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Our real medal count ignores Olympic disciplines like gymnastics and diving and instead focuses on sports where winners are determined on the field of play. When Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps wins a race, the result is objective and undeniable. Gabby Douglas winning the women's all-around was one of the most memorable moments of the first week. But why did she win a gold over Victoria Komova? Because some judges said she was 0.259 better? It wouldn't be so insulting if we weren't the rubes who accept it like it's real. Gymnastics wins aren't victories, they're subjective decisions based on objective-sounding rules. So factor all of that out when talking about medal counts.
China isn't ahead, the United States is.