BY RICK TELANDER
Yes, the United States is in first place with 24 Olympic gold medals (49 overall), one more gold than runner-up China (and 50 overall). And bully for us.
But the advantages we have over other countries are huge and multiple. Start with population, wealth, interest in sports, variety of terrain, climate, and cukture, and in some cases, plain old beautiful American freedom.
But when you readjust medal standings based on population, for instance, the U.S. is not in the top 10.
First is New Zealand, followed by Slovenia, Australia, Mongolia, Hungary, Lithuania, Georgia, Belarus, Netherlands, and South Korea.
Based on gross domestic product (a measure of economic output) it goes:
2. North Korea
8. New Zealand
Based on team size the U.S. is third, behind North Korea and China and just above Indonesia, Romania, South Korea and France.
Something to think about next time our anthem is played on the medal stand. And, as always, be thankful for.