Though not as popular as their summertime counterpart, the Winter Olympics are an important event in the world of sports. With this year’s Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia taking the spotlight this February, we would like to take this moment to take a look back at the most proficient nations in this event, ranked according to the number of medals they’ve earned. The countdown takes into account the medals earned at Sochi as well.
The Winter Olympics have been held every 4 years since 1924, when the Games were hosted in Charmonix, France. The only interruption in the Games was registered during World War II, but the event was ultimately resumed in 1948. To compile the following, we have taken into account the total number of medals won by each country, and we have also included a tally of their gold, silver, and bronze medals. Since some of the nations that have participated at the Winter Games no longer exist, we have combined their number of medals with that of the country they are nowadays part of. For example, the number of medals won by the Soviet Union are added up to Russia’s total, the medals won by West Germany are combined with those of Germany, and the medals won by Yugoslavia have been added with Serbia’s tally. The medals won by the Unified Team, which competed at the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville are also added to Russia’s total.
Even though Russia emerged as this year’s leader of the Sochi Winter Games, it is still lagging behind Germany. The two countries have earned the same number of gold medals, 136, but Germany leads with 4 extra bronze medals and 32 additional silver medals. The countdown remained exactly the same as after the previous edition of the Winter Olympic Games, with the only difference being that Canada surpassed Finland, thanks to its superior performance at Sochi.
Curious to see which other countries have made it to the top ten? Let’s take a look at the countdown.