He won eight gold medals <at><in> the Beijing Olympics / Asian Games

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Englishmypassion

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Dear Teachers,
What is grammatically correct in the following sentences: "in" or "at"?

Examples:

1. Michael Phelps won eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
2. Apart from winning a gold medal in the Asian Games, she has also won a silver medal in the Olympic Games.
3. How many sports events were organized at the 2012 Olympics?

I usually find both "at" and "in" used interchangeably in such sentences. So, I think that either preposition would be grammatically Ok in each case above, but I prefer them as I have used them in the above sentences. My non-native logic: "in" for the activity of a game/sport or when we are not talking about a specific Olympics. So "in" is general.
"At" for a specific event, i.e. a tournament/sports competition here.

What's the correct usage? Please enlighten me.

Thank you very much.
 
  • Hmm...I suppose I would use "at" if I meant "at the location of" or "in" if I meant "in the competition(s) of" (stressing her active participation)

    I'm not sure I would notice much of a difference in either speech or writing to tell you the truth.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Thank you very much, Parla and D.T.
    That's exactly how I take them, D T. Hence, my reason for using "at" with specific events. "Location" is the word I should have used along with "event"/ "tournament". But, I think when we say such sentences, it's not very clear which one of the meanings is implied and that usually doesn't make a big difference either. So, should I conclude that both are acceptable/correct?
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Thanks a lot, Kate.
    Actually I also find a difference. That's why I stated my preference earlier. But, I mean the line is thin and I can't find a rule that categorically labels one of the two options in a situation as wrong.
     
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