As the Olympics round the turn into the final week; this mega two week spectacle finally moves to track and field. The United States finally moved to the top of the leaderboard in overall medals as well.
U.S. swimmers, American’s first gold in Judo for a man or woman, women’s eight team rowing and one all-around individual in gymnastics helped the jump China. The USA now has 37 overall medals to China’s 34 overall medals.
More importantly the U.S. has tied China for the most gold medals with each country having 18 gold medals apiece. The USA has nine silver and 11 bronze to China’s 11 silver and five bronze. Rounding out the top ten in total medals are:
Japan in third with 19 medals (2 gold, 6 silver and 11 bronze), Germany (4 gold, 8 silver, 5 bronze) and Russia (3 gold, 6 silver, 8 bronze) are tied for fourth, France is in sixth with 16 medals (6 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze), host nation Great Britain is seventh with 15 medals (5 gold, 6 silver, 4 bronze), South Korea is eighth with 14 medals (7 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze) and the top ten is round out with Italy (4 gold, 5 silver, 2 bronze) and Australia (1 gold, 7 silver, 3 bronze) tied for ninth with 11 medals.
Before thinking about track and field, let’s look back at these Olympics so far. We have seen women breaking through with Gabby Douglas becoming the first African-American woman to win the gymnastics all-around individual title and Kayla Harrison win the first gold medal in judo for an American, man or woman.
Of the 37 medals the United States has won, 19 of those medals have been won in women’s events. In the same year Title IX turns 40 women are a major part of the United States athletic success at these games.
These games truly show the effects of Title IX have had an impact and are still having an impact. U.S. women in these games have been strong in nearly event.
Track and field events haven't even taken place and American women have been leading the way. It seems nearly every record broken, U.S. earning its first medal, or medal repeat has been from an American woman. Thank you Title IX.
Michael Phelps says this is his final Olympics and if it is he has acquitted himself for his slow start. Since his fourth place in the 400m IM, Phelps has gone on to win two gold medals and two silver medals.
Phelps has become the most decorated Olympic athlete ever with his 20 total medals to pass Russian gymnast Larissa Latynina who once ruled with 18 medals. There are two events left in Phelps Olympic career if he doesn’t decide to return in 2016 game in Brazil.
Ryan Lochte was supposed to supplant Phelps has king of the pool but it doesn’t feel like he has done so. Lochte leads Phelps and the world with five medals for that matter (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze) but he is done for these games after finishing second to Phelps in the 200m IM.
Scandal has rocked these games in badminton, when players were found guilty of throwing games. Eight players in doubles, two teams from South Korea, top ranked Chinese team, and one team from Indonesia, have been disqualified.
If you can stop laughing about the words scandal and badminton being used in the same sentence you might would like to hear about American breaking droughts. The USA had been shutout in diving in Sydney and Beijing, U.S. diving has had a rebirth in these games.
Americans have won three diving medals so far. It has been 20 years since the United States mattered in diving events but London has seen that change and possibly inspired a generation of divers.
U.S. teams favored to win gold have done well in group play. Women’s soccer and basketball have taken care of all comers and men’s basketball is rounding into dominating form.
The United States should begin to stretch their medal lead out as events China dominates in begin to come to an end and track and field starts on Friday. The U.S. has a chance to medal in nearly every track and field event.
China will begin to fall back in medals and the American’s medal lead should rise in the final week of the 2012 London games. The USA track and field team still has to perform up to their ability and the U.S. needs to finish strong in the rest of the non-track and field events.
As the Olympics rounds the turn and starts to head to the finish line, try to remember the great moments of the first week. Don’t forget the names of Douglas, Phelps, Lochte, Kimberly Rhode, Harrison, and more in week two.