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List: Top 10 Medal Winning Countries in the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Date: August 2008

Source: IOC Medal Table

Base: All countries participating in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Notes: Although there is no official way of ranking countries by medals won, the generally accepted method is that you count golds first, then split ties by number of silvers and then bronze medals - which is the method we have used below. Amusingly, this year the USA decided to rank countries by total medals won, thus placing them top of the list and enabling them to avoid the humiliation of losing to China. Another popular method of ranking is by awarding points to each type of medal - usually 3 for a gold, 2 for a silver and 1 for a bronze. By this method China would still come top, but only by three points - scoring 223 to the USA's 220. Other interesting ways of measuring sporting success in the games is by comparing medals with population size or GDP. By population, Jamaica came top of the table following the exploits of world record breaker Usain Bolt and his compatriots in the track sprinting events, and by GDP the Dominican Republic came top, courtesy of a gold in boxing and a silver in Taekwondo.

In the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, the USA topped the table with 35 golds, beating China in second (32 golds) and Russia in third (27). Great Britain were in tenth place in 2004 (with 8 golds) but moved up to fourth this year with 19 gold medals, topping sports mad Australia for the first time since Seoul and causing much amusement in the UK.

Country

No. Golds

No. Silvers

No. Bronzes

Total

China

51

21

28

100

USA

36

38

36

110

Russia

23

21

28

72

Great Britain

19

13

15

47

Germany

16

10

15

41

Australia

14

15

17

46

South Korea

13

10

8

31

Japan

9

6

10

25

Italy

8

10

10

28

France

7

16

17

40


 
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