United States strikes gold in Rio
By: Meaghan McNichol—Staff Writer
The United States stole the show in the 2016 Summer Olympics with 46 gold medals, 37 silver medals and 38 bronze medals.
Swimming provided the U.S. with the most hardware, claiming 33 of the 121 medals for the country.
Michael Phelps alone earned six medals, five gold and one silver, bringing his career medal total to 28. He brought home gold individually in the men’s 200 meter butterfly and 200m individual medley. He also won the 4x200m freestyle relay along with Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz, Conor Dwyer and Townley Hass, the 4x100m medley relay with Nathan Adrian, Cody Miller, Ryan Murphy, Caeleb Dressel and Kevin Cordes and finally the 4x100m freestyle relay with James Feigen, Adrian, Anthony Ervin, Dressel and Ryan Held.
Phelps earned his silver medal in the Men’s 100m butterfly, the last race of his Olympics career.
Katie Ledecky stole the show for women’s swim team. She brought home gold in the women’s 200m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 400m freestyle and in the 4x200m freestyle relay with the help of Leah Smith, Missy Franklin, Madeline Dirado, Allison Schmitt, Cierra Runge and Melanie Margalis.
Ledecky shattered the world record in the Women’s 800m freestyle, finishing in 8:04.79, beating her opponents by 12 whole seconds.
She also earned a silver medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay with Amanda Weir, Simone Manuel, Schmit, Dana Vollmer, Abbey Weitzeil and Lia Neal.
Track and Field earned 32 medals overall, including 13 gold.
Both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays won gold–the 30th and 31st medals won by the American track and field team.
Arman Hall, Tony McQuay, Gil Roberts and LaShawn Merritt composed the men’s squad in the 4x400m, while Allyson Felix, Courtney Okolo, Natasha Hastings and Phyllis Francis ran for the women.
Matthew Centrowitz Jr. became the first American since 1908 to win the men’s 1500m race when he crossed the finish line in 3:50.
Gymnastics finished strong with four gold medals, six silver and two bronzes.
Simone Biles, Ally Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocain worked as a team to earn a gold medal for the United States in the women’s all-around competition.
Biles followed in the steps of Gabby Douglas’ 2012 Olympics performance by earning gold in the individual all-around as well.
Biles was on fire this year with four gold medals and one bronze. She earned gold in women’s vault and women’s floor, as well as bronze in women’s beam.
Raisman earned redemption in the individual all-around by earning silver over Russian gymnast, Aliya Mustafina, who beat her out for the bronze in the 2012 London Olympics.
Raisman also won silver in the women’s floor exercise. Hernandez and Kocain contributed to the medal count with silver medals in women’s beam and women’s bars.
The women’s beach volleyball team had won gold at three straight Olympic Games dating back to 2004, but broke their streak of championships in Rio.
Despite a strong performance out of the gates, the women were upset by Brazil prior to the gold medal match. They settled for bronze in what was likely Kerry Walsh Jennings’ final Olympics.
At the close, America’s final medal tally of 121 blew the competition of China (70) and Great Britain (67) away. Although the excitement of the games has ended, superstars like Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles embark on another four years’ journey to get stronger for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.