Olympic medal mania
Winning athletes in :he ancient Olympics were rewarded only with the traditional laurel wreaths, but also with money and fame. Many modern Olympic victors also have a shot at fame, like lucrative endorsements and pro contracts.
But since the birth of the modern Olympics in 1896, the chief reward at the time of victory has been a medal. There were no gold medals in 1896 (winners received a silver medal and a crown of olive branches), but since then, athletes have won gold, silver, or bronze medals, for first-, second-, and third-place finishes.
Olympic purists discourage medal counting, but Olympic news always reports medal totals. These graphs show the top 10 medal winners in two Olympics, the 1896 Games in Athens, Greece, and the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, the most recent Games. Use the data to answer the questions below.
1. What was the total number of medals won by American
athletes in the two Olympics shown?
a 48 c 54
b 55 d 59
2. In the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, Norway won seven
silver medals and six bronze medals. How many gold
medals did Norway win in 2002?
a 11 c 8
b 15 d 13
3. The People’s Republic of China, a nation not shown on
the graphs, won half as many medals as Russia in the 2002
Salt Lake City Olympics. How many medals did China
win in 2002?
a 11 c 14
b 8 d 10
4. — received the same number
of medals in the 2002 Winter Olympics as it did in
the 1896 Olympics.
5. The United States won 63 more medals in the 2000
Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, than
it did in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
How many medals did the U.S. win in 2000?
a 76 c 90
b 85 d 97
6. One of the countries shown on the graphs won almost
270 percent more medals in 2002 than it had in the 1896
Olympics. Which nation was it?
7. If you double one nation’s 1896 medal total and add six,
you get its 2002 total. Which nation? —
1. (c) 54
2. (a) 11
3. (b) 8
5. (d) 97
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