Let’s see who’s won, shall we?
Top Five Medal Winners:
Gold Silver Bronze
China: 31 19 14
USA: 39 15 19
Great Britain: 18 11 11
South Korea: 11 5 6
France: 8 9 9
The 2012 Olympics began with 204 countries participating, 80 of them never having won a medal. Today that number of non-medal countries has dropped to 77 thanks to three athletes.
Grenada celebrates today! This small island country has it’s first Olympic medal, and a gold at that! Kirani James, a 19-year-old, won the gold for his country in the 400 meter race. He said, “This is to my mind the most important event that ever happened to our country.” James is a full time student in Alabama. I am constantly amazed at how many world class athletes attend school or train in the United States.
To celebrate, they have declared a holiday in Grenada. It must be truly exciting to win your country’s first medal. That is not something anyone in the United States can ever experience today.
Cyprus has competed in the Olympic games since Moscow in 1980. It took until 2012 for Cyprus to gain their first Olympic medal. I love seeing countries obtain this dream. Pavlos Kontides won the silver medal in sailing Laser class. Pavlos has been sailing since he was 9. I told my 8-year-old today, “You are young enough to set your sights on a goal (Olympic medals) and achieve it. But you have to want to do it.” Guess I was right. I wonder how the country celebrated.
Guatemala also earned their first EVER Olympic medal. Erick Borrondo, a 20-k race walker, won silver. Yes, this is the event that one thinks, “that looks really odd,” but I bet you can’t do it! I would be too tempted to run just a bit since it is faster. But Erick walked the entire way, winning his country’s first medal. Guatemala has been competing in the Olympics since 1952. Borrondo hopes to inspire young people in his country to sports and away from violence. The president of Guatemala called to tell him congratulations and inform him that people were in the streets to celebrate!
England rejoices with their historic medal winning. The 40 medals earned so far is way more than they have earned in 104 years! The most England has obtained has been 19. I know that the host countries tend to do better than they did in previous years, but London has hosted three times now. And this year is the best. I hope they continue to set a new medal record for their Olympic history. Even I find myself rooting for Great Britain when an American athlete is not in the running.