medal table by gold medals. That means if someone had happened to win 300 silver and bronze medals and no golds here, it would have ended up being ranked 56th – behind Cameroon, which won a single gold in the women’s triple jump.
What, then, is the point of handing out three medals?
Then again, winning the actual event must count for something.
So here I give you the correct medal table:
1. China – 223
2. United States – 220
3. Russia – 139
4. Great Britain – 98
5. Australia – 89
6. Germany – 83
7. France – 70
8. Korea – 67
9. Italy – 54
10. Japan – 49
The secret math? Three points for a gold, 2 for a silver, 1 for a bronze.
Other crumbs of medal-table trivia: