Every couple years there comes a time when precious metals become more than raw materials that hold monetary value. Gold, silver and bronze become pride. Become unity. Become hope. Pride in one’s country, pride in one’s hard work and dedication. Unity of people of a nation. Hope for a new beginning.. This Olympic games, much like any other, was filled with interesting happenings like a fake robbery and reports on living conditions, in addition to athlete stories, and unforgettable moments.
The US once again took home the most medals in the history of any Olympic Games, not including the 1904 games in which only 12 nations participated, and the 1984 games in which Russia, our greatest Olympic Games rival didn’t participate.This year we won 121 medals: 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze.
Michael Phelps met all of our expectations and then some, winning five gold medals and one silver, continuing as the most decorated olympian with 28 medals to date.. Women’s basketball dominated. Men’s basketball limped to the gold medal game, but ended with triumph.. Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles were absolute studs. Even if you disregard the 46 golds, the US would still have led in the medal count. Interestingly, for the first time in history, the US women took home more medals than the men, 61 to 55. Five medals were in mixed events. Of the 46 gold medals, 27 of them were won by women. The women alone would have been enough to tie Britain for most gold and even outpace China by one.
I’m proud to be an American but I’m just as proud to be a University of San Francisco student. So when I heard that there was going to be USF representation in Rio I had to show support and root for my fellow Don’s even though two of them were competing for their respective home countries. Mariya Koroleva is currently working on her master’s degree and donned the star’s and stripes for couple’s synchronized swimming. Maor Tiyouri ‘14 competed in the women’s marathon representing Israel. John Cox ‘05, who is also Kobe Bryant’s cousin, played basketball for Venezuela. Though none of them medaled, they represented their countries proudly. The allure and luster of the Olympics is more than just pride in one’s country. It’s investing in the stories of athletes and seeing how that story ends up.
All-in-all America had a successful trip to the Olympics and so did the Dons. Next up is Winter 2018 in Pyeongchang, and Summer 2020 in Tokyo. But before then, fill any remaining Olympic cravings with the Paralympics scheduled to start on September 7th. I’ll be following my friend Bethany Zummo from high school on the US sitting volleyball team.
PHOTO CREDIT: nbcolympics.com