US Olympic Medal Count 2012: Breaking Down USA's Most Dominant Sports

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIAugust 13, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Gold medallists (L-R) Brendan Hansen, Matthew Grevers, Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian of the United States pose following the medal ceremony for the Men's 4x100m Meldey Relay Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The United States of America placed first in the overall medal count at the 2012 London Olympics in a more dominating fashion that we have seen in recent memory.

China, the USA's closest competition, started off hot, but faltered down the stretch and wound up with just 87 medals. The country's top medal sports were diving and swimming.

Russia, the third-place finisher, tallied 82 medals, with 18 coming in track and field and 11 in wrestling.

Here we will examine the sports that the USA dominated the most.


Track and Field

No surprises here, as both the American men and women dominated in track and field to the tune of 29 medals composed of nine gold medals, 13 silver and seven bronze.

Allyson Felix led the way for her country, winning three gold medals in the 200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay. Felix, Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight and Tianna Madison destroyed a 4x100-meter world record that was nearly three decades old by running a time of 40.82 seconds.

Jeter brought home two individual medals of her own. Her effort in the 100-meter dash was bested only by Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She finished third behind Felix and Fraser-Pryce in the 200-meter dash.

Sanya Richards-Ross won an individual gold medal of her own in the 400-meter dash. Her fellow countrywoman, DeeDee Trotter, took the bronze in the same race, crossing the finish line 0.17 seconds later.

Justin Gatlin and Will Claye led the American men with two medals each.



The Americans thoroughly dominated in the pool in the London Games.

Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt combined for 21 medals and were the four most productive American athletes in the Games.

Whether it was individual swims or team swims, the United States won its fair share of races, but it was the way that American swimmers dominated the coverage that was so impressive.

It was specifically Phelps who was responsible for increasing the audience of these Olympics, as everybody wanted to feast their eyes on the spectacle that was his final Olympic Games.

It seems as though there will be a changing of the guard in American swimming when the 2016 Rio Games roll around. Franklin and Schmitt will be the two headliners in four years, while Phelps and Lochte fall back into the shadows.

Hopefully the two women can repeat what they did this summer.



The United States gymnastics program has been very prevalent on the international stage over the last few Olympic Games.

This year, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman led the way for the women's side.

Douglas became the third straight American woman to win the individual all-around gold medal after Carly Patterson in 2004 and Nastia Liukin in 2008.

Raisman took the gold in the floor exercise routine, beating out her nearest competitors by 0.4 points to cruise to victory. She also finished third in the balance beam final.

The two combined to help the United States win the team all-around gold to immortalize themselves in U.S. gymnastics.

We can't forget about Danell Leyva, who won a bronze medal in the men's individual all-around.


Here are the top five countries in the medal table:

Olympic Medal Tracker Gold Silver Bronze
United States Total: 104 46 29 29
China Total: 88 38 27 23
Russia Total: 82 24 25 33
Great Britain Total: 65 29 17 19
Germany Total: 44 11 19 14

Here is a link to the final standings.