BEIJING If Michael Phelps were his own little nation, the eight gold medals that the United States' record-setting swimmer collected through Sunday would put him tied for fifth on the Beijing Olympic board for gold medals won by country.
Nations having won eight golds through Sunday midnight Beijing time include Australia, Korea and Japan, with only four teams China (35), United States (19), Great Britain (11) and Germany (nine) boasting more gold medals than Phelps himself.
And in the medal count for total medals won, Phelps-land would rate as a tie for 14th, with Romania, Cuba and Kazakhstan having won eight medals overall to date.
Phelps' eight medals are more than the totals each for the likes of Spain, Poland or Canada.
By the same token, take away Phelps' eight gold from the United States' gold-medal total, and the Americans fall from their second-best 19 to a tied-for-second 11, along with Great Britain.And in the overall medal count, a Phelps-less United States would go from having its 65-61 advantage over host China to a 61-57 deficit.