By Kaia Zimmerman
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics wrapped up on Sunday, Aug. 8, with the United States taking home the most gold medals (39) along with total medals (113).
This Olympics was one of the most abnormal games we have seen because of the pandemic. There were no spectators in attendance, as well as additional precautions taken that made these Games feel different than any other.
In the final days of the Olympics, the U.S. snuck past China in the gold medal count, after receiving three gold medals in women’s basketball, men’s basketball, and women’s indoor volleyball.
On Friday, Aug. 6 the men’s basketball team was able to secure their fourth straight gold medal when they defeated France, 87-82. The team was led by the 2020 Olympics men’s basketball MVP, Kevin Durant, scoring 29 points. Durant would leave the Olympics as team USA’s all-time leader in points, free throws, and 3-pointers.
The U.S. women’s basketball team followed the men’s team success the next day on Aug. 7, winning the gold medal against Japan, 90-75, securing their seventh straight gold medal. They were led by Brittney Griner, who dropped 30 points along with five rebounds and three blocks.
U.S. women’s basketball players, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, made history by becoming the most decorated players in U.S. basketball history, with five gold medals.
The U.S. women’s indoor volleyball team also made history by becoming the first American volleyball team to win gold, sweeping Brazil in three straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 25-14).
Women’s volleyball was very successful at the games. Along with the indoor volleyball team winning big, women’s beach volleyball duo, Alix Klineman and April Ross, were also able to win the gold when they defeated Australia in two straight sets, receiving their first gold medal.
Even though the 2020 Olympics were different from the normal games, it was still filled with inspiring stories and great moments.
In the first week of the Games, Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz was able to win gold, making history as that was the first gold medal to be won by her country ever. After she won, it was an emotional sight as she burst into tears of joy and was embraced by her coaches, stealing the hearts of viewers in the process.
Simone Biles showed how important it is to put your mental health and safety first when she withdrew from the team finals competition, shocking many people. Biles taught everyone a valuable lesson that these athletes are human and not just there to entertain fans.
Allyson Felix came back to the olympic stage for the fifth time, and she won gold in the 4×400-meter relay putting her medal count to 11, surpassing Carl Lewis for the most medals by a U.S. track competitor.