The United States got things started in Rio by winning the first gold medal up for grabs - the women's 10m air rifle. Then, 16 days and more than 300 medals later, Team USA closed the Summer Olympics by winning the final one, courtesy a blowout victory in the men's gold medal basketball game. In between, the Americans put up one of the great Olympics in history, reasserting itself as the nation to beat in sport's biggest and greatest competition.
AFP/Getty ImagesMARTIN BUREAU
The United States of domination
The United States dominated the medal count with 46 gold medals and 121 medals overall, the latter being the most for any country since the Soviet Union in 1988. It's the most the U.S. had won at any games outside its own borders.
Americans won 51 more medals than any other country, the most dominant Olympic romp since the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, when the U.S. won 30 percent of the medals in what was an entirely different era of sport. Simply put, this is the biggest Olympic domination in a generation. (For this stat and all other ones that relate, we've ignored the boycotted Games of 1980 and 1984. Those weren't fair fights.) One last one: Team USA had 19 more golds than the second-place finisher (Great Britain, in an upset of China), the biggest such margin in 76 years.
AFP/Getty ImagesFRANCK FIFE
No, really, it was an Olympic-sized blowout.
Let that sink in: 51 more medals than any other country. Not even the most optimistic projection came within a dozen medals of that number. In comparison, the average difference between the 1st and 2nd place finishers over the last 50 years has been 17.9 and there were five Games in which they were separated by 10 or less. The U.S. also had the most individual golds, silvers and bronzes, the first time that'd happened to any country since 1976. Go back to 1936, when the Olympics as we know them began, and no country had ever won every specific count by more than 10 medals. In 2012, the U.S. won the medal count in London with 46 golds, 28 silvers and 29 bronze for 103 total. This time around, the red, white and blue won the exact same amount of golds but crushed its last Olympics' showing with nine more silvers and nine more bronzes. That even makes up for Lochte.
AFP/Getty ImagesTOSHIFUMI KITAMURA
Crabcakes and Olympic golds, that's what Maryland does
If Maryland were its own country, it'd have finished 6th on the medal count. Athletes from the Old Line State won a whopping 14 gold medals at the Games - with 10 coming from Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky. Helen Maroulis, Angel McCoughtry, Kyle Snyder, Kevin Durant and Jack Conger - yeah, that one - were the others. (MD will bring home 15 golds, but Conger and Phelps won one in the same event.) Though it's an inexact science determining hometowns of Olympic athletes, it's believed that Maryland finished third among all 50 states behind California and Florida.
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
Rule in the pool
U.S. Swimming, which entered the Olympics with as much uncertainty as its seen in decades, had its best-ever performance, winning 16 golds (a record) and bringing home 33 medals overall (which ties a mark set in 2000). And they were far more than Phelps and Ledecky, as first-timers Maya Dirado, Simone Manuel, Ryan Murphy and Lilly King, among others, won golds.
AFP/Getty ImagesODD ANDERSEN
Phelps was phantastic for the phinal time
There are so many Michael Phelps stats that we had to make a separate list. But here's one of the most amazing: Over the last four Olympics, dating back to 2004, Michael Phelps has won the most medals in every single Summer Games - Athens, Beijing, London and Rio. This time he had six, one more than Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles' five. In leading the world count four times in a row, obviously Phelps has been the top American too. And that's quite a feat, as it's been at least 40 years since anyone has gone back-to-back (not to mention four times) to lead the US medal count. (It'd take hours more research to confirm, but there's no doubt Phelps is the only to do it four straight times and there's a reasonable chance he's the only to go back-to-back.)
Getty ImagesIan MacNicol
Super Saturday, Part II
The U.S. won five gold medals on three days: Day 6 (first Thursday - Phelps and the Simones), Day 13 (second Thursday - track and Helen Maroulis) and Day 15 (second Saturday - Matthew Centrowitz, track relays). The best day overall was that second Saturday - which had two silver and four bronze to go along with the five golds. That came four years after Great Britain's own Super Saturday.
Getty ImagesClive Brunskill
Kim Rhode medaling, death and taxes
Kim Rhode, 37, medaled in her sixth straight Olympics with a bronze in women's skeet shooting. When Rhode made her debut 20 years ago, Dan O'Brien won the decathlon, Kerri Strug was doing her vault, Karch Kiraly was winning beach volleyball, Kurt Angle took home gold in wrestling and Mitch Richmond, Hakeem Olajuwon, Reggie Miller, David Robinson and Penny Hardaway were part of the second Dream Team.
Getty ImagesSean M. Haffey
Early on, it looked as if Brazil was going to have a historically bad Olympics for a host nation. In the end, the country, buoyed by huge golds by the soccer and volleyball teams, finished with a more-than respectable 7/6/6/19. The seven golds and 19 overall medals were the most in Brazil's history and the 13th-place finish on the medal count was the nation's best since its inaugural Games in 1920 when the 21 Brazilian athletes in Antwerp won one medal of each color, good enough to finish 15th (only 22 nations earned medals). It's a finish almost on par with what Greece did as 2004 hosts, though Brazil has about 20 times more people in it than the Olympic creators. No matter, it was a tremendous effort from Team Brazil.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Spreading the Olympic wealth
A record 87 countries won a medal in Rio. Back in Seoul in 1988 that number was just 52. Among Rio's first-time winners were: Fiji, which took gold in rugby to win its first ever Olympic medal; Kosovo, which took a women's judo silver in its first ever Olympic appearance; Puerto Rico, which won its first gold with Monica Puig's surprise victory in women's tennis
Getty ImagesClive Brunskill
The Olympics has never heard so many national anthems
There were almost five-dozen different national anthems played in Rio, with 59 countries winning gold - another record. That included Jordan, which saw Ahmad Abu-Ghaush win the nation's first medal in style with a gold in taekwondo. Azerbaijan took home 18 medals, its most ever. Malaysia had won six medals in its history before making five podiums in Rio (gold is the next goal). India couldn't ride the momentum from its best-ever Olympics (six medals in London), winning just two Rio medals - though that's still tied for third all-time in the country's history.
AFP/Getty ImagesKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV
China sent its largest Olympic delegation ever (416 athletes) but finished third in the medal count with its fewest medals since 2004. China was down 12 golds, 11 silvers and up five bronzes from London. Not a great showing, but hardly a disaster, right? Wrong, apparently. It's led to "many Chinese asking if the nation’s once insatiable appetite for medals has hit a limit," according to The New York Times. There are all sorts of excuses being made (judges, a softer millennial generation, the state sports system, less willingness by parents to let their children into said system) but what's wrong with chalking this up to the natural ebbs and flows every country has? The U.S. has won five of the last six medal counts (the only loss was to China in 2008) but before that hadn't topped the previous four. (Remember, we're boycotting boycotted results.)
Getty ImagesClive Rose
OK, China's disaster.
OK, to be fair, the Chinese gymnastics team laid an egg. In London, they won the medal count with 5/4/3/12. In Rio, no Chinese gymnast won a gold (unthinkable) and the team, despite having the fourth-most medals, officially was 13th on the medal count behind Greece, Netherlands, Canada and, embarassingly, North Korea. Overall, China went 0/1/4/5 leading the state-run China News Service to opine: "Looking at the medal count, using the word trauma is not going too far." Well, as long as we're keeping things in perspective.
AFP/Getty ImagesTOSHIFUMI KITAMURA
Who won the most with the least?
Grenada (1 medal for 106,825 people) and Bahamas (1 gold medal for every 388,019) won the per capita medal counts, though they were of low sample size, each having just one medal in the respective categories. Among countries with more than 10 medals, Jamaica had the best total medals per capita ratio (11 medals for 1 to 247,812 people). They also had the best number of countries with 5+ golds (1 for 454,000 people). (Maryland actually would have had that beat, with 1 gold for every 427,000 people.) The U.S. was a respectable 40th out of 87 in medal per capita (1 for 2.7 million people) and around 30th with 1 gold medal for every 7.4 million people. (Here's the link to that site. It's fun.)
Getty ImagesPaul Gilham
Who did the most with the most?
The best showing for a top-10 medalist was Australia's 1 medal for every 820,000 people. For top-10 gold medalists, Hungary won the honors: 1 gold for every 1.2 million. Amongst countries with more than 50 million citizens, Great Britain was best in both categories. India finished last in medals per capita while Indonesia was last in golds per capita, which isn't an awful stat considering you have to win gold to make the list.
Getty ImagesVaughn Ridley
France had the most disappointing success
France won 42 medals, only 10 of which were gold, the worst ratio for any top-10 country. Meanwhile, South Korea had one fewer gold and only 21 total medals. France's is obviously the result you'd choose yet South Korea's seems more impressive, no? Canada's four gold/22 medal showing was the worst ratio for any top-25 country. But Azerbaijan wins the prize. Of their very-impressive 18 medals, just one brought them to the top of the podium.
Getty ImagesSean M. Haffey
Which countries won the medal count in every sport?
Archery: South Korea; Badminton: China; Basketball: USA; Boxing: Cuba; Canoe: Germany; Cycling: Great Britain; Diving: China; Equestrian: Germany; Fencing: Russia; Gymnastics: USA; Judo: Japan; Rowing: Great Britain; Sailing: Great Britain; Shooting: Italy; Swimming: USA; Table Tennis: China; Taekwondo: South Korea; Tennis: USA; Track and field: USA; Weightlifting: China; Wrestling: Russia.