*For at least one day, and when it goes to watching sports on our devices.
With each succeeding U.S. Olympic hockey game this week, NBC Sports watched as the number of people streaming the game live grew.
When the men's team beat the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals Wednesday, 798,337 people, or unique users, streamed the game on computers, tablets and smartphones. In digital parlance, the "unique users" refers to the people who come and go during an event that is streamed.
The next day, when the U.S. women lost the gold medal to Canada in overtime, the number swelled to 1.16 million.
Then in the men's semifinal Friday, which started at noon, 2.1 million people streamed Canada's 1-0 shutout of the United States, watching a total of 65 million minutes.
"It's the biggest stream ever for NBC Sports and beats the Super Bowl two years ago, just barely," said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager for digital media at NBC Sports Group.
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Number of the day
Median age of NBC's prime-time Olympic TV viewer over the Games' first 10 nights.
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With two days left in the Games, the United States is in position to become the fourth country to win a medal on each day of a Winter Olympics, olympstats.com says. Germany was the last nation to do it, in 2010; the United States won medals on 15 of 16 days four years ago. The former Soviet Union did it five times and East Germany once.
Meanwhile, the Dutch have been the most efficient Olympians in Sochi. The Netherlands, thanks to its dominance in speed skating, had 22 medals after 82 events with 41 athletes in its contingent (above). That's one medal for every 1.86 athletes, the best ratio among the 26 nations that had medaled as of Saturday. The United States, which led in overall medals with 27, had the sixth-best ratio, one medal for every 9.16 athletes in its 230-athlete contingent.
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If it is generally agreed that finishing fourth at the Olympics stinks, the International Olympic Committee has a way to rub it in. Athletes who finish fourth, as well as fifth through eighth, receive a personally inscribed, autopen-signed, Olympic diploma. "It's really nice," says Mercedes Nicoll, a Canadian snowboarder who finished sixth in the women's halfpipe in 2010.
Other athletes say they never received a diploma. Some say they did but didn't totally understand the gesture. U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb, who won gold in 2010 but has two sixth-place finishes in his Games career, says he never got one and channels Ricky Bobby (right), Will Ferrell's race car driver character in Talladega Nights: "I'm here to medal. If you're fourth, you might as well be last."
Compiled from Times wires