Cold Medals

Whenever America fails to win something, it's always a good day for those of us who aren't Americans. We enjoy it when the world's superpower gets humbled - in a good way of course. And there's nothing like America losing on the sporting field to get me going.

So it was with the Winter Olympics. America finished second in the medal count, and was never threatening Germany (the eventual winners). Moreover, Germany's neighbour, Austria, nearly pipped America and came third. Russia, who came fourth, could have easily beaten America too. Canada, who came fifth, was only a couple of medals away from America as well.

Moreover, in the last few days I have been reading some American Winter Olympics reporting. Talk about self-flaggelation! Skater Sasha Cohen comes second again; some African-American skiier gets roasted for not being a team player; and some other guy manages to complete his fifth Olympics and, despite all his effort, still finishes his career without a single Olympic medal.

It all sounds good (or bad if you're American), but, again, the cold harsh facts tell a different tale.

America has won only one Winter Olympics - the 1932 games in Switzerland and only the second winter games at that point. They have finished second three times - 1928, 1952 and 2006. They also finished third in 1960, 1976, 1980 and in 2002. Their other attempts are obviously not worth mentioing here.

So despite all the American moaning and international glee, the fact remains that America's winter athletes have performed a remarkable deed - they are the best American team to compete in the Winter Olympics in 54 years. Moreover, considering their third placing in 2002, it is probably right to say that America is possibly entering into a period of dominance.

And spare a thought for Norway. Norway has been one of the most consistent Winter Olympics participants throughout its history. After finishing first in Salt Lake city in 2002, and having very high hopes in Turin, they have had their worst team performance ever, finishing 13th overall - even Estonia performed better.

So, all I can say is, well done America.

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