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Five Team USA story lines to remember from the 2012 Olympic Games in London

For the past 17 days, people from all over the world have watched as athletes from their countries compete against the best in the world at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. We watched with them as some dreams came true; we hurt with them as some were shattered.

As the Games draw to a close, we are left with so many fascinating story lines to remember as Team USA represented this country with pride and excellence.

Here are some of those memorable story lines.

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The USA Women’s gymnastics team captures the team gold.

The “Fab Five”  as they have been known throughout the Games, became the first American women’s gymnastics team to win team gold since 1996, leaving many wondering if this isn’t the best American gymnastics team of all time.

Gabby Douglas stole America’s hearts as the winner of the all-around title, while Aly Raisman was the surprise of the Games, bringing home 3 medals.

And though Jordyn Wieber may not have had the games the world had expected, she garnered the adoration and respect of her country through her poise and resiliency as she bounced back from individual disappointment and helped lead Team USA to the team gold.

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Missy Franklin makes her Olympic debut. 

Missy Franklin, competing in her first Olympic Games, proved that she is the future of USA women’s swimming.

The seventeen-year-old, dubbed by many as the “female Michael Phelps” brought home 5 medals, 4 of which were gold, as well as a world record in the 400m backstroke.

There is no doubt that we will be seeing Franklin again.

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Michael Phelp’s retires as the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. 

Though he did not bring home as many gold medals as he did in Beijing, Michael Phelps had yet another impressive performance in his final Olympic Games. After winning 6 medals (4 gold and 2 silver) in London, Phelps’ total of 22 Olympic medals, 18 of which are gold, make him the most decorated Olympian of all-time.

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The women of Team USA dominated this year.

For the first time ever, there were more American women competing in the Olympic Games than men. As a whole, the women earned 29 of the 46 gold medals won by Team USA.

The women’s track and field team had an outstanding showing in London with two of their stars finding redemption.

Allyson Felix, a two-time silver medalist in the 200 m, finally brought home Olympic gold in the event she considers “her baby.” Sonya Richards-Ross, who was the favorite to win the 400m in Beijing but faltered in the end earning her a bronzewas also able to capture her elusive gold medal in the 400 m.

The USA women’s track team also swept the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, taking gold in both while setting a new world record in the 4×100 m race.

Additionally, the USA women’s basketball team made history by winning their 5th straight gold medal, making them the first women’s team from any country, in any sport to do so at the Olympic Games.

Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor made a little history of their own, becoming the first women’s beach volleyball team to win three gold medals in what looks to be Treanor’s final Olympics.

And the USA women’s water polo team brought home their first Olympic gold medal, while the USA women’s soccer team was able to avenge their World Cup loss to Japan by defeating them in the gold medal game.

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 The United States wins the final medal count. 

Team USA brought home a total of 104 medals, including 46 gold, more than any other country in this year’s Olympics. Their 46 gold medals are the most ever for the USA in games hosted outside of the country. They received at least 1 medal in 21 different sporting events.

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There are so many amazing athletes and special moments to remember from these Olympic Games that it would be impossible to cover them all. Regardless, each and every Olympian will come back home to an incredibly proud nation.