China, in particular, spreads out its medal totals. Its top two sports – swimming (10) and diving (9) – account for only 23 percent of its 82 overall medals.
That means China is winning its medals in places where Americans aren't looking. America has won seven medals or more in only its two big sports. China has done it in six: swimming, diving, badminton, gymnastics, shooting, and weightlifting.
This the danger of the Olympics. They are too much. No one network can chronicle all that they are. Frankly, NBC is just doing what every other national broadcasting network does. The difference is that America has so many medalists, that NBC can make its entire three-hour prime show time a USA-only zone.
But, of course, just because America isn't good at something doesn't mean it isn't fabulously entertaining. It is an Olympic credo as much as faster, higher, stronger: No matter what you are watching, you are missing at least three other amazing things happening somewhere else at the same time.
For example, did you see the rhythmic gymnastics?
To an American, perhaps, all the balls and clubs can at first appear a bit odd. It's like asking Usain Bolt to juggle while running the 100 meters.
But then look at what they do with them.
In the team event, the Ukrainian team did something that I will try to explain here, but will fail to capture in its full OMG-ness. First, bear in mind that the rhythmic gymnastics team event is like an entire Super Bowl halftime show condensed into 1-1/2 minutes, without wardrobe malfunctions. Ribbons and hoops are flying through the air like fireworks while gymnasts are contorting themselves into positions that would challenge Gumby.