The 2012 Olympic results tell the tale of Team USA domination. The American athletes finished first in the medal count, not only in total medals, but in the total number of gold medals as well.
However, while looking down at China in the standings is enjoyable, it’s time to move on.
Here are the competitors that won gold in London that will defend their title in Rio de Janeiro.
3. Kevin Durant And Every U.S. Basketball Player That Returns
Neither the men’s nor the women’s team lost a single game in the entire tournament.
Team USA’s men have won gold in 14 out of the 17 tournaments that they’ve competed in. That includes four of the last five since NBA players began to participate. The American women have won seven golds in nine appearances, including the last five.
While international basketball has grown immensely since 1992, it will be another 20 years before teams overseas are able to consistently compete with the U.S.
2. Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky
Team USA’s teenage swimming sensations have bright futures.
Franklin is only 17 years old and in her first of many Olympic Games. She won four gold medals and a bronze. In her five medal-winning performances, she set two world records, one in the 200-meter backstroke and the other in the 4x100-meter relay.
Ledecky is just 15, but she won gold and set an American record in the 800-meter freestyle. Expect the duo to continue to rack up medals for years to come.
1. Ashton Eaton
Eaton set the decathlon world record at the U.S. Trials. He followed up that historic performance by running (and jumping, and throwing) away with the gold medal in London.
The most terrifying part of Eaton’s dominance—at least for the rest of the world—is that the most versatile athlete on the planet isn’t even at his peak yet. He’s only 24. By the time that Rio rolls around, he’ll likely have two World Championship golds under his belt and be in position to break the Olympic record.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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