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U.S. women's soccer won its third consecutive gold.
Athletes competing: 539
Medals won: 104 (46 gold, 29 silver, 29 bronze)
The U.S. soared to the top of this list with sterling performances in the Olympics' signature athletic spectrums—swimming and track and field. American competitors tallied 60 total medals between the two diverse disciplines, as legendary performers rose to the occasion and newcomers arrived on the scene with authority.
The U.S. secured at least a silver medal in every event it participated in aside from fencing and taekwondo. The nation's 46 gold medals are its third-greatest Summer Olympics haul in history (behind only the 1904 and 1984 Games).
Of course, the conversation starts with swimmer Michael Phelps. The 27-year-old became the most decorated Olympian in history in London, as he added four golds and two silvers to his record-setting medal count of 22 (18 gold).
As Phelps said farewell to Olympic competition, we caught an impressive glimpse of the future of American swimming. Missy Franklin, 17, earned four gold medals, and 15-year-old Katie Ledecky shocked the global swimming community with a first-place finish in the grueling 800-meter freestyle final.
Other American swimming stars included Allison Schmitt and Ryan Lochte, who each won five medals.
In track and field action, Allyson Felix secured three gold medals. The Los Angeles native overcame her Jamaican rivals in the 200-meter dash and helped lead the U.S. to relay victories in both the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Fellow female sprinting standouts Carmelita Jeter and Sanya Richards-Ross also earned gold medals.
In team athletics, the women's soccer team and women's water polo team emerged as gold-medal winners in their respective tournaments. The historically great duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal in women's beach volleyball competition.
The U.S. men's basketball program, coached by the legendary Mike Krzyzewski, defeated Spain to complete its mission for a second straight gold medal. And an unforgettable group of gymnasts, including all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas, secured top honors in the women's gymnastics team final.
The 2012 Olympics featured a truly a golden performance by the U.S.