Does it seem like the 2012 London Olympics just flew by faster than Usain Bolt running the 100 meters? Maybe not quite that fast, but the event many spend four years anticipating and that athletes train for nonstop came to a close yesterday after 17 days of international competition on the world’s biggest stage.
The United States of America proved dominant, winning a total of 104 medals and at least one medal in 21 different sports. Of those, 46 were gold, 29 were silver, and 29 were bronze. The red, white, and blue claimed more gold medals in swimming than in any other sport with 16. Michael Phelps was responsible for four of those. Female athletes won two-thirds of Team USA's gold medals and 56% of a;; medals won for the United States were by women. Other sports winning gold include athletics (9), basketball (2), beach volleyball (1), boxing (1), cycling-road (1), diving (1), soccer (1), gymnastics-artistic (3), judo (1), rowing (1), shooting (3), tennis (3), water polo (1), and wrestling (2). To view more medal counts and sport breakdowns, click here.
The Americans had a comfortable medal lead over the second place country, China, which had 87 total medals, 38 of them gold, respectively. They edged the US in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, likely riding the “home-field advantage” a bit, but could only muster enough wins to come in second behind the United States. Current “home team” Great Britain had a great showing, coming in fourth in total medal count with 65 but third in gold medals with 29. Russia placed third overall with 82 medals, close behind China. To view the list of all countries and medal counts click here.
Notable victories and history were made by Michael Phelps, who became the most decorated Olympian of all time. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt continued his lightning-fast streak and won three gold medals and Great Britain’s Chris Hoy became the most successful Olympian in their country’s history winning nine medals total. American sprinters Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight, and Tianna Madison set a new world record of 40.28 seconds in the women’s 4x100m relay, breaking the previous record that was set in 1985. Team GB’s Andy Murray got revenge for a heart-breaking loss at Wimbledon to Switzerland’s Roger Federer by claiming gold in the rematch between the two, set again in Wimbledon’s center court. South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics rather than just the Paralympic games. He didn’t win a medal, but was truly inspiring to everyone who saw him. He will still compete in the Paralympic games later this month.
The United States women’s soccer team won their fifth gold medal by defeating Japan and avenging their World Cup loss to the same team from 2011. The women’s soccer team has won gold in every Olympics since it’s been an Olympic sport except for one year, the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, when they lost to Norway. New Jersey native Carli Lloyd scored both goals in the 2-1 victory. USA women’s gymnastics team, known lovingly as the “Fab Five” also claimed the first overall team gold since the 1996 “Magnificent Seven” squad. Both Team USA men and women’s basketball won gold medals, not shocking to most anyone, but exciting nonetheless. And speaking of dominant teams, American beach volleyballers Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh won their third consecutive Olympic gold in an all-American gold medal match. Americans April Ross and Jen Kessy took the silver.
There were many other inspiring American athletes to win medals and represent our country. To see each athlete that won gold, click here.
If you still want more Olympic action, don’t fret. The Paralympic games will take place from August 29th-September 9th. It will be more chances to see amazing athletes competing for their country. The next Summer Olympics will be in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, in 2016.