Rio Dominance

Team USA sets themselves apart in Rio

“Don’t put a limit on anything, The more you dream the farther you get.”

Those are words of Team USA swimmer Michael Phelps shortly after his eight gold medal performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.

Now eight years later, Phelps will end his Olympic career with a final performance that only he could put on. With an Olympics where Phelps earned five golds and one silver he silenced any doubts and concerns as to if he still was the best swimmer on Earth.

Phelps now has 23 golds and 28 total Olympic medals making him the most decorated Olympian of all time. 

Phelps was not just the only American who was looking to finalize a legendary career in Rio.

Kerri Walsh-Jennings who has all ready been named as the greatest beach volleyball player ever was looking to finalize her unbeaten Olympic career with a fourth straight gold medal. While she came up just short, she was able to come up with the bronze and finish off her career with a match record of 27-1.

This made her the most decorated beach volleyball player in Olympic history.

But the Rio Olympics was not just about the older athletes for the United States. It also brought a new era of athletes such as Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, and Lilly King.

Simone Biles led a USA Gymnastics Team that was known as the Final Five in honor of their coach Márta Károlyi, who is coaching her final Olympic team.

The Final Five did not disappoint either, as they took home 12 total medals, including four golds and a bronze won by Simone Biles. Biles proved herself to be one of the best gymnasts of all time. Her four golds tied her for the most golds in a single Olympics for a gymnast.

At age 19 Biles has already said that Tokyo in 2020 will be a go, as she will prepare to improve on her legacy.

Katie Ledecky left her mark in the water, as she won four golds and a silver. She proved how she can be the greatest woman swimmer of all time. At age 19 she will have a few Olympics still to come and a legacy that will grow.

Ledecky’s teammate Lilly King also shined in the water with two golds. Many will remember her from her post final remarks when she called out the Russian, Yulia Efimova and waved her finger to show she that King had one the gold.

Yet the one thing that will overshadow these Olympic triumphs is the behavior of US Swimmer Ryan Lochte.

Many know Lochte’s lie about being held up at gunpoint. Lochte has already put himself on track in the right direction as he has apologized to the public many times, as well to his teammates he left behind, fellow Olympians, and the city of Rio.

Lochte’s image was damaged drastically, and any hopes he had of returning to Olympic waters in 2020, may have just been crushed.

Overall the USA dominated the Olympics from opening to closing ceremonies. It started when they one the first gold medal of the games with Virginia Thrasher in the air rifle, and ended Galen Rupp winning the final bronze medal in the Marathon.

The total medal count for the Americans finished at 121, including 46 golds. The closest country to the US in medals was China at 70, which had 20 less golds than the USA.

Other notable gold medals earned by the Americans were in both Woman’s and Men’s basketball, Woman’s 4×400 relay (track), and the Men’s 4×200 freestyle relay (swimming).

Rio held a fantastic Olympics from start to finish. They passed on the Olympics to Tokyo and blew out the flame finalizing a terrific job from the host.

Tokyo has a lot to live up to in 2020, and the question still remains if could Los Angeles could get the 2024 bid?