Rio Olympics 2016: Americans' medal count highest for any Games outside U.S.

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Led by Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky, the Americans posted a milestone medal total in Brazil.

Rio Olympics 2016: Americans' medal count highest for any Games outside U.S.

Led by Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky, the Americans posted a milestone medal total in Brazil.

Whatever concerns they might have had heading to the Olympics, the United States' athletes felt at home in Rio.

Team USA's final medal count of 121 was its highest ever at an Olympics held abroad, topping the previous mark of 110 in Beijing eight years ago. Only the boycott-marred 1984 Los Angeles Games (174) and the almost exclusively American 1904 St. Louis Olympics (231) produced more trips to the podium for U.S. athletes.

With a strong finish Sunday that featured three gold medals, the U.S. also matched its record of 46 golds away from home established in London four years earlier.

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China was second in overall medals with 70, 26 of them gold, while Great Britain placed third at 67 (27 gold). Russia was fourth at 56, and with that comes the asterisk attached to all other countries' medal totals from Rio.

With dozens of Russian athletes excluded from the Games because of doping penalties imposed sport-by-sport, the nation's total obviously wasn't as high as it otherwise would have been. There's no telling how many of the banned Russians would have bumped Americans from the podium, but the sour taste undoubtedly will linger for the U.S. team's traditional rivals.

Michael Phelps led the way among all Olympians in Rio with six individual medals, all but one gold. Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles were next with five each, again all but one of them gold.

 

 

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