As I have already stated, I am an Olympics junkie. So I diligently watched most of the coverage, and as always, cheered loudly for Team USA. Although, I must admit I screamed a little louder for the brothers and sisters who represented our country so brilliantly. Okay, so I celebrated a little more exuberantly for my girls, because they did some serious work at these games. The London games were billed as the year of the woman, and on this measure they did not disappoint.
Let’s start with the Women’s Basketball Team. With all of the focus that the men’s team receives, the women’s accomplishments have been unfairly overshadowed. Similar to the men’s team, they went undefeated in London and won the gold. No big surprises here. The women beat their French opponents by 36 points, winning the gold medal game 86-50. This performance was led by Candace Parker with 21 points. (The men only beat Spain by 7 points, 107-100, in their gold medal game.) On average, the U.S. women beat their opponents by 34.4 points. Point production was driven by Diana Taurasi, Angel McCoughtry, Tina Charles and Candace Parker, with all four players averaging double digits. (The average margin of victory for the men’s team was 32.1 points.)
Here is the point that I think has gotten lost in all of the debate over which men’s team is better, the original Dream Team or the current men’s team. (Not sure why this is even a debate, by the way, because the original Dream Team is the best men’s Olympics team to ever take the floor). Since going pro, the USA Women’s Basketball team is UNDEFEATED IN OLYMPIC COMPETITION at 40-0 and has WON FIVE GOLD MEDALS IN A ROW. CAN YOU SAY FIVE-PETE!!! The USA Men’s Basketball team is not undefeated, losing three games in 2004, settling for the bronze medal in Athens. If any NBA team had a five-pete going, with a strong chance to keep running up the tally indefinitely, this would be one of the biggest sports stories of the century. The USA Women’s basketball program has accomplished something truly amazing here. Everyone needs to recognize their greatness, that’s all I’m sayin’.
Women’s Track And Field
Next, let’s talk about the HOT U.S. Women’s track team. These chicks BURNED UP THE TRACK!!! Of the 29 total medals and the 9 Gold medals that the U.S. won in track and field, the sistah’s brought home 13 medals (45%), 5 of the gold variety (55%). Of the track and field medals that U.S. women won, sistah’s brought home nearly all of them, 13 of 14 medals (93%), 5 of 6 of the gold variety (83%). And the only fresh, new woman’s track and field world record. All I can say is…hot damn!
Track - Individual Sprints
- U.S Team: Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter, Tianna Madison
- Results: Carmelita Jeter took the silver at 10.78 seconds
- U.S. Team: Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter, Sanya Richards-Ross
- Results: Allyson Felix won her first-ever individual gold and is the only woman to break 22 seconds with a time of 21.88. Carmelita Jeter won the bronze with a time of 22.14
- U.S. Team: Francena McCorory, Sanya Richards-Ross, Dee Dee Trotter
- Results: Sanya Richards-Ross won the gold with a time of 49.55 seconds. DeeDee Trotter took the bronze with a time of 49.72
110 Meter Hurdles:
- U.S. Team: Dawn Harper, Lolo Jones, Kellie Wells
- Results: Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells took the silver and the bronze medals respectively, with times of 12.37 and 12.48
400 Meter Hurdles:
- U.S. Team: T’Erea Brown, Lashinda Demus, Georganne Moline
- Results: Lashinda Demus took the silver medal with a time of 52.70
Track – Team Relays
4×100 Meter Relay:
- U.S. Team: Alison Felix, Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight, Tianna Madison
- Results: This team won gold, smashing the world record of 41.37 set by East Germany back in 1985 with a time of 40.82 seconds, beating the records by 55 seconds. They won the first gold medal in this event for the United States since the 1996 Atlanta Games. Their 3.36 second margin of victory was also the largest since 1976.
4×400 Meter Relay:
- U.S. Team: Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory, Sanya Richards-Ross, Dee Dee Trotter
- Results: This team achieved their season best time of 3:16.87 and the biggest margin of victory since East Germany beat the U.S. by 3.58 seconds in 1976. The U.S. women haven’t lost the 4×400 relay since the 1992 Barcelona Games, winning America’s fifth consecutive Olympic gold in this event – ANOTHER FIVE-PETE!!!
Just want to recap of the London Olympics achievements of Allyson Felix:
- She earned three golds in London, more than any other female track and field athlete
- She is the first to win three track and field golds in a single Olympics since U.S. sprinter Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 when she won the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay
- She was part of the only woman’s track and field world record set at the 2012 Games
- She is the fourth fastest 200 runner in world history and her time in London was the third fastest of her career
- Her 4×400 split would rank as the second fastest 400 time in history
- U.S. Team: Brigetta Barrett, Chaunte Lowe
- Results: Brigetta Barrett won the silver medal, going up against 2011 world champion Anna Chicherova and 2008 veteran Svetlana Shkolina, who finished on either side of Barrett on the medal podium. Barrett jumped a personal best 2.03 meters, or 6’8″, losing to Chicherova by about an inch and beating Shkolina by number of failures at their final height. Barrett is a senior at the University of Arizona, having won the previous two NCAA indoor and outdoor championships, becoming the first to do the double in two consecutive years. Her mark of 6’7″ at the Olympic Trials and her 6’8″ in London would both be collegiate records if either meet were sanctioned by the NCAA
- U.S. Team: Brittney Reese, Janay DeLoach
- Results: Brittney Reese became the first American woman to win Olympic gold in the long jump with a jump of 7.12 meters or 23 feet, 4.5 inches. Reese has won all five consecutive world championship events, contested from the 2009 IAAF Outdoor World Championships to the 2012 Olympic Games. No female track and field athlete in the world has dominated a single event the way Reese has over the past four years. Reese has the three longest jumps in the world for 2012, including her Olympic-winning distance, which tied for her second-best mark of the season. Reese also has five of the world’s six best outdoor long jumps since the 2008 Games. Reese is the only Olympic women’s gold medalist to have also won the past two outdoor world championship titles in the same event. That does not even factor in her two indoor world titles.
- Janay DeLoach won the bronze with a jump of 6.89 meters.
- U.S. Team: Gabrielle Douglas
- Results: I have already done an Olympics post on two-time gold medal winner Gabby Douglas, the amazing young woman broke the color barrier in Women’s gymnastics. Here is an update: Oprah, Jay Leno with Michelle Obama, Corn Flakes box, People Magazine, mural…it’s all good for her, and deservedly so
- U.S. Team: Serena Williams, Venus Williams
- Results: I have already done a post on the Williams sisters where I covered Serena extensively. Since then, Serena won the women’s singles gold and Venus and Serena won the women’s doubles gold, their third, at the Olympics
- U.S. Team: Claressa Shields
- Results: Shields won the women’s Middleweight (75 Kg) gold medal. This marks the first time that women’s boxing has been contested at the Olympics. Claressa is the first woman and the only American boxer to win a gold medal at the Olympic games. Shields won the only gold medal for the U.S Boxing team in London, as the winningest nation in Olympic boxing history earned no medals from its men’s team for the first time
- U.S. Team: Paige McPherson
- Results: McPherson, a first-time Olympian, secured a bronze medal by defeating Franka Anic of Slovenia 8-3 in the 148-pound division
Women’s Indoor Volleyball
- U.S. team: Foluke Akinradewo, Tayyiba Haneef-Park, Megan Hodge, Destinee Hooker, Danielle Scott-Arruda
- Results: Team won the silver medal
- U.S. Team: Nia Leal
- Results: 4×100 freestyle team won the bronze. Leal is the first U.S. Black woman to swim in an Olympic final & medal! Neal swam the third leg in a blistering 53.65 seconds, helping her team set a new U.S. record. Neal is the second Black woman to qualify for the U. S. Olympic Swim Team
I would also like to recognize the rest of the sisters who made the team, competed, but did not medal:
- Discus: Aretha Thurmond, Gia Lewis-Smallwood
- Hammer Throw: Amber Campbell, Jessica Cosby
- Shot Put: Amber Campbell, Jessica Cosby
- Heptathlon: Hyleas Fountain, Sharon Day, Chantae McMillan
- Fencing: Nzingha Prescod