The United States and China were in an absolute dog fight for the overall medal lead in the second week of the 2012 London Olympics. It wasn't until the final days of competition that USA managed to take away the overall medal and gold medal lead from China.
While athletes like Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin lived up to their end of the bargain, there were multiple athletes and teams that failed to meet lofty expectations.
These athletes are certainly some of the best their sport has to offer, but the pressure of the moment can cripple even the greatest. Though their competition was great, many can assume that these stars simply let the pressure and spotlight take its toll.
Here are a few of the worst culprits that were unable to help the Americans in the incredibly tight (and exciting) race for overall Olympic supremacy.
For the complete 2012 Olympic medal count, check out the chart below or Bleacher Report's official tracker!
They had won gold in the past two Olympics, and were one of the favorites again this year.
Instead, they were incredibly disappointing, tied for sixth, with way too many rails getting knocked down.
Great Britain dominated the event, and America seemed to be on a completely different playing field.
Men’s Beach Volleyball
Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser were the gold medal winners in 2008, and were the favorites once again. Yet they couldn’t even get out of the final 16 after falling to Italians Paolo Nicolai and Danielle Lupo.
But that was OK, because up-and-comers Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal were still breathing and seemed to be gaining momentum. They were the fourth seed in the tournament, but had risen to No. 1 in the world rankings just before the Olympics.
They were supposed to be the new face of the sport.
Instead, they were eliminated last Monday against the Latvia pair of Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, who were seeded 17th in the 24-team bracket.
It was a gigantic choke to say the least.
It was no secret that the Americans weren’t sending their best team ever to London, but the results were disastrous.
Not a single American made it through to the medal round. Not one!
With boxing super-stars like Cassius Clay, George Forman, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya all previous proud Olympians, the rich tradition is there.
Yet it seems like coaches and the Olympic boxing officials have really fallen asleep at the wheel. They are losing top athletes to other sports such as football and basketball. If this showing isn’t a prime example of the state of boxing in the U.S, then I don’t know what is.
The U.S. was absolutely embarrassed in this event.
Final London Olympics Medal Count
|Olympic Medal Tracker|
|United States Total: 104||46||29||29|
|China Total: 87||38||27||22|
|Russia Total: 82||24||25||33|
|Great Britain Total: 65||29||17||19|
|Germany Total: 44||11||19||14|
|Japan Total: 38||7||14||17|
|Australia Total: 35||7||16||12|
|France Total: 34||11||11||12|
|South Korea Total: 28||13||8||7|
|Italy Total: 28||8||9||11|
|Netherlands Total: 20||6||8||8|
|Ukraine Total: 20||6||5||9|
|Canada Total: 18||1||5||12|
|Hungary Total: 17||8||4||5|
|Spain Total: 17||3||10||4|
|Brazil Total: 17||3||5||9|
|Cuba Total: 14||5||3||6|
|Kazakhstan Total: 13||7||1||5|
|New Zealand Total: 13||5||3||5|
|Belarus Total: 13||3||5||5|
|Iran Total: 12||4||5||3|
|Jamaica Total: 12||4||4||4|
|Kenya Total: 11||2||4||5|
|Czech Republic Total: 10||4||3||3|
|Poland Total: 10||2||2||6|
|Azerbaijan Total: 10||2||2||6|
|Romania Total: 9||2||5||2|
|Denmark Total: 9||2||4||3|
|Sweden Total: 8||1||4||3|
|Colombia Total: 8||1||3||4|
|Ethiopia Total: 7||3||1||3|
|Georgia Total: 7||1||3||3|
|Mexico Total: 7||1||3||3|
|North Korea Total: 6||4||0||2|
|South Africa Total: 6||3||2||1|
|Croatia Total: 6||3||1||2|
|India Total: 6||0||2||4|
|Turkey Total: 5||2||2||1|
|Lithuania Total: 5||2||1||2|
|Ireland Total: 5||1||1||3|
|Mongolia Total: 5||0||2||3|
|Switzerland Total: 4||2||2||0|
|Norway Total: 4||2||1||1|
|Slovenia Total: 4||1||1||2|
|Serbia Total: 4||1||1||2|
|Argentina Total: 4||1||1||2|
|Trinidad and Tobago Total: 4||1||0||3|
|Uzbekistan Total: 4||1||0||3|
|Slovakia Total: 4||0||1||3|
|Tunisia Total: 3||1||1||1|
|Thailand Total: 3||0||2||1|
|Armenia Total: 3||0||1||2|
|Belgium Total: 3||0||1||2|
|Finland Total: 3||0||1||2|
|Dominican Republic Total: 2||1||1||0|
|Latvia Total: 2||1||0||1|
|Egypt Total: 2||0||2||0|
|Chinese Taipei Total: 2||0||1||1|
|Estonia Total: 2||0||1||1|
|Malaysia Total: 2||0||1||1|
|Bulgaria Total: 2||0||1||1|
|Puerto Rico Total: 2||0||0||1|
|Indonesia Total: 2||0||1||1|
|Moldova Total: 2||0||0||2|
|Qatar Total: 2||0||0||2|
|Singapore Total: 2||0||0||2|
|Greece Total: 2||0||0||2|
|Algeria Total: 1||1||0||0|
|Bahamas Total: 1||1||0||0|
|Uganda Total: 1||1||0||0|
|Venezuela Total: 1||1||0||0|
|Grenada Total: 1||1||0||0|
|Portugal Total: 1||0||1||0|
|Montenegro Total: 1||0||1||0|
|Botswana Total: 1||0||1||0|
|Cyprus Total: 1||0||1||0|
|Guatemala Total: 1||0||1||0|
|Gabon Total: 1||0||1||0|
|Morocco Total: 1||0||0||1|
|Saudi Arabia Total: 1||0||0||1|
|Kuwait Total: 1||0||0||1|
|Bahrain Total: 1||0||0||1|
|Afghanistan Total: 1||0||0||1|
|Tajikistan Total: 1||0||0||1|
|Hong Kong Total: 1||0||0||1|