by Brian Tinsman

WASHINGTON — The closing ceremonies for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad were conducted on Sunday night, ending a wildly successful Summer Olympics for the United States, and the Greater D.C. region in particular.

As is customary in the modern Olympic Games, the United States led the country medal counts in gold (46), silver (37), bronze (38) and overall medals (121). This was the highest medal count since 1984 (174).

China came in second place for overall medals (51) this time, marking the largest margin between first and second by any country in a non-boycotted Olympics since 1932.

Why was this year so special? Athletes hailing from and training in the Great Washington area had a disproportionate impact on the entire Olympic Games.

Up until August 8, all of the U.S. gold medals had been won by D.C.-area athletes, and five of the team’s 12 total.

Consider that Maryland, a state with just more than 6 million people, won 14 gold medals and 18 medals overall. Looking at the national medal count, only 13 countries had more than 18 medals.

Here is a look at all D.C.-area athletes, with an asterisk denoting those who won a medal and multiple medals in parentheses. Medals are counted once for team sports, so multiple teammates from the same sport do not increase the medal count.

Maryland Olympians (via NBC-4):

Michael Phelps*(6)

Katie Ledecky*(5)

Kevin Durant*

Carmelo Anthony*

Jack Conger*

Chase Kalisz*

Matthew Centrowitz*

Angel McCoughtry*

Aaron Russell*

Kyle Snyder*

Helen Maroulis*

Gary Antuanne Russell

Joe Morris

Ashley Nee

Katie Zaferes

*Won an Olympic Medal


Virginia was also effective, bringing in 11 medals including the U.S.’s first gold medal, from Ginny Thrasher in the 10-meter rifle competition. If Virginia were its own country, it would have finished 22nd in medals, tied with Jamaica, Sweden, Cuba, Ukraine and Poland.

Virginia Olympians:

Gabby Douglas*

Leah Smith*(2)

Townley Haas*

LaShawn Merritt*(2)

David Verburg*

Kristi Castlin*

Shakur Stevenson*

Ginny Thrasher*

Reid Priddy*

Carmen Farmer

Ali Krieger

Matt Miller

Stefanie Fee

Lauren Kieffer

Lucas Kozeniesky

Francena McCorory

Byron Robinson

Denis Kudla

*Won an Olympic Medal


D.C. Olympian: Katharine Holmes


The U.S. also increased its all-time lead on medals in the modern Olympics to 2,681, more than double its former foes in the Soviet Union (1,204), and more than three times as many as Great Britain (806).

With so many young world-class athletes, this region has the potential to disrupt world competition for years to come.


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