20 years ago, the result of the Summer Games was quite clear; The United States would of course be #1. There was one thing that was uncertain though; how many medals would they win this time? The United States, along with other countries, never thought that any country could come close to them. No one expected China to be their biggest competitor in the Summer Games. No one in the world thought that China could be a challenge to any of the top sporting countries…the US, Great Britain, Russia, etc. But 20 years later, China has come from practically no where to become #1 or possibly #2 in the world. Summer Games were for so long America’s games…no one came close to the US in terms of medals. But this time, it seems China may come out on top. Will it?
Let’s take a step back to the Atlanta Games in 1996. The United States, of course, was #1 with a total count of 101 medals — 44 of those were gold. China came in 4th, with 50 total medals for the games. Now back to London; China has 81 total medals, currently sitting in the top 2. What has happened? In the course of 16 years, China has gone from no threat to A threat. Many analysts are saying that the United States time for dominating the Games are over…its now China’s turn in line to be the new #1 sporting nation. But will it? Will China be #1 at the end of these games? My answer, along with many other United States supporters, is no. The United States has dominated for so long, and will continue to do so. We will come out on top once again at these 2012 games.
The games have gone back and forth…one day China is leading in the overall medal count, and another day the US is. Each country specializes in a certain sport. The US is known for specializing in many sports. China generally wins most of their medals in a few sports. Lets take a look at Swimming. The US has (well, had) the world’s greatest Olympian in Michael Phelps, who shocked everyone by winning 6 medals in these Olympic games and winning a total of 22 Olympic medals in his career. Ryan Lochte has had his moments, and Missy Franklin is already being called the “female Phelps” at age 17. The US will no doubt continue its dominance in swimming for years to come.
In women’s track and field, the US has many world champions and many golds in these Olympics to show their dominance in this sport as well. Allyson Felix, and American track and field athlete, recently won Gold and defeated the favorite (Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce). Men’s basketball was dominant in “08 and has once again proved they are worthy of Gold. After going undefeated so far in these Olympics, USA is favored to win Gold again. With players like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, etc, USA has the best lineup in all of basketball. This is one sport where the US will always be able to find great talent. Women’s soccer has proved to the world that they are one of the best, recently making it to the Gold Medal game after defeating Canada in the Semis. Soccer is becoming quite popular in the United States, and talent is becoming plentiful.
As an active follower of the Olympics, my DVR is full each day with Olympic events. As I watch, I realize that the US does well in many events, as I stated above. But when I watched China, I saw that they do not do well in every event, but do dominate in a few. Gymnastics is no doubt a sport that China is the best at. Although the US female gymnastic team was successful, China took home almost all of the medals in the sport. I also realized that diving is a “Chinese sport”. Chinese athletes are very flexible, which makes them dominant at sports like gymnastics and diving. Although there are other sports China participates in, they are most dominant in the ones listed above. I respect their talent and their hard work in those sports, but in order for them to be #1, they must become more “well-rounded”.
With these Olympics coming to a close, I think its safe to say that the United States will once again come out on top. Many events that the US dominates at remains; Men’s Basketball is yet to play the gold medal game, where we will see Kobe Bryant and Team USA go for a second straight gold. Bryant led the team to victory in ’08 and will surely do it again; these are his last Olympics, after all! China is no doubt a threat to any great sporting nation, but in order for them to come out on top, they must excel at most of the Olympic events. The US holds this advantage; excelling at many events. I wish team USA best of luck for the last few days, and congratulate China on their amazing efforts. But for the time being, USA has been and will continue to be the greatest sporting nation in the world.