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:

Year NOC Gold Silver Bronze Totals
2010 United States 9 15 13 37
2002 Germany 12 16 8 36
2002 United States 10 13 11 34
2010 Germany 10 13 7 30


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
2010 Russia 15
2014 Russia 33 18
2010 Netherlands 8
2014 Netherlands 24 16
1988 Norway 5
1992 Norway 20 15
2006 United States 25
2010 United States 37 12
1972 Soviet Union 16
1976 Soviet Union 27 11
1988 Austria 10
1992 Austria 21 11
1984 Switzerland 5
1988 Switzerland 15 10


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.”