It’s official. Norway is really good at the Winter Olympics.
With a population of just over five million people, the European country has continued to punch above its weight at Beijing 2022, finishing way above the rest in the medal table.
Norway tallied the most gold medals, 16, and the highest total number of medals, 37, of all the delegations competing this month.
“Norway finished at the top of the Beijing Winter Olympics medal table, just as the Norway team did four years ago at Pyeongchang 2018,” said Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at data provider Nielsen Gracenote.
“The Norwegian team won two fewer medals than their Olympic record total of 39 achieved in 2018 but broke the Olympic gold medal record by winning 16. Norway won medals in nine of the 15 sports at Beijing 2022.”
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) claimed the second highest tally of medals, 32, with Germany winning the second highest tally of golds, 12.
However, there is still a question mark over the medals in the figure skating team event, which could impact the ROC’s haul of six golds.
The medal ceremony was postponed and the results could change depending on the outcome of an investigation into the failed drug test of 15-year-old figure skater Kamila Valieva.
Norway’s gold medal haul represents the most ever won at a single Winter Games and cements the country’s dominance in winter sports.
CNN’s Harry Enten put such success down to two major factors: weather and money.
Norway ranks in the bottom five in World Bank data for average temperature during the year at about 36 degrees Fahrenheit (two degrees Celsius) and has money to cater for the often expensive resources needed to compete.
If winning is important, Norway’s chef de mission Tore Oevreboe says its not always the main focus.
“The main objective for us is to make the athletes have fun all the way through the Games,” he said earlier in the Games.
“We are very occupied with creating a good environment, a stable environment, a safe environment, an environment full of fun, so they can really enjoy life when they are doing sport at a high level.”
The majority of Norway’s gold medals, 11, came in biathlon and cross-country skiing events but it also saw success in sports such as speed skating and freestyle skiing.
There is hope that such success can inspire a new generation of Norwegians to try as many winter sports as possible.
“Many of the kids have good opportunities to realize their potential in a variety of fields, and sport is one of them,” Oevreboe added.
Top five nations at Beijing 2022
“And then they will develop their potential as humans and citizens.”
Meanwhile, Team China claimed nine golds and a total of 15 medals, delivering its best ever result at a Winter Olympics – and ranking above the United States.
The stellar performances of its new Olympic stars – from freeski sensation Eileen Gu to snowboard prodigy Su Yiming – captivated fans in the stands and across the country, drawing an outpouring of pride
Team USA managed eight golds, 10 silver and seven bronze, for a total of 25 medals at the Games.
Both New Zealand and Australia as well as Belgium had a Winter Games to remember.
“New Zealand and Australia both had a record-breaking Winter Olympics, winning three and four medals respectively,” said Gleave.
“New Zealand’s two gold medals were the country’s first at a Winter Olympics. Australia’s four medals were one more than the previous record of three, achieved at each of the last three Winter Games.”
“Belgium equaled its record of two Winter Olympic medals which was previously achieved at St. Moritz 1948,” added Gleave. “The gold medal won by Bart Swings was Belgium’s second ever and first since Micheline Lannoy and Pierre Baugniet were first in the pairs figure skating 74 years ago.”
The full medal table can be found here.
CNN’s Wayne Sterling contributed reporting.