National Medal Improvements and a Sign-Off

Assuming Russia wins a medal in bobsledding today, that will give them 33 medals in Sochi. It is only the 5th time that a nation has won over 30 medals at a Winter Olympics, after Germany and the United States in both 2002 and 2010, and will rank them 4th all-time for nations at the Olympic Winter Games, whether they finish with 32 or 33 medals. The top 4 national performances at a single Winter Olympics have been as follows:




2010,United States,9,15,13,37


2002,United States,10,13,11,34




But in 2010, Russia won “only” 15 medals, meaning they will have improved from 15 to 33 in Sochi, a gain of 18 medals (or possibly 17). How does that improvement rank all-time at the Winter Olympics? Either way, it will be second all-time after the USA improving from 13 to 34 from 1998-2002, a gain of 21, which, like Russia, benefitted from hosting the Winter Olympics on home soil. But the Netherlands also improved in Sochi, from 8 to 24 medals, a bump of 16 medals, thanks to their impressive speed skaters. That is 3rd all-time.

Here are all the nations that have seen a bump of 10 or more medals from one Winter Olympics to the next. Please note that this is a little easier as the number of events increases at each Winter Olympics.




1998,United States,13,

2002,United States,34,21







2006,United States,25,

2010,United States,37,12

1972,Soviet Union,16,

1976,Soviet Union,27,11







And that is @bambam1729 signing off from Sochi, folks. Its been fun. I’ll leave you with the words of the Reverend Robert de Courcy Laffan, who spoke them at the Closing Banquet at the end of the 1908 Olympics in London:

“The Olympic Movement was one with great ideals – the perfect physical development of a new humanity, the spreading all over the world of the spirit of sport, which was the spirit of the truest chivalry, and the drawing together of all the nations of the earth in the bonds of peace and mutual amity. They were at the beginning of one of those great world movements which was going to develop long after all present had passed away.”