the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games They are already in history and in basketball they (almost) always have a history: beyond accidental bumps, The United States has become a champion in the male and female sub-brands by Seventh time in the last eight editions. Kevin Durant has matched Carmelo Anthony’s record with a third gold medal Sue Bird and Diana Torassi take home a fifth gold medal– NBA and WNBA stars enter their names in the Golden Pages of World Basketball.
The United States has previously won gold medals in basketball, but Their Olympic dominance has grown even more since NBA players were allowed to participate in 1992 from this event. Between 1972 and 1988 they barely won two golds (without participating in Moscow 1980 and without the Soviet Union being a competitor in Los Angeles 1984). Since Barcelona 1992, they have not only once risen to the top rung on the podium: It was in Athens in 2004, when Argentina pushed them to third place. At the same time In 20 editions of the Olympic men’s basketball tournament, they missed the podium in Moscow.
Its predominance is greater among women, as explained by the team In Tokyo, he only won one match with a difference of less than 10 points (81-72 for Nigeria in first appearance) and that Accumulate 55! consecutive victories In this tournament that He hasn’t lost since the 1992 Barcelona semi-finalsevent, in which it ranked third. Everything has been gold medals since then, coinciding with the development of the 1996 Atlanta champion team full of legends who later participated in the WNBA, a competition that began in 1997 And in it all the champions of the 2020 Olympics compete (the same thing happens with the NBA).
The WNBA never lost. The NBA hasn’t fallen that far with Puerto Rico, Lithuania and Argentina in 2004 and with France in 2020. Basketball has grown internationally in the past 30 years, but the United States is still at the forefront of the sport, which is something Oddly enough, it’s still far from happening in any other Olympic team sport (football, volleyball, handball, field hockey or ice and water polo).
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In the last eight editions of the Olympic Games, the two American teams had the same record: Seven gold medals, neither silver nor copper. In another sport, the teams closest to that success were in terms of the number of gold medals they had only four (The United States in women’s soccer and Canada in women’s ice hockey, two Olympic sports since 1996 and 1998, respectively.) In the total medals No one has achieved eight in eight versions: Australia embezzles with seven players in men’s field hockey The United States did not fail in women’s water polo (Olympic since Sydney 2000) as well as Canada in women’s ice hockey, but played fewer tournaments.
Not to mention the predominance of the same country in the two branches of the same sport. Let’s review case after case to take larger dimensions.
In men’s basketball Argentina It is, since 1992, the only team to win a gold medal besides the United States Lithuania and Spain It was they who received the largest number of remaining medals: three bronze medals for the Lithuanians and two silver and one bronze for the Spaniards. In the women’s section, Australia took five medals Since Barcelona 1992 but he has never been a champion: three silver and two bronze. among men Only in Tokyo 2020 did they get their first podium with third place.
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the volleyball It must be Brazil As a men’s triple champion since 1992 and the owner of five medals in this branch as Russia (London Champion 2012) H Italy (Loser of three finals). Brazil also has five medals among women But only with two doctrines: the same thing happens United State With only the first place. Cuba He was champion in Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, but again reached the podium (bronze in Athens 2004) and since 2008 he has not participated again.
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the hockey, which is a popular sport in a much smaller number of countries, also does not reach a status comparable to that of basketball. among men Germany He was a three-time champion in the time slot but missed the podium three times, eg he couldn’t go up in Tokyo. Australia has seven medals, having only missed the podium at Rio 2016, but was crowned only in Athens 2004. Holland, from four medals in men’s hockey, He dominates a lot in the feminine with three golds, two silvers and a bronzeBut he falls short of the perfect podium record as he finished sixth in 1992. Argentina has five medals without becoming a champion.
Football is a special case: since 1992 Men’s Championship Limited to players under the age of 23 with some exceptions. Thus, he saw only two teams returning the title: Argentina In Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 and Brazil At Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. Argentina also finished second in Atlanta 1996 and Brazil for silver in London 2012, bronzes in 1996 and Beijing 2008, with Canarinha being the only team with more than three medals in this time period. Only seven tournaments have been played between women: There was no women’s football in Barcelona 1992. United State He won four golds, but in Rio 2016 he missed the podium, while Germany Four medals but one gold (London 2012). Brazil (2 silvers in women’s soccer) and Germany (Silver in men’s soccer) They are the only countries with podiums for both genders.
Men’s handball has seen France win three of the eight tournaments played since 1992 And they were the team with the most podiums since: five Gaul medals, one more than Sweden with four silvers or Spain with four bronze medals. Only in 2016 did France win the women’s handball medal And only in Tokyo 2020 he won the gold medal. Norway beat the women with six medals (They finished fourth in Atlanta 1996 and did not qualify for Athens 2004), a country that did not reach the semi-finals in men’s handball. Denmark was the women’s champion in 1996, 2000 and 2004 and the male in 2016But between the sexes it gets one medal less than France.
the Water polo Offers a smaller sample among women, being an Olympian since 2000. United State She was gold in 2012, 2016 and 2020, and the podium in the previous three editions and Australia (Champion of the Year 2000) is the only other country to have won more than two medals. Among the men of this sport United State He barely has a silver medal and Hungary He was a three-time champion (2000, 2004 and 2008) although since 1992 he has won fewer medals than Serbia (golden in 2016 and 2020, silver in 2004 and bronze in 2000, 2008 and 2012), which she could not participate in 1992 and in 1996 was the eighth (in 2000 and 2004 she won medals being Serbia and Montenegro).
Winter Olympics Ice Hockey Presents, which has played eight men’s tournaments since 1992 with Canada dominant in both genders but without the effectiveness of NBA. In the men’s branch, the Canadians have won three gold, silver and bronze medals since Albertville 1992, and lost the podium at Nagano 1998 and Turin 2006. 1998 was only the first edition of women’s ice hockey, in which Canada and the United States did not fail on the podium but in which Share the biggest hitGold medals for Canada in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and for the United States in 1998 and 2018.
the baseball (disputed only by men) and soft ball (Women only competed) They were sporadic in the Olympic program but they don’t have a team that wins at least 85% of the competitions: the most like that is US national softball team with gold in 1996, 2000 and 2004 and silver in 2008 and 2020, without missing the final. the rugby seven It must be Fiji As a champion among men in 2016 and 2020, he has only participated in the Olympic program since the Rio Games.
Another curiosity that charts American dominance in basketball is that time Since 1992 they have won two gold medals in the same sport six times (1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020), it has been imitated only four times in other team sports: Canada did it in ice hockey in Salt Lake City 2002, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 NS France national handball team in Tokyo 2020.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the National Basketball Association or its affiliated organizations.
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