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Tokyo Olympics: U.S. Tops Final Medal Count, Narrowly Beats China For The Most Golds

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 8, 2021


The U.S. earned the most medals of any nation in the Tokyo Olympics as the Summer Games comes to a close, also narrowly taking home more gold medals than any other country after trailing China in the gold medal count for much of the Games.

Key Facts

The U.S. earned 113 medals, 39 of which are gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze.

China came in second with 88 medals, 38 of which are gold, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee (71 total medals), Great Britain (65) and Japan (58).

The U.S. was behind China in gold medals as late as Sunday, spurring fears China would ultimately take home the most golds, but ultimately pulled ahead on Sunday with wins in women’s basketball, cycling and women’s volleyball, where the U.S. team won their first-ever gold medal in the event.

Some of the most high-profile U.S. gold medalists in the Tokyo Games include Sunisa Lee, who won the women’s all-around competition in gymnastics; swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky; women’s beach volleyball players April Ross and Alix Klineman; the men’s basketball team and U.S. women’s track medalists Sydney McLaughlin, Allyson Felix, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu, who won the women’s 4x400m relay in addition to McLaughlin and Mu earning individual golds.

In addition to the U.S.’s top-ranking win, CNN reports Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei and Turkey also set new records for the most medals those countries have earned at an Olympic Games.

Turkmenistan, San Marino and Burkina Faso also won Olympic medals for the first time ever in Tokyo, and 94 countries earned medals in total.

Big Number

1,061. That’s the number of gold medals the U.S. has now earned in the Olympics in total—the most of any country—after coming into Tokyo with 1,022 golds.

Crucial Quote

“We kept our team safe and we’re coming home successful,” Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, said Sunday about the U.S.’s medal haul, CNN reports. “The Tokyo 2020 Games have been remarkable in so many ways and I’m filled with gratitude and pride.”

Key Background

The U.S. typically dominates in medals at the Olympics, with NBC reporting the country has topped the medal count in 15 of the 27 Summer Games it’s participated in since 1896. This is the seventh consecutive time the U.S. has led the Olympic medal count, according to NBC. Though the U.S. still led the other countries, the nation’s medal haul is still below where it was during the 2016 Rio Olympics, where the U.S. earned 121 medals including 46 golds. Part of the reason for the U.S. taking home fewer gold medals this year, Yahoo notes, includes no U.S. man earning an individual gold medal in track events for the first time in modern Olympic history, women’s soccer earning bronze and gymnastics star Simone Biles bowing out of most of the events in which she was scheduled to compete to protect her mental health. Biles ultimately earned a bronze medal in the balance beam final and a silver medal in the women’s team finals along with her U.S. teammates.

Further Reading

U.S. Surging In Chase For Olympic Gold Medal Lead—Here’s How It Could Top China  (Forbes)

U.S. rallies to top China in Tokyo Olympics gold medal tally (Yahoo Sports)

US Olympic Medal Records: A History of Our Country’s Biggest Wins (NBC)


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