Committee Olympic USA
Summary of USA at the Olympics
As much as the swimming portion of the Olympics has been about saying goodbye to the legendary Michael Phelps, it has also been about introducing Katie Ledecky to non-swimming fans.
The 19-year-old American is building a legend of her own, capping her Rio Olympics with a stunning win in the women's 800-meter freestyle Friday night. Stunning not for the fact that she won, but in how she did it.
Toward the end of the eight-lap race, the television cameras had to pull back so viewers could see Ledecky's competitors. Ledecky broke her own world record with a time of 8:04.79 and finished a staggering 11 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jazmin Carlin from Great Britain.
Ledecky has five gold medals, having added a quartet this year in addition to a gold in London in the 800 free.
And if the IOC let women swim the 1,500 meters like the men do, she'd have one more gold.
She'll leave Rio having set two world records.
As for Phelps, he didn’t win his final individual race in the Olympics, the 100-meter butterfly. Phelps was one of three swimmers who tied for silver. One more hundredth of a second and any of them would have been fourth. Joseph Schooling won the race, earning the first ever gold for Singapore.
Schooling has long cited Phelps as his idol. In 2008, Schooling's parents helped to host a meet with the US swimming champion, where the Singaporean met Phelps for the first time.
The other two medal races Friday were won by Americans. Anthony Ervin became the oldest Olympic swimming champion with gold in the men's 50-meter freestyle and Maya Dirado earned her first gold of the Rio Games in the women's 200-meter breaststroke.
The United States women’s soccer team - which had never failed to medal in the Olympics -- wasn’t nearly as successful. It lost to Sweden in a penalty kick shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation play.
US goalie Hope Solo - who allowed Sweden’s final penalty kick -- told reporters that Sweden played like cowards. The better team lost, she said.
Track and field competition got underway Friday, and a record fell on the first day. Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana smashed the decades-old mark in the 10,000 meters.
She finished in 29:17.45, 14 seconds faster than the record set in 1993 (When Ayana was 2).
American Michelle Carter - whose Twitter handle is @ShotDiva - became the first US woman to win gold in the shot put.
On the cycling track, Bradley Wiggins - who won the Tour de France four years ago -and his British teammates set a world record in a pulsating men’s pursuit final victory over Australia. Ref. CNN.