All posts by bmallon

1000th Gold Medal

1000th Winter Olympic gold medal tonite per IOC spokesman Mark Adams. He said he wasn’t sure which event it would come in. Neither am I. Seems like a simple thing, doesn’t it? Just count the # of Winter Olympic events.

Let’s see what the counts are. Through 2014 there were 960 events in Winter Olympic sports. Notice I said Winter Olympic sports. In 1908, figure skating was held at the Summer Olympics (4 events) and in 1920 figure skating (3 events) and ice hockey (1 event) were contested. So if you could count those as non-Winter Olympic events, that gives 952 Olympic Winter Games (OWG) events.

But there have been various ties over the years, so of the 952 events, there have been 955 gold medals. But wait, prior to the investigation of Russian doping, there were actually 959 gold medals at the OWG, as 4 were removed, giving 955 – they had not yet been re-assigned. But wait, in January several of the Russian medals were restored, giving 957, or 965, if you count 1908 and 1920.

And if you really get funky with it, including 1908 and 1920, there have been 5,711 gold medals awarded.

So there you have it. The number of Winter gold medals before PyeongChang started was 952, or 955, or 957, or 959, or 960, or 961, or 963, or 965, … or 5,711. Makes you understand why Mark Adams said he didn’t know when the 1,000th gold medal would occur. Neither do I. Depends exactly on how you define your terms.

(With thanx to David Clark, who suggested we look at this landmark)

Shaun White – For the Record Book

By winning the snowboarding halfpipe tonite, Shaun White has  achieved the following:

  • 100th gold medal for @TeamUSA – his other two gold medals were #71 (2006) and #83 (2010)
  • 3rd oldest (31-164) SNB gold medalist (men and overall) – after Jasey-Jay Anderson (CAN) (34-321; 2010 / PGS) and Seth Wescott (33-232; 2010 / Boardercross)
  • 3rd oldest @TeamUSA Winter Olympic individual gold medalist (men and overall) – after Jim Shea (33-255; 2002 / Skeleton) and Wescott
  • First snowboarder (men and overall) to win 3 gold medals
  • =1st snowboarder to win 3 medals – with Kelly Clark (USA)
  • 2nd all-time USA men for most Winter Olympic gold medals (after Eric Heiden)
  • 3rd all-time @TeamUSA for most Winter Olympic gold medals (after Eric Heiden and Bonnie Blair)
  • =6th all-time USA men for most Winter Olympic medals
  • =12th all-time men for most Winter Olympic individual gold medals
  • 1st USA male to win gold medals at 3 Winter Olympics (tied with Bonnie Blair overall)
  • =1st USA male to win medals at 3 Winter Olympics (with Apolo Anton Ohno)
  • USA record for most years between gold medals (12) – now Ted Ligety with 8 (men and overall)
  • =4th all-time for most years between gold medals (men) (12)
  • 1st USA male to medal three times in same event at the Winter Olympics (tied with Bonnie Blair overall)
  • =1st (with 5 other men) among male Winter Olympians for gold medals in same individual event (3)

To the US, and International, Olympic Media

My Olympics in Korea have ended, as I sit in Seoul Incheon airport for my flight back to Atlanta. Some of you may have heard I had a problem in PyeongChang. Friday AM, while doing a CNN interview, I could not speak for part of the interview, and after going to hospital, was diagnosed with a small stroke. I have been at Gangneung Asan Medical Center until this morning.

I’m doing well, but I have only one problem remaining which is maddening for someone dealing with databases and spreadsheets. My fine motor skills with my right hand are still slow, making typing this difficult.

I’ve been asked if I can still help with stats during the Games. I want to, but please understand I want to spend a few days with my wife and dogs and trying to recover further. I will do what I can, when I can, but I may have to say no, occasionally. I have never done that and always tried to help you guys. Please understand.

My care in Korea, speaking from my day job as an orthopaedic surgeon, was superb. And God bless the USOC for organizing my care and getting me back home. I’ll be back.

Kasai 8th Winter Olympics, Pechstein 7th

21st and 9th may not seem like much. But when Noriaki Kasai (JPN) and Claudia Pechstein (GER) finished in those places in the normal hill ski jumping and the 3K speed skating Saturday night, respectively, they made Olympic history.

For Kasai it was his 8th Olympic Winter Games, the first person to ever compete in 8. For Pechstein it was her 7th Winter Olympics, the first woman to reach that figure. For the record here are the current records for most appearances at a Winter Olympics.

### Name Gdr NOC Sport Era Consec
8 Noriaki Kasai M JPN SKJ 1992-2018 Yes
7 Albert Demchenko M EUN/RUS LUG 1992-2014 Yes
7 Andrus Veerpalu M EST CCS 1992-2018 No
7 Claudia Pechstein F GER SSK 1992-2018 No
7 Sergey Dolidovich M BLR CCS 1994-2018 No
7 Janne Ahonen M FIN SKJ 1994-2018 Yes
6 Carl-Erik Eriksson M SWE BOB 1964-1984 Yes
6 Colin Coates M AUS SSK 1968-1988 Yes
6 Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen F FIN CCS 1976-1994 Yes
6 Alfred Eder M AUT BIA 1976-1994 Yes
6 Harri Kirvesniemi M FIN CCS 1980-1998 Yes
6 Jochen Behle M FRG/GER CCS 1980-1998 Yes
6 Raimo Helminen M FIN ICH 1984-2002 Yes
6 Markus Prock M AUT LUG 1984-2002 Yes
6 Emese Nemeth-Hunyady F AUT/HUN SSK 1984-2002 Yes
6 Mike Dixon M GBR BIA/ CCS 1984-2002 Yes
6 Hubertus von Fürstenberg-von Hohenlohe M MEX ASK 1984-2014 No
6 Wilfried Huber M ITA LUG 1988-2006 Yes
6 Gerda Weissensteiner F ITA BOB/LUG 1988-2006 Yes
6 Sergey Chepikov M EUN/RUS/URS BIA/ CCS 1988-2006 Yes
6 Georg Hackl M FRG/GER LUG 1988-2006 Yes
6 Anna Orlova F LAT LUG 1992-2010 Yes
6 Ilmārs Bricis M LAT BIA 1992-2010 Yes
6 Marco Büchel M LIE ASK 1992-2010 Yes
6 Teemu Selänne M FIN ICH 1992-2014 No
6 Gyu-Hyeok Lee M KOR SSK 1994-2014 Yes
6 Todd Lodwick M USA NCO 1994-2014 Yes
6 Mario Stecher M AUT NCO 1994-2014 Yes
6 Armin Zöggeler M ITA LUG 1994-2014 Yes
6 Ole Einar Bjørndalen M NOR BIA/ CCS 1994-2014 Yes
6 Eva Tofalvi F ROU BIA 1998-2018 Yes
6 Jasey-Jay Anderson M CAN SNB 1998-2018 Yes
6 Simon Ammann M SUI SKJ 1998-2018 Yes
6 Shiva Keshavan M IND LUG 1998-2018 Yes

The above includes all those entered for PyeongChang 2018 although they may not have competed yet.

By comparison the Summer Olympic record is 10 by Canadian equestrian Ian Millar. Two others have competed in 9 Olympics – Hubert Raudauschl (AUT-SAI / 1964-96) and Afanisijs Kuzmins (LAT/URS-SHO / 1976-2012). There have been 9 Summer Olympians compete in 8 Olympic Games.

Coldest Ever Winter Olympics? Maybe.

Some people have been calling PyeongChang the coldest ever Olympic Winter Games. Is it the city with the coldest February temperature to host a Winter Olympics?

Maybe. It really depends on whether you look at the daily mean (average) temperature, the daily mean low temperature, or the absolute (all-time) low temperature for February.

If you look at the absolute low-temperature for February, Calgary, Alberta, Canada wins hands down with a record low of -45° C. (-49° F.). And if you look at the daily average temperature, then Lillehammer, Norway and Lake Placid, New York, USA, are the coldest Winter Olympic cities, with mean temps of -9° C. (16° F.) and -8° C. (18° F.), respectively.

However, if you look at the daily mean low, PyeongChang is basically the same as Lillehammer and Calgary. All cities daily mean low temperature is -11° C.

We’ve never sat down and analyzed the daily announced temperatures during the Winter Olympics. The data was not listed in results until about the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics. While, or other weather sites, likely has the data, it’s not something we have done and not aware of anyone else ever having done it.

Attached is a spreadsheet, Winter City Stats, with statistics about the Winter Olympic host cities, with population data, weather data, and geographic data.

Events Starting Before the Opening Ceremony

Events started today at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, 1 day before the Opening Ceremony. This is not uncommon, and also occurred at Sochi in 2014.

Of the 23 Winter Olympics to date, including PC, 14 of them started on the day of, or after, the Opening Ceremony, and finished before or on the day of the Closing Ceremony. This happened consecutively from 1988-2010.

The first Winter Olympics at Chamonix in 1924 had its sporting events end the day before the Closing Ceremony, the only time that has happened.

In 1932, the events finished 2 days after the Closing Ceremony, because weather had caused postponement of events.

In 1964, 1968, and 1984, the events started 2 days before the Opening Ceremony. The events have started the day before the Opening Ceremony in 1976, 1980, 2014, and 2018.

100,000th Male Olympian – Summer and Winter

Following up on my previous post –

The start list for men’s normal hill ski jumping qualifying round tonite has been announced. Assuming everyone starts, the 16th jumper will be the 11th new Olympian starting tonite, and will become the 100,000th male Olympian of all-time – summer and winter.

And that 16th jumper and the winner is @Casey16Larson – Casey Larson of @TeamUSA. Tell ’em what he’s won, Don Pardo!

20,000 Winter Olympians and 100,000 Male Olympians

There are about 2,950 athletes entered here in PyeongChang (PC). Of these 1,689 have never before competed at an Olympic Games.

This brings the total number of Olympians (since 1896) over a few landmarks. The following now assumes that all 1,689 new Olympians will compete in PC, which is probably not exactly the case.

The number of Winter Olympians will now top 20,000 for the first time, reaching about 20,705. So some new Olympian in PC will become the 20,000th Winter Olympian – who will it be? Actually, it will be very hard to say, because to date, there have currently been 19,016 Winter Olympians through 2014. So of the 1,014 new Winter Olympians likely to compete, it will be the 984th to enter the start gate. If you’d like to try to track that let us know.

Further the number of male Olympians, summer and winter, will top 100,000 for the first time, likely reaching about 100,997 if all 1,014 new male Olympians compete in PC. This is trackable and it will likely be possible to determine who is the 100,000th male Olympian. To date, there have been 99,983 male Olympians, so the 17th new male competitor to get to the starting line will be the 100,000th male Olympian.

Who will that be? This morning there were 4 mixed doubles curling matches, with 8 men competing. Six of those 8 men are new Olympians, bringing us to 99,989 male Olympians all-time, as of noontime, PyeongChang time..

Men’s normal hill ski jump qualifying takes place tonite. There will likely be 60 competitors (62 at Sochi in this event phase), and of those, about 20 will be new Olympians – as I write this the start list as not yet been announced.

The 11th new Olympian in the men’s normal hill ski jump qualifying tonite will become the 100,000th male Olympian. That should be relatively easy to determine as the ski jumpers go off one at a time. Once I get that start list, I’ll update this.

Sochi Medals Revisited – Again

Today’s CAS ruling puts all Sochi results and purported Sochi results and updates into chaos.

Here is what the original medal standings looked like at the end of the Sochi Olympics (top 5 places only).

Original NOC G S B TM USRnk EuRnk
23-Feb-14 RUS 13 11 9 33 1 1
23-Feb-14 USA 9 7 12 28 2 4
23-Feb-14 NOR 11 5 10 26 3 2
23-Feb-14 CAN 10 10 5 25 4 3
23-Feb-14 NED 8 7 9 24 5 5

After the Oswald Commission rulings, fully released by 22 December 2017, the Russians lost 13 medals from Sochi, as follows:

Class Sport Year Event Place
M CCS 2014 50K 1
M SKE 2014 Skeleton 1
M BOB 2014 2-man 1
M BOB 2014 4-man 1
M CCS 2014 4x10relay 2
M CCS 2014 50K 2
M CCS 2014 Team Sprint 2
X LUG 2014 Mixed Relay 2
M LUG 2014 Singles 2
F SSK 2014 500 2
F BIA 2014 Relay 2
F BIA 2014 7.5 km 2
F SKE 2014 Skeleton 3

This changed the Sochi medals table to the following:

22 Dec 2017 NOC G S B TM USRnk EuRnk
22-Dec-17 USA 9 7 12 28 1 3
22-Dec-17 NOR 11 5 10 26 2 1
22-Dec-17 CAN 10 10 5 25 3 2
22-Dec-17 NED 8 7 9 24 4 5
22-Dec-17 RUS 9 3 8 20 5 4

After today’s ruling by CAS, at least 9 of the 13 Russian medals will likely be restored. The following should be restored:

Class Sport Year Event Place
M RUS CCS 2014 50K 1
M RUS SKE 2014 Skeleton 1
M RUS CCS 2014 4x10relay 2
M RUS CCS 2014 50K 2
M RUS CCS 2014 Team Sprint 2
X RUS LUG 2014 Mixed Relay 2
M RUS LUG 2014 Singles 2
F RUS SSK 2014 500 2
F RUS SKE 2014 Skeleton 3

Four medals DQs have not yet changed. The 2-man bobsled gold medal will remain disqualified as both Aleksandr Zubkov and Aleksey Voyevoda’s DQs were upheld, although their lifelong Olympic bans were reversed. The women’s biathlon relay silver remains removed, as does the women’s biathlon 7.5 km silver, as Olga Zaytseva and Olga Vilukhina have not had their appeals heard yet. The 4-man bobsled gold medal is in no man’s land. Zubkov and Voyevoda were part of that gold medal sled, and were disqualified, but the other two pushers, Dmitry Trunenkov and Aleksey Negodaylo, were both exonerated.

With the CAS rulings, 9 medals – 2 golds, 6 silvers, and 1 bronze – will be restored to the Russians from Sochi. This makes the current top of the medal standings for Sochi look like the following:

Current NOC G S B TM USRnk EuRnk
1-Feb-18 RUS 11 9 9 29 1 1
1-Feb-18 USA 9 7 12 28 2 4
1-Feb-18 NOR 11 5 10 26 3 2
1-Feb-18 CAN 10 10 5 25 4 3
1-Feb-18 NED 8 7 9 24 5 5

By either the US system (medals-gold-silver-bronze) or the International / European system (gold-silver-bronze) of medal rankings, the Russian team returns to the top of the medal standings in Sochi.

Sports, Disciplines, and Phases

There are 15 sports to be contested at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Oh, wait a minute, actually there’s only 7 sports being contested. Did you know that swimming is not a sport at the Olympics? I know, you think I’m nuts.

But all of those statements have some element of truth to them, including the last one. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) defines several types of competitions to be held at the Olympic Games. These are, in order – sports, disciplines, events, phases, units.

Sports are “sports” that are governed by International Federations (IFs). These include what we expect – athletics (track & field), basketball, rowing, wrestling, etc. It does not include swimming, which is not a sport to the IOC, but it does include aquatics, which is.

Disciplines are subsections of sports. Many sports have subsections, such as athletics with running, throwing, hurdling, but only certain sports have defined disciplines by their IFs. Cycling has road cycling, track cycling, mountain biking, and BMX racing. Skiing has Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping, and snowboarding. And aquatics, defined as a sport by the Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA), recognizes several disciplines, four of which are held at the Olympic Games – swimming, diving, artistic swimming (known until this year as synchronized swimming), and water polo. So swimming is not a sport at the Olympics, it is a discipline.

Events are competitions at the Olympic Games for which the result yields a final result standings and medals to be awarded, such as the 100 metre freestyle swimming, or the decathlon. Thus, in the sport of skiing, we have the discipline of Alpine skiing, and within that discipline, we have the events of downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and combined (and now a team event).

The decathlon is considered an event, but it also has 10 phases – subsections of an event, in this case, the 10 different athletics events that constitute the decathlon. In other events, things like the finals, semi-finals, first round, qualifying rounds, etc., are considered phases of the event.

Finally, we have event units, which are actually subsections of phases. In the semi-final phase, there is semi-final 1, semi-final 2, etc., both of which are considered units.

So at the Olympic Winter Games, we have 7 sports officially considered as such by the IOC and the IFs – biathlon, bobsledding and skeleton, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating, and skiing.

It might seem that there are actually 15 sports at the Winter Olympics, and the media usually considers this to be the case, and we keep separate statistics for each sport/discipline as if they were all sports. However, the breakdown is as follows, with the sports, followed by their disciplines:


  • Biathlon
  • Bobsledding and Skeleton
    • Bobsledding
    • Skeleton
  • Curling
  • Ice Hockey
  • Luge
  • Skating
    • Figure Skating
    • Short-Track Speed Skating
    • Speed Skating
  • Skiing
    • Alpine Skiing
    • Cross-Country Skiing
    • Freestyle Skiing
    • Nordic Combined
    • Ski Jumping
    • Snowboarding


It should also be noted that these sports are not immutable. Biathlon is considered a sport because it has its own IF, but that was not always so. It used to be governed by the UIMPB – the Union Internationale Moderne Pentathlon et Biathlon, which governed both modern pentathlon and biathlon.

Snowboarding is technically governed by the FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski), but it has had its own governing body, and when snowboarding was approved as an Olympic sport in 1998, there was great controversy whether it would come under the IOC umbrella governed by the FIS, which wanted to control it, or the World Snowboard Federation, or even variants of its predecessors, the International Snowboard Federation, or the National Association of Professional Snowboarders. Had it come onto the Olympic Program governed by its own IF, it would be called a sport, not a discipline.

So there you have it. There will be 7 sports contested at PyeongChang. Or maybe it’s 15. Or maybe it’s … We hope this has cleared things up for you.