It’s now clear that the United States is destined for a very subpar Winter Olympics. With just 12 total medals in the games so far, the Americans are currently sitting sixth in the medal count — a whopping 17 medals behind Norway, the overall leader.
According to the simple medal tracker we introduced over the weekend, the U.S.’s tally is 10.8 fewer than we’d expect at this point in the Olympics. (Our analysis is based on how countries have done historically in the various Olympic sports.)
|7||Olympic athletes from Russia||0||3||8||11||-1.9||5.3||16.3|
|7||Olympic athletes from Russia||0||11||-1.9||5.3||+16.3|
That shortfall is easily the worst gap for any country that has won at least one medal in Pyeongchang — and the U.S. doesn’t have a lot of time left to turn things around.
Lindsey Vonn, a favorite in the women’s downhill skiing race, and both the women’s and men’s hockey teams have a chance to provide the U.S. with some measure of redemption. And if all else fails, there are still a few more snowboarding events on the schedule. But even if the Americans pick up the pace and play to their historical form for the rest of the games, our formula puts their total medal count at 26, which would barely clear Team USA’s uneven performance at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.
And considering what we’ve seen in Pyeongchang so far, 14 more medals seems like a stretch. Through Tuesday’s action, 67 percent of this year’s medals have been awarded, meaning that the U.S. is technically on pace (based simply on how many they’ve won to this point this games) for about 18 medals total. That would be the fewest that U.S. athletes have earned in a winter games since they nabbed 13 at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
No matter how you slice the numbers, this continues to be a highly disappointing showing for the U.S. in South Korea.