For more context, first read:
Olympics explained: Looking at the London Olympics by the numbers >>
The process of Olympic selection begins with the country’s success. The number of Olympic slots awarded to each nation is based on the national rank.
Countries were limited to three qualifying slots for men and two for women, regardless of ranking.
Switzerland topped the men’s standings at the time qualifying slots were awarded and got the maximum number of qualifying slots, as did France, the Czech Republic, Spain and Germany.
Canada was the top-ranked nation in the women’s field and received the maximum two qualifying slots, as did the United States, ranked fifth.
From there, each country selected their Olympic team based on individual national criteria.