The Olympics are underway and Team USA is off to a great start. At the time I am writing this the US leads all countries with 31 medals 10 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze. The next closest is China with 23 total medals.
One of the brightest spots on team USA is the Swim team. The Legend Michael Phelps has already won 3 gold medals, winning each event that he has entered. This puts his total Gold medal count at 21. An incredible accomplishment. Only 12 countries have won more gold medals in the last 4 Olympics. We are truly witnessing greatness that we will likely never see again. On his way to Gold Phelps beat his rival Chad Le Clos, the two of them have been talking trash for years now, and it all came down to RIO. Phelps responded by winning Gold and Chad responded by not even making the podium (classic Chad).
Phelps isn’t the only gold medalist on the US swim team. 19 year old Katie Ledecky has won 2 gold medals while destroying the World Record in the 400 freestyle. At 19 she should still have more Olympics ahead of her.
Another great story from this years Olympics is Lilly King. She quickly became a fan favorite for being outspoken against doping. If you don’t know the story, Yulia Efimova of Russia was suspended for failing multiple drug tests. She was not supposed to compete in the Olympics, but right before Rio it was announced that she was going to be able to participate, though no explanation was given as to why. To me this is ridiculous, any athletes that fails multiple drug tests is clearly trying to cheat. The IOC decided to reinstate her and clearly did not have a good reason otherwise they would have given one. It’s unfortunate that it has to fall on Lilly King to be the voice against doping when the IOC should take care of it. However she answer the challenge, voicing her displeasure on her way to winning a gold medal and beating Yulia Efimova.
The USA women’s Gymnastic’s team or the Final Five as they are calling themselves now lived up to all expectations. It is rare for a team with so much expectations and pressure to live up to all of the hype. They never wavered and were the clear leaders from the start, completely destroying their opponents by a margin of over 7 point; which I’m told is like winning by 50 points in basketball. This is the 2nd Olympics in a row that the US women’s Gymnastic’s team has won the team all-around gold. Still to come Aly Raisman and Simone Biles will have a chance to compete in the individual all-around.
Team USA men’s Basketball were finally tested today against Australia. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Australia has talent although it’s not as much as the US, but they still have world class players on their team. Part of the problem that the US has is that there is so much talent that it’s always an almost completely new Olympic team each time. These players are not used to playing with each other to the same extent other countries are. Some countries have only produced 5 or 6 good players in the last 10 years, so of course they will be on the national team each Olympics. This familiarity and chemistry helps to close the talent gap that USA has above everyone else. The US is still the clear favorite and fingers crossed should win, but don’t expect it to come so easy.
There is still a lot more to come as we approach the 2nd week. The 2nd week features track and field and the other tournaments should be concluding. Hopefully Team USA can continue their excellence and bring home more gold.