London Olympics Medal Count: USA Tops China On Strength Of Phelps, Swimmers

Swimming events finally reached critical mass at the 2012 Olympics on Thursday, and that was good news for Team USA in London—on Michael Phelps and company's weirdly long, sturdy backs, they pulled ahead of China for the first time, tying them in gold medals with 18 and moving ahead with 37 total medals to China's 34. Given China's narrow advantage in silver medals (11-9) this is about as much of a stalemate as the Olympics can be, which should make for some real excitement as track and field events come online Friday. (The USA also took another gymnastics gold, with Gabby Douglas winning the all-around individual competition.)

Here's SB Nation Studios' latest 8-bit look at the medal count. (For more Olympics news and analysis check out our YouTube homepage.)

Japan continues to hold down third place, with 19 total medals, most of them bronze; Germany sticks around in fourth, while Russia entered the top five by earning its 17th medal. On a related note, can we stop worrying, for one solitary moment, whether Ye Shiwen is using steroids? This is beginning to seem like one of those witch-burning tests, where by the time we realize someone is innocent it's no longer especially relevant.

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