USA Tops China to Win Most Gold Medals and Most Overall Medals at 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 8, 2021

United States players pose with their gold medals during the medal ceremony for women's basketball at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The United States finished the Tokyo Olympics with the most gold medals and most overall medals.

China had the most gold medals throughout much of the Games, but Team USA barely edged out the Chinese 39-38 on the final day of action.

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<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamUSA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamUSA</a> finishes with the most gold and total medals at the 2020 Olympics in the final medal count πŸ₯‡ <a href="https://t.co/zF9XUgA0nj">pic.twitter.com/zF9XUgA0nj</a>

The full medal list is available at Olympics.com.

The 113 medals overall fell short of the 121 the United States won at the 2016 Olympics, but it is still the team's second-best total since 1984.

There was a dramatic finish to the gold-medal race, with China leading the United States by two entering Sunday. Team USA pulled ahead thanks to wins by the women's basketball and volleyball teams, as well as an individual gold for cyclist Jennifer Valente.

In boxing, two Americans and one Chinese fighter were competing in gold-medal bouts on the final day, but all three took home silver.

Swimmer Caeleb Dressel was the big winner from an individual perspective, taking home five gold medals to lead all competitors. He won the 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter freestyle on his own and led the 4x100-meter freestyle and 4x100-meter medley relays.

The only Americans who have won more golds at a single Olympics are Michael Phelps (twice) and Mark Spitz.

Australian swimmer Emma McKeon was the most decorated athlete overall at these Games, as the 27-year-old won seven medals, including four gold.

Swimming was especially key for the United States, producing 11 gold and 30 total medals. The country also took home 26 medals in athletics. China thrived in diving with 12 medals, including seven gold in eight events.