SBD/August 13, 2012/Olympics

London Games Prove A Huge Success For U.S. Athletes, USOC

The men's basketball Gold Medal is among 104 total medals won by the U.S.
The London Games featured a "dominant display by the Americans," as Team USA won the overall medal count for the fifth straight Summer Olympics and "reclaimed the gold medal count" from China, according to Kate Hairopoulos of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The U.S. ended up with 104 total medals and 46 Golds, and USOC Chair Larry Probst said, "The American public has high expectations for our Olympic team. There was a lot of opinion about where we would finish. ... We are extremely proud of what our athletes accomplished. We like to come in first, and there’s nothing wrong with that” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/13). In Newark, Steve Politi wrote, "The areas of success were no surprise: The USOC expected to win 25 to 30 medals in swimming (the final tally was 31) and 25 in track and field (a very impressive 29)." U.S. Gold Medal-winning wrestler Jordan Burroughs said, "I saw that in 2008, China beat us in the medal race. I wanted to be a guy that can help us out." Overall, USOC officials "spoke glowingly of the experience in London and the hope to replicate that across the Atlantic." The earliest a U.S. city could host the Summer Olympics is '24 or '28, and Probst said that the USOC "would work to identify candidates to host the Olympics in the future" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/12).

WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE...: In Phoenix, Dan Bickley wrote, "From the pool to the track to the soccer stadium and back, the great showings from U.S. athletes have created strong momentum." While Americans "might forget about the Olympics in the coming weeks, the U.S. Olympic Committee has a great chance to move this triumph forward and recruit more sponsors." USOC CEO Scott Blackmun: "We had 25 to 30 athletes that finished fourth, just off the podium. Those stories as well as the great stories of the people on the podium resonate with people. They resonate with people who buy the products of our sponsors. They resonate with people who watch NBC's great broadcast. So it's definitely a factor." Bickley wrote, "More importantly, the 2012 Games should spark a groundswell of interest among young American athletes" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/12).

NO SHAME IN THEIR GAME: In DC, Mike Wise wrote the U.S. "shouldn’t apologize for cleaning up at the podium in these Games and blowing by China in the medal totals the past few days." But neither do U.S. athletes nor the USOC "brass here have to gloat in a way that comes across as, 'We’re American Exceptionalists, take it or leave it, jack.'" Probst said, "This is a competition. And I think it’s absolutely great that we’re leading in the medal count, both on golds and in total medals -- the last time we won both was in Athens.” He added, “I like to hear the ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ a lot” (WASHINGTON POST, 8/12). NBCSPORTS.com's Alan Abrahamson wrote the London Games were "arguably the best-ever," and reviews of the Games "will be especially good" in the U.S. (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/12). 
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