This year’s Olympic Games, which took place on August 5th through August 21st were a proud time for Americans as records were broken and history was made by amazing American athletes like Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming; Michael Phelps, who beat his own world record this year; and the now legendary American gymnast Simone Biles. All of them stunned the world with their sheer talent and seemingly superhuman skill.
Due to superb performances by all U.S. athletes this year, Team USA won the most gold medals out of all of the other countries that competed, having earned 121 medals total. The United States won the largest number of gold, silver and bronze medals, which is a feat that has only happened six other times in Olympic history, and is a huge accomplishment for the U.S.
When asked why he believes that the U.S. did so well in the Olympics this year, avid sports watcher Anthony Smith answered, “For one, the United States trains its athletes very well, and they push themselves to be the best of the best. I’m not saying other athletes don’t do this, I’m just saying that U.S. athletes have heart, willpower, and drive. American athletes want to prove that America isn’t the snobby laughing stock that it appears to be, and also want to prove to themselves and others that they can be winners, and that their hard work finally paid off.”
This drive can be seen in many American athletes who have something to prove and fight for, whether it be defending an Olympic title or showing the world that they are special.
For example, Carmelo Anthony and Michael Phelps who are both retiring this year and will never compete in the Olympics again, and have left their legendary mark in the Olympics.
As for Simone Biles, who finally got her chance to shine in the Olympics despite her rough childhood, she has shown that her past doesn’t define her, and that she is a winner.
When asked what she believes these amazing accomplishments will do for America’s image, Eva Britt, who has been watching the Olympics for years, answered, “People will finally stop seeing us as that one dumb out of shape country that doesn’t follow the rules. We proved that we were true champions who deserve respect, not constant insults. I think America really showed how much heart we have, and that’s what helped us come out on top.”
Heart is exactly what helped America be so successful this year. Whether it be fencing, track and field, basketball, or swimming, American athletes demonstrated perseverance in the face of difficult odds.. Even when they were thought to have been disqualified, America’s track and field team finished their race anyway, and gave it their all.
American is a nation that differs from others. It is a nation of fighters, survivors, and winners, and that is exactly what American Olympians proved during the 2016 Olympics.