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Olympic Medal Tally 2012: Athletes Who Carried Team USA's Overall Victory

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Michael Phelps of the United States leaves the pool after competing in the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2012

Team USA walked away from the 2012 Summer Games as the overall champion. They managed to earn 104 medals, 46 of which were gold.

Their effort was paced by several athletes. Michael Phelps led the charge with six medals, followed by Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte and Allison Schmitt who each had five.

Let's take a look at the world-class swimmers who carried Team USA in London.

 

Michael Phelps

Phelps led Team USA with six medals in London. He used his four gold medals, and two silvers, to become the winningest athlete in Olympic history and to help his country earn the overall victory.

This was a perfect swansong for Phelps. Not only did he cement himself as the greatest Olympic athlete of all time (not sure how that could be argued), but he stood down Lochte as his biggest challenger.

London's games put a cap on the greatest Olympic career the world has ever seen. He could have faltered under the pressure of a "last gasp," but Phelps performed like a world-class athlete once again.

 

Missy Franklin

Franklin entered London amid much hype and she didn't disappoint. As a 17-year-old swimmer, Franklin earned four gold medals and one bronze.

She failed to medal in the 100-meter freestyle, as well as the 200 free, but she dominated both backstroke events. Her only bronze medal came in the women's 4x100 freestyle relay.

Franklin's success was expected. She dominated at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and won a world title last year at age 16. Her talent is undeniable and she proved in London that the moment wasn't too big.

The 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro should bring more success for this talented swimmer.

 

Allison Schmitt

Schmitt equaled Franklin in the pool with five medals earned. She took three golds, a silver and one bronze before her events were all said and done.

Schmitt's forte is freestyle, and she fared well. She broke the Olympic record in the women's 200 free and took silver in the near-marathon 400 free.

She also played a major role in Team USA's Olympic record performance in the 4x200 free relay and on the world-record breaking 4x100 medley relay.

Schmitt earned medals in Beijing, so she was expected to pace Team USA's female swimmers in the pool. She delivered.

 

Ryan Lochte

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Lochte, since he did earn five medals, but he was disappointing. He won gold as part of the men's 4x200 freestyle relay and in the 400-meter individual medley, but he failed to deliver in the 200 IM.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment came in the men's 4x100 freestyle relay. Lochte had a huge lead entering the race's anchor leg, but wound up losing the race to France down the stretch.

Nonetheless, Lochte did earn five medals and that stands for something. He didn't outperform Phelps like many expected, but he did do more than his fair share to help Team USA earn their overall victory.

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