In the recent Tokyo Olympics, the United States placed first overall and won the most gold medals. However, China is now claiming first place in gold, but not by anything accomplished on the field of play.

After the final official count, China added the medals won by Hong Kong and Taiwan, improving their count to 41 gold, 37 silver, and 27 bronze, for an overall count of 105 medals. This cheating violates Olympic rules, under which Hong Kong and Taiwan compete independently. If China actually won the medals, it would make no difference in the way it should be perceived.

Despite stunning victories by American Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics, National Socialist (Nazi) Germany won the most medals with 33 gold, 26 silver, and 30 bronze, for a total of 89. The United States came second, with 24 gold, 20 silver and 12 bronze for total of 56. That does not prove German National Socialism was a better system than American democracy, or that German athletes were some kind of master race.

In the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics prevailed with 49 gold, 41 silver and 35 bronze, for a total of 125. The United States came second with 34, 35, and 25, respectively, for a total of 94. This did not prove that Soviet communism was superior to American democracy.

If China had prevailed fair and square at Tokyo, it would not prove that its communist dictatorship is a better political system than Switzerland, a longstanding democracy, which won 13 medals in Tokyo, 3 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze. Norway won a total of 8 medals, including 4 gold, but that did not prove Norwegian democracy is inferior to China, which holds a number of records in other fields.

“The regime must be held accountable for a huge number of deaths,” explains Jean-Louis Margolin in “China: A Long March into Night,” a chapter in “The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression,” from Harvard University Press in 1999. Excluding civil war, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is responsible for 65 million deaths, approximately the current population of France. The years 1959-61 alone account for 20 to 40 million, with another 20 million captive in the prison system.

According to the “Black Book of Communism,” Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union claimed 20 million lives, purely political murders apart from civil and international war. That far surpasses the estimated 11 million killed by Hitler’s Nazi regime. When it comes to mass murder, the Chinese regime ranks number one.

For China’s American apologists, the millions of victims were “mutant social growths” that needed to be “unceremoniously uprooted” in order for the country to progress. The huge number of people slain defies belief, supporting the dictum, attributed to Stalin, that one death is a tragedy but a million deaths are only a statistic.

True to form, China’s 65 million domestic casualties, apart from civil war, did not prove a factor when the United States welcomed Beijing into the World Trade Organization and gave the dictatorship favored trade status. That action surely deserves a medal for the worst political decision of modern times.

With more than 1.4 billion people, China ranks number one in population. But when it comes to approved political parties, China allows only one, the Chinese Communist Party. So China shares the record of fewest political parties with communist dictatorships such as Cuba, Stalin’s USSR, the entire Soviet Bloc, and other communist states. A ballpark figure for the number of free and fair elections in these nations is zero.

China now adds Olympic gold medals that its athletes did not win. By contrast, the United States has failed to claim a gold medal that American athletes won on the basketball court at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In the final seconds, the Soviet Union led 49-48 when Doug Collins of Illinois State picked off a pass and was viciously fouled as he drove to the basket. Collins sank two free throws to make the score 50-49. The Soviets failed to score in the final seconds, the buzzer sounded, and the Americans celebrated their victory.

Renato William Jones, a friend of the USSR and Secretary General of FIBA, the international basketball organization, came out of the stands and ordered the officials to put three seconds back on the clock. They put time back on the clock three times, and the third time the Soviets scored. The Americans were right not to accept silver medals, but in 50 years American officials have failed to ensure that the gold medals those athletes earned on the court are properly awarded.

That’s not a record to be proud of, but there’s still time for the United States to do the right thing. The only gold medals to be awarded, and counted, are those actually won by athletes in competition. That should be the rule going into the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and every Olympics thereafter.