: Aug 11, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Simone Biles (USA) and Alexandra Raisman (USA) celebrate with their medals during the women's individual all-around final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Team USA Makes History: Katie Ledecky and Women’s 3×3 Basketball Take Gold

Team USA’s presence at the Tokyo Olympics has been nothing short of remarkable. As of Wednesday, they lead the total medal count between all countries with 31 top-three finishes.  The US has earned 11 Gold Medals, sitting with the third most after China (13) and Japan (12). They have also clenched 11 Silvers and nine Bronzes. In the process of earning their accolades, many historic moments have been marked.

Katie Ledecky Wins 1500m Freestyle

American swimmer, Katie Ledecky finished in first place during the first-ever 1500m freestyle swim in Olympic history. Her Gold Medal was earned by a time of 15 minutes and 37.34 seconds. Her teammate, Erica Sullivan, earned a Silver Medal 4.07 seconds later. Katie shared her celebrations on Twitter by thanking her teammates and fans for their support.

https://twitter.com/katieledecky/status/1420366329769431045

Katie won the 1500m about an hour after she took 5th place in the 200m freestyle – her lowest ever finish in the Olympics. Her impressive turn-around win marks the 6th Olympic Gold Medal of her career. She is the most decorated female swimmer in history.

3×3 Basketball Makes Olympic Debut

This year’s Olympics held the first ever 3×3 Basketball tournament. Unfortunately, the US men were unable to qualify. But the women fully represented by  earning a historic Gold Medal. Team USA beat the Russian Olympic Committee in the final match with a score of 18-15. The championship team was comprised WNBA stars Kelsey Plum, Stefanie Dolson, Jackie Young, and Allisha Gray. The victory was especially meaningful for Plum, who sat out during the 2020 season due to a torn Achilles tendon. Fans were inspired by her story, saying it is a reminder to “trust the process”.

https://twitter.com/Lvallejocolom/status/1420397320324141057

Simone Biles Withdraws from All-Around Competition

Although many athletes are having breakthrough performances in Tokyo, Simone Biles is experiencing an off competition. The clear favorite to win has decided to withdraw from the gymnastics all-around final. On Tuesday, Simone dropped out of the team final. She stumbled off the vault before withdrawing from the remaining events. Her teammates fought through the rest of the competition without her to earn themselves a Silver Medal. USA gymnastics shares their support for Simone’s brave decision, claiming it “shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

This is the first time at the Olympics an athlete chose their mental health over the competition. Simone’s decision sparks a necessary discussion about mental health issues among athletes. Many people have mixed opinions on Simone’s withdrawal. However, the support for her is overwhelming. French soccer player, Paul Pogba, and former First Lady, Michelle Obama, shared their thoughts on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/paulpogba/status/1420405183486517251

https://twitter.com/MichelleObama/status/1420202408215564288

Coming Up Next

It is unclear whether or not Simone will compete in any individual finals at the Games. However, Team USA still has plenty of chances to take the lead in Gold Medals. Jade Carey and Suni Lee will be competing in the all-around Gymnastics final on Thursday. Swimming continues tonight with the men’s 100m freestyle finals. Team USA’s Caeleb Dressel is entering with the best time out from the preliminary rounds. We can also look forward to Track and Field events beginning on Friday.

About Asia Cymone Smith

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