American Success at the Summer Games

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The summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have come and gone, but the historic performance by the United States will be remembered for a long time. The United States ended the Olympics with an incredible 46 gold medals, 37 silver, and 38 bronze, totaling 121 medals. To put that into perspective, China, the runner up, only had a total of 70 medals. That is the largest difference since 1984 and the seventh biggest difference all time, according to NBC Sports. The 121 total is the third most medals in a single Olympics for the United States, and the eighth most in Olympic history. It is also the most medals won by a single nation since the United States hauled in 132 medals in 1988. The 46 golds are tied with 2012 for the most U.S golds in a single Olympics.

The Olympics went according to plan for the most part. Usain Bolt won his events, the United States basketball teams won their respective golds, and the United States did very well in the pool. A part of the Olympics that seemed to be missing for the United States was the women’s soccer team, who came into the games as favorites. They were defeated by Sweden in penalty kicks, 4 to 3. This was the first time the US women’s soccer team had been knocked out before the semifinals in an Olympic competition in history.. It was a disappointing ending for the Olympic favorites.

The real story of the United States’ success came from the pool. Michael Phelps, Baltimore’s most famous athlete, grabbed 5 golds and 1 silver, which brought his career medal count to 28, 23 of which are gold. He plans to retire from competitive swimming on top, after he proved to all of his doubters that he still is the very best. Bethesda native Katie Ledecky also completely dominated the competition, securing 4 golds and 1 silver. She broke several records in freestyle, and helped the United States gain an even bigger advantage in the category of swimming. Ryan Murphy, a young but talented backstroke swimmer from California Berkeley, earned 3 golds and set a record for the 100 meter backstroke in his leg of the 4×100 meter men’s medley. Simone Manuel took gold twice and silver twice.

The United States men’s basketball team won all of their games just as people expected, even though there were a few close shaves. They dominated the final game 96 to 66 as they defeated Serbia. Kevin Durant scored 30 points and had 4 assists and led the team to their third straight Olympic gold medal. The team now has a 25 game Olympic win streak and a 53 game win streak in major competitions. DeMarcus Cousins had 13 points and 15 rebounds in the victory.  Overall, the United States put together a solid performance in the Olympic games.

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