Olympics 2012: Top Medal Winners in Swimming, Gymnastics, Track and Field

Avi Wolfman-ArentCorrespondent IIAugust 11, 2012

Olympics 2012: Top Medal Winners in Swimming, Gymnastics, Track and Field

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    Everybody loves a winner.

    Win multiples times, and you've practically reached Raymond-esque levels of universal affection.

    That in mind, we present to you London's biggest winners in each of its most medal-rich disciplines: swimming, gymnastics and track and field.

    They came, they saw, they conquered—and now they're in a slideshow!

    Lucky them.

    Before we start, a quick primer on the format:

    The first slide in each set features every multiple medalist in a given discipline, except the top medalist. The second slide contains a more intimate look at the top medalist and how he/she performed at these Games.

Men's Swimming: Multiple Medalists

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    Ryan Lochte, United States — 5

    Sun Yang, China — 4

     

    Three-time medalists:

    Nathan Adrian, United States

    Yannick Agnel, France 

    Matt Grevers, United States 

    Ryosuke Irie, Japan 

    Cullen Jones, United States 

     

    Two-time medalists:

    Brendan Hansen, United States 

    Chad le Clos, South Africa 

    Clement Lefert, France 

    Amaury Leveaux, France 

    James Magnussen, Australia 

    Takeshi Matsuda, Japan 

    Ricky Berens, United States 

    Park Tae-Hwan, South Korea 

    Christian Sprenger, Australia 

    Jeremy Stravius, France

    Nick Thoman, United States

    Oussama Mellouli, Tunisia

Men's Swimming: Top Medalist

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    Michael Phelps, United States — 6 (4 gold, 2 silver)

    We're running low on adjectives to contextualize Michael Phelps' greatness.

    In a meet that started with premature whispers of his decline, Phelps stormed back to win gold medals in each of his final four events. By doing so, he became the first man to three-peat in an Olympic swimming event, and he finished his illustrious career with 18 gold medals and 22 overall.

    I mean, how great is that?

    Singularly great.

    Breathtakingly great.

    Historically great.

    It's just...GREAT.

Women's Swimming: Multiple Medalists

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    Three-time medalists:

    Dana Vollmer, United States

    Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands

    Brittany Elmslie, Australia

    Melanie Schlanger, Australia

    Emily Seebohm, Australia

    Rebecca Soni, United States

    Camille Muffat, France

    Satomi Suzuki, Japan

     

    Two-time medalists:

    Ye Shiwen, China

    Rebecca Adlington, Great Britain

    Bronte Barratt, Australia

    Elizabeth Beisel, Australia

    Mireia Belmonte Garcia, Spain

    Aleksandra Gerasimenya, Belarus

    Jessica Hardy, United States

    Aya Terakawa, Japan

    Marleen Veldhuis, Netherlands

Women's Swimming: Top Medalist

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    Missy Franklin, United States — 5 (4 gold, 1 bronze)

    Allison Schmitt, United States — 5 (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)

    Alicia Coutts, Australia — 5 (1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze)

    Though three female swimmers earned five medals apiece in London, we're giving the gold-medal tiebreaker to Missy Franklin.

    Which is good, because we love talking about Missy Franklin.

    The 17-year-old owned this meet, both by virtue of her in-pool performance and her poolside demeanor.

    She won individual gold medals at both backstroke distances and finished no worse than fifth in any of her seven events. Combined with an aw-shucks personality that had fans and announcers going gaga, the Colorado native seems an obvious choice as the new face of American swimming.

    And with Phelps waving goodbye, it would seem the stage is all hers.

Men's Gymnastics: Multiple Medalists

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    Two-time medalists:

    Louis Smith, Great Britain

    Chen Yibing, China

    Marcel Nguyen, Germany

    Feng Zhe, China

    Denis Ablyazin, Russia

    Max Whitlock, Great Britain

Men's Gymnastics: Top Medalist

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    Zou Kai, China — 3 (2 gold, 1 bronze)

    Kohei Uchimura, Japan — 3 (1 gold, 2 silver)

    By dint of our previously established tiebreaker, Zou Kai—not Japanese sensation Kohei Uchimura—nabs the title of most decorated male gymnast.

    Though that may seem unjust in light of Uchimura's victory in the individual all-around, it helps highlight what a sneaky-good meet China had.

    Lacking an elite all-around talent and nursing late injuries, the Chinese came in relatively under the radar. They responded by running away with team gold and medaling in four of six apparatus finals.

    Olympic veteran Zou Kai led the way, winning gold on floor exercise and bronze on high bar. The 24-year-old now has six career medals, tying him with Li Ning and Li Xiaoshuang as the most decorated Chinese gymnast of all time.

Women's Gymnastics: Multiple Medalists

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    Aly Raisman, United States — 3

     

    Two-time medalists:

    Gabby Douglas, United States

    Viktoria Komova, Russia

    McKayla Maroney, United States

    Sandra Izbasa, Romania

    Catalina Ponor, Romania

    Maria Paseka, Russia

Women's Gymnastics: Top Medalist

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    Aliya Mustafina — 4 (1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze)

    Surprised?

    Though she curried less media attention than her American rivals, Mustafina was rock-solid throughout this competition.

    She took bronze in the all-around, bronze on floor exercise and earned Russia's lone gold of the meet on uneven bars.

    Counted out at various times in her career because of injuries and growth spurts, the fiercely competitive Russian starlet reminded the world why she was its all-around champ in 2010.

    Even in a sport as variable as women's gymnastics, one gets the sense that Mustafina could stick around for a while.

Men's Track and Field: Multiple Medalists

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    Two-time medalists:

    Mo Farah, Great Britain

    Will Claye, United States

    Lalonde Gordon, Trinidad and Tobago

    Justin Gatlin, United States

Men's Track and Field: Top Medalist

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    Usain Bolt, Jamaica — 3 (All gold)

    Yohan Blake, Jamaica — 3 (1 gold, 2 silver)

    What do we make of Usain Bolt at these London Olympics?

    He promised a show, something we would never forget.

    In some sense, he delivered, becoming the first athlete to double in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at consecutive Olympiads. And his anchor-leg effort in a record-setting 4x100 relay was quite a flourish.

    But most of the awe was cumulative, brought on by the broad scope of his remarkable career and perhaps accented somewhat by his ability to overturn his perceived vulnerabilities.

    None of the individual races, however, were particularly memorable by Bolt standards.

    He didn't set any world records in his individual events or even come all that close. He was money in the big moments, but he didn't drop our jaws the way he did in Beijing.

    We'll revisit these Games as confirmation of Bolt's all-time greatness, but not as an expression of his fullest self.

    At his best, Bolt made us question what was humanly possible. He didn't quite do that at these Games.

    High standards, I know, but Bolt was the one who promised us a show.

Women's Track and Field: Multiple Medalists

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    Two-time medalists:

    Sanya Richards-Ross, United States

    Tirunesh Dibaba, Ethiopia

    Natalya Antyukh, Russia

    Vivian Cheruiyot, Kenya

    Dee Dee Trotter, United States

Women's Track and Field: Top Medalist

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    Allyson Felix, United States 3 (All gold)

    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica — 3 (1 gold, 2 silver)

    Carmelita Jeter, United States — 3 (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)

    I present to you the single most underrated athletic feat of these London Games.

    Allyson Felix won three sprinting gold medals at three distances—100 meters (relay), 200 meters and 400 meters (relay).

    Since the establishment of the modern Olympic track program (i.e. the abolition of 60-meter sprints, 80-meter hurdles and the like), no sprinter has ever done that.

    Ever!

    Felix's signature win came in the 200, her long-awaited first individual gold medal.

    But her second-leg run in the 4x400-meter relay was easily her most impressive performance, and a powerful indicator of her once-in-a-generation talent.

    Felix didn't even contest the 400 in London, but her relay split was almost two full seconds faster than Sanya Richards-Ross' winning time in the event final.

    I understand that relay splits aren't equivalent to flat-start times, but still...two seconds?!?!?

    Felix may never have the headline-baiting savvy of a media starlet, but she's always had Page 1 talent.

    In London, she finally got to prove it.