For two weeks in August, the world’s best athletes came together to compete. From the historical opening ceremony to the rock-and-roll closing, the Games lit up London and thrilled billions of fans watching at home. This year, the spotlight shone on female athletes.
Three countries sent women to compete for the first time. Women’s boxing was a new event. Women won more than half of the 46 gold medals taken home by Team U.S.A. It was the best U.S. performance ever at an Olympics.
When the Olympic Games began, in Ancient Greece, only men could compete. It wasn’t until 1928 that women were allowed. Since then, the number of female athletes participating in the Games has been gradually increasing. This year, for the first time, female athletes from the U.S. outnumbered their male teammates. Team U.S.A.’s women won 58 medals overall in London, 29 of them gold. Only two countries won as many gold medals as the female members Team U.S.A.
Gymnasts Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman captured our hearts with their fierce determination and spirit. Swimmers Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt each took home five medals. Crowds cheered at the tennis court as Venus and Serena Williams won gold.