Medal Count 2021 Olympics: Updated Standings, Highlights After Day 16

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2021

SAITAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 8: Team USA celebrate during the medal ceremony of the Women's Basketball Gold Medal Final between United States and Japan on day sixteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 8, 2021 in Saitama, Japan (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

As the Tokyo Games came to a close Sunday, American women helped the country take the lead in total gold medals thanks to victories in basketball, volleyball and cycling omnium.

It was American Jennifer Valente's victory in the latter, in which she survived a frightening multi-racer crash that included a previous two-time gold medalist, that earned the United States both its first win in the sport and its 39th gold medal of the Games.

Team USA @TeamUSA

Add her to the history books. ✅ @usacycling x #TokyoOlympics

Her win capped off an Olympics in which female athletes deservedly grabbed headlines for their excellence on the field, court, mat and in the pool.

Women accounted for 66 of the United States' medals in the Tokyo Games, a record for any nation in Olympic history.


Final Medal Count

  1. United States: 39 gold, 113 overall
  2. China: 38 gold, 88 overall
  3. Japan: 27 gold, 58 overall
  4. Great Britain: 22 gold, 56 overall
  5. ROC: 20 gold, 71 overall
  6. Australia: 17 gold, 46 overall
  7. Netherlands: 10 gold, 36 overall
  8. France: 10 gold, 33 overall
  9. Germany: 10 gold, 37 overall
  10. Italy: 10 gold, 40 overall

Complete list at Olympics.com.


7 Straight Golds for Team USA in Women's Hoops

Team USA women's basketball won its seventh straight Olympic gold medal Sunday, defeating host country Japan 90-75. It was a win that further solidified the country's dominance in international play and, for two of its most respected players, established their legacies as the most decorated.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each won her fifth gold medal, making them the most decorated basketball players in United States Olympic history, regardless of gender.

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No context. Just enjoy this gem 💎 @DianaTaurasi | @S10Bird https://t.co/7k68yclb4r

"They've done so much for USA Basketball that the rest of us players are just continuing to try and return the favor and make sure that they realize how much we appreciate them," teammate Breanna Stewart said, per ESPN's Mechelle Voepel.

Their leadership and superb play from Stewart, Brittney Griner and reigning WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson fueled the team in a mostly uncontested competition.

Griner and Wilson dominated the middle Sunday to the tune of 30 and 19 points, respectively, while Stewart added another 14.

The game marked Dawn Staley's final as head coach as she stepped down following the win. "Our country has a lot of great coaches that can get the job done. Me, being a part of I believe six, that's enough. I'm full, I'm full," she said, per USA Today's Dan Wolken.

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Dawn: "Our country has a lot of great coaches that can get the job done. Me, being a part of I believe six, that’s enough. I’m full, I’m full."

Takada Maki, arguably Japan's best during these Games, scored 17 points for the host country en route to a silver medal.


US Volleyball Makes History with 1st Gold

Team USA women's volleyball didn't just defeat Brazil to capture the organization's first gold medal Sunday in the Olympics, it blanked the runners-up, beating them in straight sets. A dominant team throughout the Games, it had lost only one of its eight total matches over the course of the competition.

Jordan Larson, in her third Olympics, delivered the final kill to send Brazil to its first loss. She spoke on her emotions following the victory, per Olivia Reiner of USA Today. "I've cried more in the last 24 hours than I think I have in my career. I'm not an emotional player, emotional person, but I think just the emotions got the best of me. I'm now in kind of this euphoria and like shock state."

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We don't know about you, but hearing @usavolleyball sing We Are The Champions after winning #TokyoOlympics gold has us in our feelings. #OlympicHERstory https://t.co/ZzIDppegT1

Also in shock? Brazil, which entered the contest unbeaten but was soundly defeated.

American coach Karch Kiraly touted the credibility of Brazil and its history of denying the U.S. in Olympic competition. "Brazil is a legend in indoor volleyball, both on the women's side and the men's side...we lost to them in the final in 2008 in Beijing and in 2012 in London."

Team USA accomplished the goal without star spiker Jordan Thompson, who also missed Friday's semifinal against Serbia, making the team's victories in both rounds that much more impressive and memorable.

Showing grit and tenacity, a trademark of the United States' efforts in this year's Games, the women of Team USA volleyball now take their place in the history books.