Olympic Medal Count 2012: How Team USA Will Reclaim the Lead
As of this moment, China holds a very slim one-medal lead over Team USA in the overall medal count at the London Olympics.
While China did top Team USA in gold medals in Beijing, nobody has beaten the Americans in the overall medal count since 1992, and that took a unified team of 12 nations!
Team USA is poised to retake their lead in the near future. Here are just five of the many events Team USA should receive medals in over the next few days.
Tomorrow night, we will see the race we've all been waiting for: Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley.
Fortunately for Team USA, it doesn't particularly matter which one of them actually wins the race. They are projected to finish first and second, meaning a gold and silver medal in either case.
As an added bonus, the man most people expect to win Bronze (Laszlo Cseh) is Hungarian, not Chinese. This means a two-medal jump in the overall count over China.
There are plenty of races left in the pool that Team USA could easily take, but the men's 200-meter individual medley is the one most Americans should look forward to. Not only does it promise to be an incredible race, it should give Team USA a nice boost in the medal count.
The most prominent event Team USA gymnastics fans have to look forward to is the women's all-around, taking place tomorrow.
Even without Jordyn Wieber, Team USA should win at least one and potentially two medals here.
Russia's Viktoria Komova finished first in the qualifiers with a score of 60.632 points, but Team USA took home both second and third place with Aly Raisman (60.391) and Gabby Douglas (60.265).
Considering Wieber finished fourth, I'd say it's safe to say this is an event Team USA will do well in. A gold medal isn't guaranteed, but they should be able to at least take home the silver and bronze, giving them yet another two-medal boost over China.
While most Americans aren't familiar with Joshua Richmond (he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page), they should know that he's the favorite to win the men's double trap shooting event at the 2012 Olympic Games.
He is an incredibly decorated shooter, having won a variety of silver and gold medals at world and national championships over the past few years, most notably taking home the gold at the 2010 World Championship and equaling a world record.
Shooting isn't a glamour sport, but a medal is a medal in the eyes of the count, and Richmond should win one in the double trap (which starts tomorrow).
Like shooting, fencing isn't exactly a high-profile sport, but it's yet another event in which Team USA can expect a few medals.
Mariel Zagunis is the heavy favorite in the women's individual sabre. She won the gold medal in Beijing and has won a myriad of other events over the course of her career.
In the women's individual foil, Lee Kiefer should contend for at least a bronze medal. At only 17-years-old, she won the bronze at the World Championships.
While the Americans aren't favored in the team foil (that distinction belongs to Italy), they should win a few individual medals to keep them going in the overall count.
Women's Beach Volleyball
What does beach volleyball have in common with the last two events? It's not a particularly high profile sport.
How does it differ from the previous two events? Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh made it a high profile sport.
While the two have gotten older and may not be clear cut favorites anymore, they dominated in such convincing fashion in Athens and Beijing that to say they won't at least medal in London seems almost blasphemous.
A third straight gold medal might be a bit much to ask, but a top-three finish is perfectly reasonable. We can feel pretty safe that May-Treanor and Walsh will add another medal into the total count.