Both the U.S. men and women basketball team lived up to expectations and brought home the gold. The men defeated Spain for the second time to earn Olympic gold. The game was a close one, but the American team, led by Kevin Durant, was good enough to win 107-100. The Americans led the game by just one point after three quarters, and the game was close throughout. Kevin Durant scored 30 points and James had 19. James also joined Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold in the same year. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We didn’t want it easy,” LeBron James said. “A lot of teams have won gold easy. We didn’t want it that way. We’re a competitive team, and we love when it gets tight. That’s when our will and determination kind of shows. It was the same way in ’08.”
The U.S. women defeated France to earn their fifth straight Olympic gold medal. The game was not even close, with the Americans winning easily 86-50. “It just shows the depth and talent in our country. Women’s basketball, it’s our sport — it’s our sport,” said Diana Taurasi, who has been a part of the last three gold medals. “We grew up playing since we were little and give it every single little bit of energy we have.”
Jake Varner earned the U.S. its second gold in wrestling by defeating Valerie Andriitsev of Ukraine 1-0, 1-0 in men’s 96-kilogram freestyle. Along with Jodran Burrough’s gold in the 74 kilogram weight-class, this was the fist time the U.S. had multiple gold medalists in men’s wrestling since 1996.
On the final day of competition, the overall standings reflect that the U.S. dominated both the overall medal lead and the gold medal lead, with 104, and 46 respectively. China was the only country within range, with 86 total medals and 38 golds.
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