Who Has the Most Gold Medals?
The United States won the most medals at the Tokyo Olympics and will be the only country to win more than 100. But on the last day of competition, the race for the most gold was a close competition. between the United States and China. .
This race is especially important for China, which has tried to harness its youth for Olympic glory since joining the Summer Olympic movement in 1984.
With just a few events to go, the United States won the race on Sunday afternoon scoring 39 gold medals.
At the start of the day in Tokyo, China had 38 gold medals against 36 for the United States. But the American teams went on to win gold medals in women’s basketball and women’s volleyball, and Jennifer Valente won the women’s omnium in track cycling, placing the United States in the lead by one.
China had two gold medal opportunities, but finished fourth in the rhythmic gymnastics group all-around final and with a silver medal in women’s middleweight boxing.
By the time Richard Torrez Jr. of the United States was about to step into the ring for a super-heavyweight final, the Americans had already claimed the most gold medals.
To establish itself as a sports superpower, the Chinese government decades ago developed an official “gold medal strategy” that depended on thousands of full-time sports schools, with coaches seeking out young talent in the field. villages and towns. In addition to traditional strongholds like table tennis and badminton, Chinese authorities have deliberately targeted underfunded sports in the West, such as women’s sports, or less publicized activities with many medals offered in multiple weight divisions or categories of events.
It didn’t matter that there was a deep public interest in these sports in China. Sports schools started from scratch with programs in weightlifting, taekwondo, canoeing and more.
At home in 2008, China achieved its ambitions by exceeding the number of gold medals for the first time. But the country slipped to London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016, amid public reservations about whether the sports system was worth it. Few children reach elite level and even those who do are not guaranteed good jobs after retirement.
Even though government officials stressed that they wanted to encourage mass sports and overall fitness, the quest for gold continued.
It paid off in Tokyo. China has won gold medals in sports it has dominated in the past, such as weightlifting, diving, gymnastics and table tennis. But he also scored victories in canoeing, cycling, rowing and track and field, and highlighted his growing strength in swimming. The majority of China’s gold medals have come from women or mixed team events.