Updated: Aug 9, 12:25 p.m. | Posted: Aug. 6, 12 p.m.
Minnesota had a strong showing at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
At the end of the international competition, Team USA won 39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze medals, for a total of 113. Of the national team’s standing, six gold, four silver and two bronze medals were claimed by athletes with Minnesota connections.
If we count the two Minnesota gymnasts on the women's gymnastics team and the two Minnesota Lynx basketball players individually, that brings Minnesota's count to seven gold medals and five silver medals.
Here’s a look at who took home a medal.
Sunisa Lee’s Olympic Games took off with a silver medal in the women’s team competition, with her score of 15.400 in the uneven bars, 14.133 in the balance beam and 13.666 in the floor competition.
Lee went on to capture gold in the all-around individual competition, with an outstanding performance in the uneven bars at 15.300 and a strong score in the vault giving her just enough to beat Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade by .135 points.
She wrapped up her medal count taking bronze in the uneven bars. She also placed fifth in the women’s balance beam competition.
Grace McCallum was part of the women’s gymnastics team that claimed silver early in the Olympics. She had a strong performance with a 14.300 on the vault, 13.666 on the balance beam, 13.700 on the uneven bars, and a 13.500 on the floor event.
Lakeville swimmer Regan Smith claimed three medals during her trip to Tokyo, helping the U.S. to the silver in the women's 4-by-100 medley relay and claiming silver in the 200-meter butterfly and bronze in the 100-meter backstroke.
Smith is known for her 100-meter backstroke competition, setting records in the race earlier at the 2019 World Championship. During the Tokyo Games, she traded record-breaking times with Australian Kaylee McKeown and Canadian Kylie Masse throughout the preliminary races.
Smith held the Olympic record of 57.86 going into the final race, but McKeown finished the final for gold with a time of 57.47, and Masse claimed silver with 57.72 to Smith’s 58.05.
But Smith’s 200-meter butterfly silver finish was a highlight. She told the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Rachel Blount that she usually tires in that race. But during the final stretch, Smith overtook her teammate Hali Flickinger for second place, and her second medal of the games.
Gable Steveson beat Georgia’s Geno Petriashivili 10-8 for the wrestling gold in the men’s freestyle 125-kilogram class as the last few seconds ran out of the match.
Steveson, the University of Minnesota wrestling standout from Apple Valley, outscored his opponents 23-0 in the first three rounds. He rolled past 2016 Olympic gold medalist Taha Akgul 8-0 in the quarterfinals. Petriashvili, the No. 1 seed, is a three-time world champion who was an Olympic bronze medalist in the class in 2016.
Former University of Minnesota swimmer Bowe Becker swam the third leg of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay that claimed the gold medal early in the Olympic competition. Becker, along with Zach Apple, Blake Pieroni and Caeleb Dressel, finished the race in 3 minutes, 08.97 seconds, beating Italy with only a 1.14-second lead.
Michael Andrew, who was born in Edina but has lived most of his life outside of Minnesota, claimed a gold medal as part of the men’s 4x100-meter medley relay final with teammates Ryan Murphy, Caeleb Dressel and Zach Apple.
Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles added a fourth gold medal to her collection with a win against Japan Sunday. Throughout the tournament, Fowles played in all six games with a total of 1:01:37 time played and shot a 63 percent field goal percentage, with a total of 30 points and 25 rebounds.
Napheesa Collier also claimed a gold medal as part of the U.S. women’s basketball team. Her first year competing in the Olympic Games, she played four of six matches throughout the tournament and put 15:12 time on the court with 5 points and shot 2 for 2 from the free-throw line.
Jordan Thompson and the women’s volleyball team claimed their first gold medal in the sport with a win over Brazil in three matches, beating the previously undefeated team 25-21, 25-20 and 25-14. While Thompson didn’t play in the final games of the tournament due to an injury, she dominated in pool play scoring 76 points before her injury against the Russian Olympic Committee.
Minnesota Twins minor league pitcher Joe Ryan and the U.S. baseball team lost to Japan 2-0 and claimed a silver medal during the final game. It was the second loss for Team USA against Japan, the first a closer match of 7-6 in 10 innings.
Baseball may not return to the Olympics for a while. It’s the first time the sport has been at the Games since 2008, and it will not return for the 2024 Paris Olympics but may return for the Los Angeles Games in 2028.
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