Sochi Olympics - Dominant Countries

February 25, 2014

The home country in the Olympics always performs better than they usually do when they are not hosting, and that stayed true in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as Russia led all nations with a total of 33 medals. The United States finished second with 28. But the most impressive country performance was turned in by the Netherlands with 23 medals in a single sport, long track speed skating. They had 24 medals overall. (The other medal was in short track speed skating, of course).

The domination of a single sport by the Dutch is the single most impressive display in the history of the Winter Olympics. Previously the most medals won in one sport were the 14 won by Austria in alpine skiing in 2006. Netherlands obliterated that record.

The Dutch know speed skating, but it is amazing to see how many other countries specialized in specific sports in Sochi. Here’s the list of most dominant countries by sport.

Sport Dominant Country Medals
Long Track Speed Skating Netherlands 23 out of 36 total medals
Cross Country Skiing Norway, Sweden Each with 11 out of 36 medals
Alpine Skiing Austria 9 out of 31 medals awarded
Freestyle Skiing Canada 9 out of 30
Short Track Speed Skating China 6 out of 24
Biathlon Norway 6 of 33
Luge Germany 5 of 12
Figure Skating Russia 5 of 15
Snowboard USA 5 of 30

In these nine sports, there are nine different dominant countries.

To complete the list, here are the remaining six sports.

Sport Dominant Country Medals
Nordic Combined Norway 4 of 9 total medals
Bobsleigh USA 4 of 9
Hockey Canada 2 of 6, both gold
Skeleton USA, Russia 2 medals each out of 6
Curling 3 countries 2 medals apiece out of 6
Ski Jumping 5 countries 2 apiece, 12 total medals

COMMENTS (6 Comments, most recent shown first)

The TRUE medal count should be weighted by number of participants receiving medals. It's ludicrous that a hockey team with 18-20 players each receiving medals gets counted as just 1 medal.

Maybe somebody could figure out the TRUE medal count, by actually counting the number of athletes actually receiving medals.
9:00 AM Feb 26th
. . . oh, but an interesting article nonetheless - thanks. I hope my tone below doesn't convey that I wasn't grateful for the research done.
8:10 AM Feb 26th
Yes, steve161, exactly.

The whole medal count thing is ridiculous. . . as if long track speed skating is 6 times more important to the countries that participate in the winter Olympics than hockey. What, do Dutch kids skate along the canals of Amsterdam all winter? I don't think they even they freeze over most years.

As an American born & raised chap living in Canada, I can assure you the folks here wouldn't trade their hockey golds for all those Dutch speed skating medals. I wonder if Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, or any former Soviet Republic would feel the same if they had the choice. As a Yank, our hockey gold in the Lake Placid Olympics (1980?) is still one of our most cherished Olympic moments.

Perhaps, they should count a medal for each member of the team!
8:07 AM Feb 26th
Ohhhh Caaannaadaaa!
11:38 PM Feb 25th
Even more impressive is the performance of the Netherlands athletes, given the country's population--16.7 million people--about 700,000 people per medal. Which ranked them 6th in medals per capita. Norway's ratio of about 200,000 people per medal is astounding. The US is 25th, about 11 million people per medal. A complete list is here:​
9:33 PM Feb 25th
It's all in how you look at it, I suppose. There are 12 long-track speedskating events and a nation can enter more than one athlete in each, except for the team events. The Dutch success is impressive indeed, with multiple clean sweeps.

In hockey and curling there are two events each and a nation gets only one entrant per competition. Canada walked off with all the gold that was there to be won. Our northern neighbors did quite well overall, but their dominance of sports played on ice with sticks or brooms was total.
8:37 PM Feb 25th
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