The IOC uses total golds, then total silvers. So the US finished third, behind Canada and Germany.
I was reading something about the USOC's strategy, in which it has stressed a sort of "diversity" to maximize medals in the winter games, rather than relying on, say, Eric Heiden. So we do better in the bobsled and the Nordic sports than ever before at the expense of throwing all our economic support behind a very few people who are expected to win gold. I even sensed this on teevee, where people (athletes in addititon to nbc) seemed to talk much more in terms of just medaling than in "going for the gold" compared to previous winter games.
And that's what happened. Personally I like it better this way. It makes more events more interesting to watch from an American standpoint.
Still, I'm teed off about our dual last-place finish in curling. And Vancouver is a nice place, but it's FAIAP a smaller Seattle... it's Portland with the metric system and free healthcare.
Between me and every ideal I always find Scheisskopfs, Peckems, Korns and Cathcarts. And that sort of changes the ideal. -- Joseph Heller