Norway win 2018 Winter Olympics

Marit Bjoergen (Norway) won 6 Cross Country Skiing medals (3 golds) in PyeongChang

Norway have won the PyeongChang Winter Olympics! The Scandinavian country, population 5.277 million, topped the ranking for the first time in GSN Olympic history, ahead of Germany, the USA and Canada.

In a way, Norway’s win is hardly surprising: they finished fourth in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, and had a hugely successful sporting year in 2017. They were crowned world’s sportiest nation after winning the Per Capita Cup, and finished a close second to the USA in GSN’s Snow & Ice sports ranking, their best-ever result.
It was an emphatic Olympic victory for the Scandinavians, with a 159-point margin over second-placed Germany. This is truly remarkable, considering that, in the last two editions of the Winter Olympics, twice-winners Canada’s margin was 8 points and 40 points respectively.
 
PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics – Final rankings
Place
Country
Points
Points %
1
Norway
738
12.1%
2
Germany
579
9.5%
3
United States
555
9.1%
4
Canada
508
8.4%
5
OAR
435
7.2%
6
Sweden
421
6.9%
7
Switzerland
336
5.5%
8
France
336
5.5%
9
Austria
280
4.6%
10
Italy
247
4.1%
11
Japan
237
3.9%
12
Finland
235
3.9%
13
Netherlands
189
3.1%
14
South Korea
186
3.1%
15
Czech Republic
167
2.7%
16
China
114
1.9%
17
Slovakia
92
1.5%
18
Great Britain
70
1.2%
19
Belarus
70
1.2%
20
Poland
42
0.7%
21
Australia
39
0.6%
22
Slovenia
34
0.6%
23
Latvia
32
0.5%
24
New Zealand
31
0.5%
25
Hungary
27
0.4%
26
Liechtenstein
22
0.4%
27
Spain
20
0.3%
28
Ukraine
14
0.2%
29
Kazakhstan
14
0.2%
30
Belgium
7
0.1%
31
Bulgaria
3
0.0%
32
Romania
2
0.0%
33
Israel
1
0.0%
 
Grand Total
6,083
100.0%
 
Norway built their success on strength-in-depth, scoring points in 10 of the 15 sports featured at the Games (though Germany with 13, the USA with 12 and Canada with 11 did better), and winning outright two sports: Cross Country Skiing (with a record 31.5% of points) and Ski Jumping. Crucially, they were also second in Alpine Skiing, Biathlon and Nordic Combined, and this was enough for them to eventually beat a very competitive German team.
 
Germany won four sports (Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Luge and Nordic Combined), the first nation to ever win four at the Winter Games in GSN history, and were runners-up in the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament. The latter was won by the so-called Olympic Athletes of Russia, as was Figure Skating. Altogether, the ‘non-doped’ Russian athletes finished a creditable fifth overall.
The shadow of Russian state-sponsored doping sadly still loomed over the PyeongChang Games, with two Russian athletes disqualified for doping offences. It’s a shadow that still hangs over the Sochi 2014 games too. Following the rulings in recent months by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), we decided to review the results of the Sochi games.
 
No easy task, as there are still appeals pending, and the decisions taken by the IOC and CAS are in some cases at odds. We settled for changing the results only for those cases on which a decision was reached and upheld by both the IOC and CAS: the two men’s Bobsleigh events, and the women’s Biathlon individual sprint and relay events. We removed the disqualified Russian athletes from the rankings and recalculated the first eight places in their absence, with the result that Canada finished first ahead of Russia in the Sochi games (see tables below), in a repeat of their victory in Vancouver 2010.
 
SOCHI 2014                                  PYEONGCHANG 2018 
Place Country Points  Country Points 
1 Canada 686 Norway 738
2 Russia 646 Germany 579
3 United States 645 United States 555
4 Norway 586 Canada 508
5 Sweden 487 OAR 435
6 Germany 382 Sweden 421
7 Switzerland 358 Switzerland 336
8 Austria 342 France 336
9 France 296 Austria 280
10 Finland 288 Italy 247
11 Netherlands 267 Japan 237
12 Italy 257 Finland 235
13 China 254 Netherlands 189
14 Czech Rep. 241 South Korea 186
15 Slovenia 210 Czech Rep. 167
16 Japan 177 China 114
17 South Korea 142 Slovakia 92
18 Belarus 115 Great Britain 70
19 Poland 106 Belarus 70
20 Great Britain 61 Poland 42
 
Back to PyeongChang, it’s worth celebrating first-time sport winners Great Britain, who topped the Skeleton ranking (see full list of sports below). Together with the country’s record medal haul, it’s an indication that the Winter Games, and Winter Sports in general, are definitely open to ‘newcomers’. This was also confirmed by the fact that the number of countries scoring points in PyeongChang was 33, one more than in Sochi and two more than Vancouver, with Israel scoring points for the first time in GSN Winter Olympics history (8th in Figure Skating).
 
Finally, and although GSN is about nations, we would like to mention two amazing athletes whose performances made huge headlines in PyeongChang, and deservedly so: Marit Bjoergen, Norway’s Iron Lady, who added 6 medals (3 golds) to her extraordinary tally and, with 16 medals, has the largest medal haul in the Winter Games in history. And Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic, incredibly the winner of gold medals in two different sports (Snowboarding Parallel Slalom and Alpine Skiing Super-G). An extraordinary feat, and only the third athlete ever to do so in a single edition of the games - the first since 1928, in an era in which specialisation is the name of the game.
 
Winter Olympics – Sport winners
                                    Vancouver           Sochi                   PyeongChang
Alpine Skiing Austria Austria Austria
Biathlon Russia Norway Germany
Bobsleigh Germany USA Germany
Cross Country Skiing Norway Norway Norway
Curling Canada Canada Canada
Figure Skating USA Russia OAR
Freestyle Skiing Canada Canada Canada
Ice Hockey Canada Canada OAR
Luge Germany Germany Germany
Nordic Combined USA Norway Germany
Short Track South Korea China South Korea
Skeleton Germany Russia Great Britain
Ski Jumping Austria Germany Norway
Snowboarding USA USA USA
Speedskating Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands