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Two U.S. women athletes embrace, wrapped in a U.S. flag, at the Tokyo Olympics. Athing Mu, of the United States, celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women’s 800-meter final, with bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers, right, also of the U.S., at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Aug. 3, 2021 (AP Photo by Matthias Schrader).

The U.S. Still Makes for a Tough Competitor Against China

Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021

During the 17 days of the just-completed Tokyo Olympics, many American publications eschewed counting medals in ways that emphasized the winning of gold, preferring a broader tabulation that emphasized total medals won. In this manner, the United States was able to maintain a healthy lead over its biggest rival, China, throughout the Games.

In the final day or two, though, when the United States eked out the slimmest of leads over China in gold medals won as well, the emphasis in many newspaper reports suddenly shifted. Team USA had won the Summer Games by this narrower measure, and suddenly it suited the Games’ concluding narrative just fine. ...

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