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USA, Canada ride new sports to top of Winter Olympics medal count

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A revolution, by the numbers

From 1992 to 2006, the medal table for new, non-cross-country skiing-related events shows how complete the IOC’s success has been:

1. USA: 16-14-14 – 44
2. Canada: 13-17-12 – 42
3. South Korea: 17-7-5 – 29
4. China: 4-12-7 – 23

It is the single biggest reason that the US has won more Winter Olympic medals than any country except Germany during the past two Olympics. And it is why Canada even considered it possible to own the podium.

The new-sport medal table for the Vancouver Games is, if anything, even starker. In the events that have finished:

1. USA: 3-2-8 – 13
2. Canada: 5-5-0 – 10
3. China: 3-1-1 – 5
4. Korea: 2-2-1 – 5
5. Australia: 2-1-0 – 3

The Olympics have essentially become two different Olympics, with the US and Canada competing for supremacy in the new events, and Germany and Norway competing for supremacy in the traditional ones.

Of course, there is crossover, such as the US winning eight medals in alpine skiing. Meanwhile, the Europeans’ best “new” events – snowboard parallel giant slalom and curling – still lie ahead in Vancouver.

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