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Talk of the Games

The medal standings tell only part of the sports story of what's happening at the Games. For the rest, check out the latest dispatches from The Seattle Times' sports crew of columnists, reporters and producers.

February 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM

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U.S. assured of tying its record medal total

Posted by Bob Condotta

A release from the United States Olympic Committee spells out how the U.S. today assured it will at least tie for the most medals it has ever won at an Olympic Games. Here's the release:

By virtue of qualifying for tomorrow's gold medal final in long track speedskating team pursuit and by earning a spot in Sunday's gold medal hockey game, Team USA is assured of no less than tying its record 34 medals won at the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.


The U.S. could add to that total with athletes still competing in the final days of the Vancouver Games. Among the American athletes with medal opportunities remaining is short track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno (Seattle, Wash.), the most decorated Winter Olympian in U.S. history. He will compete twice this evening: in the 500m and the 5000m relay.

The U.S., which entered today's competition with 32 medals (8 gold, 12 silver, 12 bronze), earned a spot in Sunday's gold medal hockey final with a 6-1 win over Finland, assuring itself no less than a silver medal. The U.S. will face the winner of tonight's Canada-Slovakia match at 12:30 p.m. PST Sunday, Feb. 28.

Shortly after the men's hockey team locked up its medal, the U.S. qualified for tomorrow's gold medal final in men's long track speedskating team pursuit with its semifinal victory over the Netherlands. That also assures them no worse than silver and guaranteed that Team USA would match its output from 2002. The men's team pursuit gold medal race is scheduled for 12:51 p.m. PST on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Prior to the Vancouver Games, the most medals the U.S. had ever won at a non-U.S. hosted Winter Games was 25 at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

The U.S. has topped the medal standings at only one other Olympic Winter Games - the 1932 Lake Placid Winter Games, when U.S. athletes brought home 12 medals.

The record for most medals won by a nation in a single Olympic Winter Games is 36, set by Germany at the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

For fans of Olympic trivia, the U.S. has led the medal count at the end of every day of competition here in Vancouver. In 20 previous Olympic Winter Games, the U.S. had led the medal count outright on just seven days: Five times at the Lake Placid 1932 Olympic Winter Games; on Day 5 of the Grenoble 1968 Olympic Winter Games; and on Day 4 of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games. There has been only one instance where a nation has led the medal count outright for an entire Olympic Winter Games: The Soviet Union achieved the feat at the Innsbruck 1976 Olympic Winter Games.

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