Here are the final COSTAS medal standings, complete through the end of Olympic play on August 12. For an explanation of the methodology behind COSTAS, click here, and here for the COSTAS standings after the first week of the Olympics.
First, the standings as represented by the traditional medal table:
Now, for the final COSTAS count:
Though the U.S. made up substantial ground in the COSTAS standings in the second week of competition, we still could not overturn the early advantage built up by the Chinese. The American sweep of the gold medals in basketball and wins in beach volleyball and women’s soccer boosted our COSTAS total, but China’s mastery of badminton, table tennis, and diving created a deficit too large to surmount. Though the U.S. won handily in the traditional medal table, their advantage came at the very end of the Olympics, largely through track and field, the individual events of which are heavily discounted by COSTAS due to the sheer number of them.
The COSTAS standings also see Great Britain knocked from their third-place perch, supplanted by Russia. Many of Team GB’s medals, in particular their golds, came in sports with many events, like cycling, rowing, and boxing, reducing the number of points they received. Ironically, the cold, stern Russians gained their advantage from two sports that share more in common with dance than athletics: synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, in which they won four out of a possible four gold medals.
And with that, the Games of the 30th Olympiad are concluded. COSTAS will now enter hibernation, to be awakened only by the cold Russian sun of Sochi in 2014.