Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016



Well, the Rio Olympics concluded yesterday with a rousing ceremony. The traditional hand-off to the next host took an un-traditional turn, when Japanese PM Shinzo Abe appeared in a Super Mario costume! An hilarious ending to a memorable games...marred only by troubled US swimmer Ryan 'Swim-Shady' Lochte. Sigh. Our final of three Olympic blogs gives four different ways to view the Medal Counts.

BY CONTINENT. As everyone knows, the USA dominated as a country, finishing first among nations. However, North America as a continent placed only third. If it weren't for Jamaica, we would have been fourth. Nope, Europe took home nearly half (47%) of all medals. Asian nations China, Japan and Korea all fared well, placing their continent in second place at 21%. At the bottom were Australia and Africa with 5% each.

INCLUDING THE USSR. In Rio, the USA padded its standing atop the all-time medal count as well. Curiously, still in second place is the USSR. They only participated in ten Olympic games! Since 1994, medals are split amongst fifteen 'new' nations. All of which begs the question: How would the USSR have fared in Rio? Let's do the math. Despite the bans, Russia still finished fourth with 56 medals. Surprising Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan tabbed 18 and 17. Even Uzbekistan took home 13. Politically torn Ukraine was down with only 11 medals. The rest: Belarus: 9. Georgia: 7. Lithuania & Armenia: 4 each. Add in 3 others and you get 142! This bests the USA and places the former superpower in First Place.

BY U.S. STATE. Based on their birthplace, it's fun to see how individual US States would fare if seen as independent nations. For example: California hauled in 28 Gold Medals. This is seventh best, ahead of France and Italy. New Yorkers grabbed 13 for second place, while Illinois had ten. The next two entries had immense help from one super-athlete. Maryland (Michael Phelps) and Texas (Simone Biles) round out the top five.

BY UNIVERSITY. According to the NCAA, US university athletes brought home 78 medals  It was a good Olympics for Pac12 conference...only two schools didn't medal. In first place is Stanford with 27 medals, helped enormously by swimmer Katie Ledecky's five. Berkeley and USC had 22 and 21. Texas tied with Florida for fourth place with 13 each. But...we here at the DUNER BLOG bet the Florida Gators are not proud of alumnae Lyin' Ryan Lochte's contribution!

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