Cool! Someone from your country won a medal! Yeah, it was bronze, but being third best in the world isn't bad at all! And silver! That's, like, almost the best! Congrats! Impressive!
However, the novelty eventually wears off. After enough people from your country have been almost good at things, you probably start to wonder what all the other countries are doing that's so got-danged impressive. That's where Canada and Azerbaijan are, right now.
We'd earlier chronicled how Kazakhstan's penchant for only winning gold lasted over a week into the Olympics, but these two nations are on the other end of the spectrum. Azerbaijan's two bronzes in boxing today brought them to seven overall medals - five bronze, two silver - to give them the most medals of any without gold. Meanwhile, Canada tacked on a bronze in men's open water by Richard Weinberger to yesterday's bronze in women's soccer to give them 11 third-place medals, while they've only won a single gold.
Most countries will come home from London without any medals of any sort. But that might be a better fate than resigning oneself to continued mediocrity in so many events while those from other countries are always a step faster, a little bit stronger and slightly better at jumping over stuff. If this doesn't change, Canada should force its 11 bronze medalists to melt down their medals and build them into a statue of their sole gold medalist, trampoliner Rosie MacLennan. (Little-known fact: Canada has not yet discovered how to smelt iron.)
Here's the top of the standings, with all of their precious golds:
- USA: 94 (41 G, 26 S, 27 B)
- China: 81 (37 G, 25 S, 19 B)
- Russia: 63 (15 G, 21 S, 27 B)
- Great Britain: 57 (25 G, 15 S, 17 B)
- Germany: 42 (10 G, 18 S, 14 B)
And some 8-bit medal count magic: