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Talk of the Games

The medal standings tell only part of the sports story of what's happening at the Games. For the rest, check out the latest dispatches from The Seattle Times' sports crew of columnists, reporters and producers.

February 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM

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So how do you define the overall medal leader, anyway?

Posted by Bob Condotta

As Canada has started to rack up the gold medals in recent days --- the host country is now up to 12 --- some have started wondering if that could put it in a position to claim the mantle of being the leading medal winner here.

As I write this, the United States has just nine medals.

So while the US has more overall medals --- 36 --- than any other country (German is next with 29 and then Canada with 24), the Canadians have more golds as does Germany (10).

That led one reporter (I'm presuming Canadian, though I didn't check), to ask US hockey player Jack Johnson today if there would be any pressure on the Americans against Canada tomorrow to win the gold and help boost the US's total in that department.

Johnson, a native of Indianapolis who plays for the Kings, said it's not even an issue.

"I think the US has got that pretty wrapped up,'' he said. "We've got 36 medals Everyone else is far behind.''

When the reporter pressed the issue on Canada, Johnson asked "how many do they have?'' When told, he said "I think they are safely behind us. I don't think anyone else has bragging rights over us for the Olympics.''

Johnson is one of a young group of US hockey players who have made it clear how much they like playing for their country --- Johnson even arranged to take a private plane to Vancouver so he could participate in the Opening Ceremonies (the NHL season was still in play at the time).

And many in that group, including Johnson, haven't been afraid to tweak Canada little bit here.

Asked what he thought of Canada's claim that "hockey is our game,'' Johnson said "it's definitely a world game. The Swedes are the defending gold medalists. The Russians were the defending world champions. That's how (Canada) has always been, and that's fine. The United States has got a lot of things going on besides hockey --- that's the way it is, and we don't get a lot of the attention the Canadians do, and that's fine. However they want to view it, they can say it's their game all they want. I really don't care.''

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