USA dominates the 2016 Olympic Games
The United States dominated the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. The US won the overall medal count with 121 medals, 46 of which were gold, a significant increase from the 2012 Games when the US had won 103 medals. The US had 41 more medals than China, the country with the second most.
The United States started the Games strongly in the pool. Michael Phelps cemented his spot as the greatest American Olympian of all time, winning five gold and one silver medal, bringing his total medal count to 28 across four games. Katie Ledecky was absolutely dominant, winning four gold and one silver medals. The US won 33 medals in swimming, which was three times more than the closest competitor, Australia, with 10.
The women's gymnastics team captured the hearts of the nation. Led by Simone Biles, who was the star of the team with four gold and one bronze medals, the Americans won 12 medals — four more than Russia.
The US also won bronze medals in both men's and women’s volleyball. Additionally, the beach volleyball duo of Walsh-Jennings and Ross settled for a disappointing bronze, snapping Walsh-Jennings’s 12-year reign as Olympic champion.
Although Usain Bolt stole the show on the track, winning three gold medals for the third straight Olympics, the US again easily led the track and field medal count with 32, which was 19 more than Kenya in second. The most exciting event on the track was the 400 meter dash, where Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dove across the finish line to narrowly beat Allyson Felix of the US.
The 4x100 meter relay was equally as chaotic for the US, as the men’s team was disqualified for an illegal exchange in the final and the women’s team was disqualified in prelims after dropping the baton. Fortunately for the women, the meet officials determined the Brazilian athlete impeded the American runner, so the US was granted a rerun, where they eventually qualified and went on to win the gold.
The most disappointing aspect of the Games was the behavior of the Brazilian fans. Too often the crowd was actively booing and jeering non-Brazilian competitors. During the men’s floor exercise, with two Brazilian gymnasts slotted in medal positions but with a few competitors left, the crowd cheered loudly at every misstep the competitors made. The two Brazilians went on to win medals.
On the track, the men’s pole vault was an exciting battle between Brazil’s da Silva and France’s Lavillenie. After da Silva pulled the upset and won the gold medal, Lavillenie was booed while on the podium to the point that it left him in tears.
Sportsmanship is something that both athletes and fans should exhibit. One can support their country without disrespecting others, and at an event as great as the Olympics, we should appreciate the accomplishments and dedication of all the athletes, regardless of nationality.
Overall, the Olympics were full of excitement and American medals. The next summer Olympics will be in Tokyo in 2020, and it leaves us plenty to look forward to. The upcoming winter Olympics in 2018 will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea.