The games of the 30th Olympiad are officially over, and Team USA has taken the top spot in both total medal count and most gold medals. This is the fifth straight Summer Olympics where the United States took home the most medals, however sometimes it’s not just the amount of medals that count. Equally as important, if not more, is the amount of gold medals earned, and the United States team delivered in that category after losing the gold medal race to China back in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
In 2008, China had the home court advantage as the games were held in Beijing. It was no surprise then when China ended the summer games with a whopping 51 gold medals out of their total 100. That meant that more than half of their total medals were gold alone. Back in 2008, the US team had the most medals with 110, but only had 36 golds in their arsenal. As the 2012 games began, it seemed the US athletes were determined to change that and this time, they didn’t fall short.
This time, the United States left the London Olympics with 46 gold medals, 29 silvers, and 29 bronze. Not too shabby. For team USA, this Olympics wasn’t just about medals, but also about making history and changing history.
Out of the 104 total medals, swimming bought in the most medals, with 31. As the swimming competitions ended, Micheal Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a career total of 22 medals. He not only surpassed the reigning record holder Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who had 18, but made it that much harder for others aiming to earn that honor.
Team USA’s women’s swimming team did not disappoint either. From newcomers, high schoolers Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky to veterans Dana Vollmer and Rebecca Soni, the women’s team performed fantastically and of course produced medals as well.
The track and field team bought in the second highest contribution in medals with 29. For some on the women’s track team, it was about redemption. Allyson Felix won three gold medals, one in the race she calls her baby, the 200-meter run which she’s only won silver in in the past. After a disappointing final in Beijing, Sanya Richards-Ross also claimed the gold medal in the 400 meter run. Sanya and Felix later helped earn two more gold medals in the women’s 4×400 race and Felix in the 4×100.
There was also the women’s gymnastics team. After the fab 5 won the team final, beating out favorites like Russia and China, they went on to claim medals individually. Gabby Douglas came out victorious in the All-around final amidst talk about her hair. Aly Raisman went on to win gold in the floor exercise and bronze on the balance beam. McKayla Maroney also won silver in the vault finals.
Of course there were many others who made and changed history like Galen Rupp, who won the US silver in the men’s 10,000 meter run, a feat that hadn’t been done since Billy Mills won gold in 1964. Men’s Diver David Boudia also won gold in the individual diving event bringing the gold back in diving for the US since 1988.
There were so many amazing moments for Team USA at the London Olympics and the medal count shows that. Now that the Olympics are over, the athletes will most likely unwind and enjoy being Olympians. After the party is over however, some will start training again to come back in 2016 in Rio. For others, like Phelps and Misty May-Treanor, these Olympics were their last.
What were some of your favorite moments from Team USA?2012 London Olympics, 2012 summer olympics, 2016 Rio Olympics, Allyson Felix, Aly Raisman, Billy Mills, Dana Vollmer, David Boudia, Fab 5, Gabby Douglas, Galen Rupp, Katie Ledecky, Mckayla Maroney, medal count, Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Misty May-Treanor, Rebecca Soni, Sanya Richards Ross, Team USA