Olympic Medal Count 2012: Biggest Surprises on Final Weekend in London
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games have come to a close in London. The Olympic flame has been doused and the flag lowered. Now all we have of the 2012 Summer Games are memories.
And the final weekend in London provided many new memories.
While watching dominant performances are entertaining, it is the surprises that keep us glued to the TV.
Here are some of the biggest surprises from the final weekend in London.
Mexico Shocks Brazil in Soccer Final
Oribe Peralta of Mexico put his team in the lead just 29 seconds into the Olympic final at Wembley Stadium Saturday. His team never looked back.
"I don't know if this was the best match of my career, but what I do know is that this is the most important, because I am here today with a gold medal," Peralta said. "I dreamed about this moment. It is one of those things you don't get to live every day."
Peralta scored another goal in the 75th with a firm header, and the Mexican team held off a late rally from the Brazilian team to hang on to win the country's first Olympic gold in soccer.
The Brazilian squad, while having a long list of achievements of soccer glory, will have to wait another four years before taking another run at winning the country's first Olympic gold medal.
"We're very sorry yet again not to get gold," Brazil coach Mano Menezes said after the loss. "Defeat is part of the maturing process. This group will continue on this path and get ready for 2014."
While it is heartbreaking to see the Brazilians leave with their tail between their legs, the excitement of the Mexican fans as they waved their country's flags and tossed sombreros in the air as their team captured the gold medal will be an everlasting memory.
South African Double-Amputee Oscar Pistorius Becomes Olympic Finalist
It was a long road for Oscar Pistorius to the 4x400-meter relay final Saturday night.
Pistorius is a double-amputee who was born without fibulae. His legs were amputated before he was even a year old.
He won a long battle with track and field officials to prove that the carbon fiber blades he runs on did not give him an edge over his opponents.
After being allowed to run, he was very vocal that his goal in the London Olympics was to head back to South Africa with a medal.
Pistorius and his team qualified to run in the semifinals, but were apparently dead in the water after teammate Ofentse Mogawane got tangled with a Kenyan runner. Mogawane dropped the baton and crashed to the ground, just before he could hand the baton to Pistorius.
Pistorius believed his Olympic dream was over, but after a series of appeals and protest, the Kenyan team whom the South Africans got tangled with were disqualified, and South Africa was placed in the final as the ninth team.
The South African team finished eighth in the final, ahead of Cuba who didn't finish the race.
However, the deafening standing ovation "Blade Runner" received from the 80,000-plus crowd as he ran the final leg of the race is something that will go down as one of the all-time best Olympic moments.
Usain Bolt, Jamaica Shatter World Record in 4x100-Meter Relay Final
While it is no surprise that the Jamaican team won the gold in the 4x100-meter final, the fashion in which they did it was spectacular.
The team made up of the 100-meter and 200-meter gold medalist Usain Bolt, 100-meter and 200-meter runner-up Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater ran their way into the record books in the Olympics' most exciting race.
The Jamaicans finished in 36.84 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the previous world record they set during the world championships last year in Daegu, South Korea.
Just look at it this way—the United States tied the old world record with their time of 37.04, but it was still not enough to beat Bolt and Co.
"It's amazing. It's been wonderful," Bolt said in an interview after the race.
The Bahamas Upsets United States in 4x400-Meter Final
The 4x400-meter relay is a race that had been won by the United States in every Olympics since 1984.
That changed Saturday night, as the Bahamas chased down the United States in the final leg of the race and took home their country's first goal medal.
The Bahamas team finished with a time of 2:56.72, 0.33 seconds better than the U.S.
The Americans were in control until Ramon Miller grabbed the baton for the Bahamas. Miller chased down Angelo Taylor in the anchor leg of the race.
Miller and his teammates pulled off what was one of the biggest upsets at this year's games.
"For me, it's a joyful feeling," said Chris Brown, who ran the opening leg for the Bahamas. "It's been a long journey for me. I've been here for a long time and this is my first Olympic gold medal. I've gotten silver and bronze before. It took me a long time. The United States is a tough team to beat."
Russia takes down Argentina in Bronze Medal Game
While most were focused on the gold-medal basketball game between the United States and Spain, Russia put on an impressive performance in the bronze medal game against Argentina.
Argentina was led by arguably one of the best international competitors ever, Manu Ginobili. Ginobili scored 21, but it was not enough. The Argentinians fell to Russia 81-77.
"This is one of the most painful defeats of my life," Ginobili said.
The bronze was Russia's first post-Soviet Union basketball medal at the Olympics.
The Russians were not considered medal contenders coming into the games, but the bronze is a great reward for a team who had a great Olympic tournament.
"Feels like gold for us," Andrei Kirilenko, who scored 20 points in the game, said.
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