Despite trailing China for the majority of the 30th Olympiad in London, the United States now has 83 medals overall compared to China’s 79.
In U.S. men’s track and field, Eastern Michigan University alumnus Jamie Nieto, 35, ranked 6th overall in the men’s high jump final competition, finishing one missed jump away from a bronze medal.
Nieto told Lauren Gustus of USA Today he was appreciative to participate in the Olympic Games and was satisfied with his performance.
“I’ve had an amazing season this year. I’ve got nothing to complain about. Thanks to God for helping me be here,” he told Gustus.
Nieto, who was born in Chula Vista, Calif., earned his degree in business administration from EMU in 1999.
In women’s track and field, the U.S. has been setting the pace with Sanya Richards-Ross winning the gold in the 400-meter and teammate DeeDee Trotter taking the bronze. The U.S. women’s team also took the gold in the high jump competition with Jennifer Suhr’s impressive 4.75-meter vault.
Galen Rupp of the U.S. men’s track and field team won the silver medal in the 10,000-meter race, which is the first medal the U.S. has won in that event since the 1964 Tokyo Games 48 years ago.
“If I could be an inspiration to others, that would be the greatest compliment ever,” Rupp told USA Today after his upset over the heavily favored third-place winner Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia.
East African athletes have been the heavy favorite for years in long distance events and Rupp’s coach Alberto Salazar, who also coached Great Britain’s 10,000-meter first place winner Mo Farrah, was happy for his athletes’ upsets.
“For 20 years now, American kids, white or black, believed they had no chance in distance running if they’re not of East African descent,” Salazar said. “We’ve got a lot of white kids and black kids running high school distances. Up until now, they have not believed that Americans could compete with the East Africans.”
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, winner of the 100-meter race from the Beijing Games, was able to defend his title of the “fastest man on earth” by winning the gold with a time of 9.63 seconds; fellow Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake took the silver and American Justin Gatlin the bronze.
Team USA basketball for men and women has continued its dominance during the games. Both the men and women are 5-0 and have been blowing teams out in the process. The men are coming off a victory against Argentina 126-97, while the women just routed Canada 91-48.
Both teams are on historic runs as the women’s team has won 39 Olympic games in a row for a 20-year winning streak, with the men taking 47 straight international games and 14 straight Olympic wins.
These Olympic Games, which will draw to a close August 12, will see the end of the most storied and successful Olympian to date, as Michael Phelps competed in the final Olympic race of his career.
Phelps, who denied reports he will compete in the 2016 Rio Games, beat Larisa Latynina’s previous record of 18 for most medals received and will be retiring with 22 Medals. Eighteen of Phelps’ medals are gold, which gives him more Olympic gold medals than Carl Lewis and Jessie Owens combined.