3 medalists from one nation

Athletics has no rule against it in the Olympics.

It marked the first sweep by any country in the history of the 100m hurdles, the first by American women in any event – and only the seventh ever in athletics overall. …

Brianna Rollins leads US clean sweep in 100m hurdles final

3 medalists from one nation

Personally I like the maximum 2 / nation rule in finals. It’s not good for the sport worldwide to have one nation dominate a sport completely.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

12 thoughts on “3 medalists from one nation”

  1. I wouldn’t mind a 3 per country rule at world championships, euros, and commonwealth games. but keep 2 per country for the Olympics.


  2. Count me as someone who does not like the 2-per-country rule. I watch the Olympics and World Championships to see the best in the world. If there are three athletes from one nation who go 1-2-3, they are the best and should be on the podium. I really don’t care what country it is–US, Canada, Russia, Great Britain, Jamaica, etc.

    The rules already limit participation by limiting the team members, and it’s getting further reduced in Tokyo, (although now up to 2 event specialists can go, too, but can’t be part of the team competition). But if they limit the team participation, the WHOLE team should get a chance to medal. Gabby Douglas would have had a real shot at winning silver or bronze in the AA. The competition would have been more interesting to see Gabby and Aly fight for the silver since Simone was in her own stratosphere. Instead Aly won silver by 2 points–hardly a nail-biter.

    I also don’t agree with the philosophy that you have to win a medal to spike interest in a sport. Using the Winter Olympics as an example, Chinese pairs figure skater Yao Bin and his partner Luan Bo were the first Chinese pair to represent China at a World Championships (1980 Worlds), where they finished 15th, and competed at two more Worlds finishing dead last each time. But Yao Bin was inspired by his participation to elevate Chines pairs skating, which eventually led to gold for Shen and Zhao in 2010, as well as multiple World medals.

    These elite athletes sacrifice so much just for that shot at the Olympics. Let them compete if they’ve earned a spot in an event. Don’t knock them out because of some arbitrary rule limiting podium finishes to 2-per-country. This rule is simply not fair to the athletes.


  3. I notice it’s always the Americans complaining about 2 per country, but their arguments are obviously based in nationalism and not in a desire for fairness – as easily demonstrated by their citation of American athletes instead of international ones against the 3 per country rule.
    They seem to have forgotten – well, many things actually about sport, but specifically that they themselves have benefited mightily from two per country in years past, that in gymnastics with the “new life” rules made every rotation fraught and it is just as likely to be about the third athlete from another country just been pipped at the post, as it is their own.


    1. WW, that’s a rather big assumption. I’m American and I wrote that I want to see the best of the best REGARDLESS of the country. The Chinese divers are the best in the world and I love to watch them dive. If they swept the podium, I’d be more than fine with it. I loved watching Romania sweep the AA women’s podium in 2000 (to me, Adreea Raducan will forever be the gold medalist). In fact, at that same Olympics, I wrote NBC a complaint ripping them for not showing anything more than brief highlights of the Russian women in prelims. The Russian women were the best in the world at the time and I wanted to watch the best. Don’t make such sweeping generalizations. The other Americans I know who don’t like the 2-per-country rule think like me.


  4. This is how fairness works. You can’t bill a competition as the best of the best (Olympics/Worlds) where the bronze is ‘gifted’ because of the country you’re from. People work waaay too hard to get to this level (and be the most talented) for them to hear ‘you actually came in third, but sorry, you’re American, and you guys are too talented. We have to let the girl who actually finished in 23rd, based on her talent, in over you.’

    While Gabby’s situation is less heartbreaking, already having Oly AA gold, the Jordyn situation is ridiculous.

    I get that most of the gymnasts who make it there are hard workers, but Im sorry, if you arent among the best in the room, I don’t wanna see you dilute the possibility of an actual competition, because your country is ‘underrepresented’.


  5. By that logic why have basketball at the Olympics at all? If it’s about the best of the best, then surely you’d just watch the NBA playoffs.

    To me, the 2 per country rule is a necessary evil because there’s only 3 medal spots and the world isn’t fair. The Olympics is supposed to be about the spirit of sportsmanship and competition on a global level (IOC corruption notwithstanding), but what’s the point if you’ve essentially shut out poorer countries by not limiting the entries per country.

    Can you imagine if there were no limits to entry and we were in a situation where Biles pulled a Kenzo and bombed one of her events – no worries because the top 8 is mostly US gymnasts b/c we have such ridiculous depth.

    When one country dominates the talent pool and there are no limits to medal contention then why bother having an international competition at all. History pretty much shows that it just breeds resentment from other countries.


    1. I agree with Hugh.

      If you want to see the BEST of the BEST, watch the U.S., Chinese and Russian Championships. All those meets have more of the world’s best gymnasts than the Olympics.


      1. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the IAAF guidelines state they have a 3 per country rule, so although the above photo is of athletics – they don’t have unlimited entry either


    2. Actually, I don’t think we should have basketball at the Olympics. Or tennis either. Those sports have a huge global popularity and don’t need an Olympic spotlight. You could take soccer out, too, for the same reason. So at least I’m consistent with my logic.

      Other sports don’t limit the podium and it doesn’t seem to hurt other countries. I’m not at all convinced by your or Coach Rick’s arguments. But we can respectfully agree to disagree. As with most issues, there are two sides. Doesn’t mean mine is right, but neither does it mean yours is.


  6. If you look at the “What We Do” page on the Olympic website no where does it state that one of the goals is to find the best of the best athletes. The games are meant to promote sport world wide. The fact that the best of the best usually show is the a by product of this goal.


  7. The best of best may not be explicitly stated, but I guarantee you it is essential for the success of the Olympics. If the standard drops too much the Olympics will end up like the World Games.


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