Granted: The 2012 London Olympics are at least theoretically about amateur achievement and international cooperation first, and competitive nationalism second. Posited: The 2012 London Olympics are really about constantly following the USA vs. China metagame going on in the daily Olympic medal count updates. By that standard, USA! USA!—on the day Michael Phelps picked up his 18th and ostensibly final gold medal, the United States took advantage of the end of its always-strong swimming events to remain one medal ahead of Team China, carrying 54 medals, 26 gold, to China's 53/25. The hosts, under the combined Great Britain banner, have staked out a commanding third place position, with their 14 gold medals five more than fourth-place South Korea.
Rounding out the top five are Russia, with 28 total medals (3/15/10), and Japan, with 24 (2/10/12.) For continual medal count updates throughout the 2012 Summer Olympics, we recommend SI.com's medal tracker, even though it's convinced, like the IOC, that there's something called "Chinese Taipei."
It's a great web app for those moments when you're waiting to see whether the Republic of Moldova will be able to outmaneuver Mongolia on the podium.