On the last day of the Olympics, the U.S. caught China in gold medals, then PASSED them.
The Chinese team had two more than us going into Sunday. But we snagged a gold in women’s cycling, and the women’s basketball team beat Japan to win its seventh straight gold medal. So we were even at 38 golds with one event left.
Our last chance was in women’s volleyball . . . and they CRUSHED Brazil to add a final gold medal and push us over the top.
The U.S. ended up with 39 gold medals, and China got 38. We also won the overall medal count 113 to 88.
So our female athletes came up big at the end, and that was the trend in general this year. Here’s a quick round-up of Olympic stats . . .
1. The women won 66 of our medals, 23 of them gold. The men won 41 and 16. We also won 6 medals in mixed team events.
2. We sent 626 athletes to the Games this year. And with team events, 257 of those athletes won at least one medal. That includes 164 women and 93 men.
3. Our best sport was swimming with 30 medals and 11 gold. Track-and-field is next at 26 medals. Then wrestling, nine . . . shooting, six . . . gymnastics, six . . . and boxing, four. We also won three medals in basketball, and all of them were gold.
4. Our MVP was swimmer Caeleb Dressel who won FIVE medals, all of them gold. Katie Ledecky is next at four, with two golds. And four athletes won three apiece: Sunisa Lee . . . Ryan Murphy . . . Lilly King . . . and Regan Smith.
Here’s the final medal count . . .
1. USA: 113 . . . 39 gold, 41 silver, 33 bronze.
2. China: 88 . . . 38 gold, 32 silver, 18 bronze.
3. Russia: 71 . . . 20 gold, 28 silver, 23 bronze. (Technically “Russia” didn’t win any medals, because they were banned for doping. Russian athletes won 71 medals competing under the name “Russian Olympic Committee.”)
4. Great Britain: 65 . . . 22 gold, 21 silver, 22 bronze.
5. Japan: 58 . . . 27 gold, 14 silver, 17 bronze.