The Olympics have always been so much fun to watch since I was a kid. The immense amount of patriotism that comes about when watching them is unmatchable! This year was a slightly different feeling, with seeing the world unite and come together since the COVID-19 pandemic. It was great getting to watch our American athletes represent our country and play their hearts out on the international stage, leading the medal count out of all the countries too. Here are 20 highlights from Team USA from the past 2 weeks in Tokyo, Japan: 

  • Both the men’s and women’s won gold in their respective 4x400m relay races! This is the 7th consecutive gold medal for the women’s team, consisting of Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad, Athing Mu, and Allyson Felix. The men’s team consisted of Trevor Stewart, Randolph Ross, Bryce Deadmon, and Vernon Norwood. 

  • USA swimmer Caeleb Dressel dominated in all of his swimming events and became a member of the “Elite Club” by winning 5 gold swimming medals in a single Olympic game! He won gold in the following events: 4x100m medley relay, 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, and the 4x100m freestyle relay.

  • Simone Biles, who is considerably the greatest gymnast of all time, showed her strength and courage as she stepped out of the women’s team finals due to mental health concerns. She fell into a condition known to gymnastics called “twisties”, where she would feel disorientated in midair while doing tricks, which could have caused serious, life-threatening injuries. Biles showed the world just how important it is to listen to your body and take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Biles would eventually return to compete for the balance beam competition to win the bronze medal. 

  • The U.S. women’s volleyball team beat Brazil, 25-21, 25-20, and 25-14, in the gold medal match. This is the first Olympic gold medal for America ever in women’s volleyball!

  • The United States dominated in golf at this year’s games. Xander Schauffele won the gold for the men’s individual, and Nelly Korda won gold for the women’s individual!

  • Tamyra Mensah-Stock becomes not only the second woman in USA wrestling history, but the first black American woman to win the gold medal in the women’s freestyle 68kg event. Her post-match interviews were so special to watch as she poured out the love she has for her faith and country. 

  • Kevin Durant leads the men’s basketball team to win their 4th straight gold medal at the Olympic games. The team beat France in the gold medal game 83-76!

  • With his signature cowboy hat on his head, Ryan Crouser repeated as an Olympic champion in the men’s shot put and set 3 Olympic records. Crouser, who has recently lost his grandfather before the games, wrote “Grandpa, We Did It, 2020 Olympic Champion!” on a piece of paper. His teammate Joe Kovacs placed second in the event. The men’s shot put is also the first event in Olympic history to hold the same podium in consecutive games, when Crouser and Kovacs won gold and silver back in Rio as well. 

  • The debut of surfing in the Olympic games was exciting to watch. Carissa Moore, from Hawaii, takes home the first ever gold medal for surfing in the women’s competition!

  •  After Simone Biles dropped from the all-around competition in women’s gymnastics, Suni Lee went on to win the gold medal for Team USA. This is the 6th consecutive Olympic gold medal for the Americans in the women’s all-around competition! Jade Carrey won the gold medal for the floor routine, and MyKayla Skinner had the ultimate comeback story, from not making the 2016 Olympic team to winning the silver medal for vault. 

  •  Allyson Felix becomes the most decorated American in track and field. From her Olympic debut in the 2004 games in Athens to Tokyo’s games, Felix has racked up 11 Olympic medals. In Tokyo she earned the gold alongside her teammates in the women’s 4×400 relay and the bronze in the 400m event. 

  •  Swimmers Bobby Finke and Katie Ledecky win the gold in both the 800m and 1500m swim. Ledecky, who has the most individual Olympic gold medals for swimming, is the first to win the gold for the women’s 1500m!

  •  Another interesting to watch debut sport in the Olympics this year was skateboarding. Jagger Eaton won the first bronze medal in the men’s street event, while Cory Juneau won the first bronze for the men’s park event. 

  •  Giving Alaska its first Olympic swimming medal, 17 year old Lydia Jacoby stuns the competition to win the gold medal for the Americans in the 100m breaststroke. 

  •  The women’s water polo team wins the gold medal over Spain with a score of 14-5. This is the third consecutive Olympic gold medal for the U.S. women’s water polo team. 

  •  Ariel Torres becomes the first American to win an Olympic medal in karate. With karate being another newcomer sport to the summer Olympics, Torres won the bronze medal in the event. 

  • Known as the A-team, April Ross and Alix Klineman win the gold medal in the women’s beach volleyball event over Australia! This is the first gold medal for the Americans since the 2012 London games where Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misti May-Treanor won their third gold medal. 

  •  With the return of baseball and softball to the 2020 Tokyo Games, Team USA brought home the silver medal in both tournaments. 

  •  Another new sport to the Olympics was sport climbing. Nathaniel Coleman won the first-ever silver medal for the men’s combined final!

  •  The U.S. women’s basketball team wins its 7th gold medal in the Olympic tournament! Dina Taurasi and Sue Bird led the team, with 10 gold medals between themselves alone. The 3×3 event, which was another debut event, saw the Americans take the gold medal as well. 

Ivey Y