The United States achieved a record 37 medals at the Vancouver Olympics despite losing to Canada in yesterday’s gold-chasing ice hockey game. “The hockey team’s silver was the 37th medal of the Vancouver Games for the United States, breaking the record for total medals won by one nation at a Winter Games set by Germany in 2002. This is also the first Winter Olympics in 78 years in which the United States has hauled in more medals than any other participant. As the U.S. Olympic Committee forges into an uncertain economic future knowing it faces at least a 20-year gap between Olympics on U.S. soil, the implications of this year’s surprising medal windfall are significant. The unexpected U.S. dominance in familiar pursuits such as Alpine skiing and the more obscure disciplines such as Nordic combined yielded important increases in television ratings, media coverage and sponsor involvement. With the USOC bracing for continued fallout from the economic downturn, potentially decreasing or flat revenues from soon-to-be negotiated television and sponsor deals, and no home Olympics at least through 2020, Team USA’s monumental overachievement brought a tide of fresh optimism.”
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