We’re now four days into the 2012 London Olympics and the battle of global athletic supremacy — AKA the Olympic medal count — is already shaping into a heated two-country battle. Yesterday, China and the United States matched each other medal for medal with four golds, one silver, and one bronze each. Tied at 17 medals a piece after day three, they’re even again at a medal count of 23. When weighting the medals, however, China does have a 6 point edge over the US but don’t worry, the track and field is yet to begin. Take a look at the Olympic medal count below and keep reading for more information on the contest.

2012 Olympics Medal Count after Day 4

1. China – 23 (Weighted: 55)*
Gold – 13
Silver – 6
Bronze – 4

2. USA – 23 (Weighted: 49)*
Gold – 9
Silver – 8
Bronze – 6

3. Japan – 13 (Weighted: 19)*
Gold – 1
Silver – 4
Bronze – 8

4. France – 6 (Weighted: 22)*
Gold – 4
Silver – 3
Bronze – 4

5. S. Korea – 8 (Weighted: 16)*
Gold – 3
Silver – 2
Bronze – 3

*The numbers following the total medal count are a weighted totals. While the total medal count is important, it’s hard to deny that winning a gold is more notable than a bronze. So, to weight the importance of the medals, I’ve also applied a 3:2:1 Fibonacci Sequence point system to the list — 3 points for Gold, 2 for Silver, 1 for Bronze. This system is simply a personal preference of mine. Other systems use a 5:2:1 ratio, but I find these to be unbalanced when comparing country totals.

All the U.S. Olympic Medalists so far:

For the full table of all teams and individuals to earn a medal so far in the 2012 London Summer Olympics, head to NBC’s official coverage here.

The International Olympic Committee neither recognizes nor supports country-comparative medal counts. The Olympic Charter, Chapter 1, section 6 states that:

The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries …

That said, in 1992, the IOC started displaying (not recognizing) medal counts. Here is the explanation of this decision, given by member Kevan Gosper:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not recognise global ranking per country; the medal tables are displayed for information only. Furthermore, the results that we publish are official and are taken from the “Official Report” – a document published for each Olympic Games by the Organising Committee. However, for the first Olympic Games (until Antwerp in 1920), it is difficult to give the exact number of medals awarded to some countries, due to the fact that teams were composed of athletes from different countries. The medal tables by country are based on the number of medals won, with gold medals taking priority over silver and bronze. A team victory counts as one medal.

Recognized by the IOC or not, the country medal count is one of the most talked-about and exciting aspects of every Olympics.