The Olympic Medal Count that is broadcast and printed all over the place has always bothered me. As a fan of the Olympics, I always wondered why the Olympic Medal Count was not handled like a grade point average.
When each of us was ranked in our high school class, the person that got the most "A's" was not necessarily the valedictorian. The valedictorian was determined by looking at all the grades and assigning a value to each mark. Shouldn't that be the way that we look at the Olympic Medal Count?
Based upon the medal count this morning, it appears that the United States and Russia are tied for the "overall lead" as reported by NBC. In reality, if the medal count was calculated like a grade point average, the US would be in third with Norway being in second place. The calculation is relatively simple; 3 points for a gold medal, 2 points for a silver medal and 1 point for a bronze medal.
Under this "Olympic Medal Count Point Average" scenario, Russia has 37 points, Norway 36 points, the US 33 points and the Netherlands 32 points. Right now the salutatorian is Norway not the United States. Don't get me wrong, I want us to be leading with Russia but the way we assess the standings doesn't make sense.
Sports are about statistics, but we measure the Olympics by a simple medal count? That's just silly. Can't we just measure the same way our high school academic career was measured? Seems like a reasonable way to be fair to all countries. Right now I am sure that Norway would agree.