The United States is off to its best Olympic start in recent memory, picking up ten medals in the Games’ opening days despite sagging Olympic ratings — the worst in 33 years.
Team USA swimmers led the way, with “medals in every event of the first finals session, including the first U.S. gold medal of the games in any sport,” The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. By the end of competition on Sunday, Team USA had 10 medals, including 4 golds. Only China had more, with 11 medals, 6 of which were gold.
“Team USA’s six medals—one gold, two silver, and three bronze—are the most it’s ever won on the first day of Olympic swimming finals,” the WSJ noted. “It’s even more impressive considering that prior to 1984, countries could send three swimmers per event instead of two, allowing possible podium sweeps.”
“The team made the podium in events in which it wasn’t supposed to medal,” U.S. men’s team assistant coach Jack Bauerle told the outlet. “It’s obviously a really proud moment,” he gushed. “I can’t really feel anything, I’m so happy.”
In another surprise, fencer Lee Kiefer won the United States’ first-ever gold medal in individual foil, defeating “defending champion Inna Deriglazova of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), 15-13,” per Fox News.
“She was a four-time NCAA champion at Notre Dame and then represented the U.S. in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. In the 2012 London Games, she finished fifth. In the 2016 Rio Games, she finished in 10th,” the outlet noted.
Her incredible win was a moment in Olympic history.
Lee Kiefer wins #gold for the #USA
Women’s foil individual #gold at her third #Olympics!#StrongerTogether #Tokyo2020 | @FIE_fencing pic.twitter.com/Niy2Nf7wyI
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 25, 2021
The weekend’s victories come on the heels of one of the worst first days Team USA has had in Olympic history. Americans failed to make the podium in any event on Saturday, and Team USA did not win “a single medal on the first day of competition for the first time since 1972.”
“Saturday marked a disappointing day for the American’s competing in archery, cycling, fencing, judo, air rifle and pistol shooting, taekwondo, and weightlifting,” Fox News reported. Even the women’s gymnastics team, which is expected to soar to victory in both the team and all-around competitions, “sputtered,” with star Simone Biles turning out an average, but not spectacular performance in qualifying rounds.
The bobbles, though, were not enough to keep either Biles or Team USA off the leaderboard.
The only continuing failure belongs to NBC which, as The Daily Wire reported Sunday, posted some of its worst Olympics ratings in decades.
“Just 16.7 million Americans tuned in to NBC’s broadcast of the ceremony, the smallest U.S. television audience to watch the event in the past 33 years, according to preliminary data from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal,” The Daily Wire’s Joseph Curl noted.
“The Tokyo opener TV audience declined 37% from 2016 when 26.5 million people watched the Rio de Janeiro Games opener, and 59% from 2012, when 40.7 million people watched the London ceremony,” Reuters reported. “It was the lowest audience for the opening ceremony since the 1988 Seoul Games, which attracted 22.7 million TV viewers. It was also lower than the 1992 Barcelona Games, when 21.6 million people tuned in, according to Nielsen data.”