The Olympics are officially a wrap and Houston showed up and showed out in numerous events. From track & field bringing home an assortment of gold, silver and bronze medals to Olympic history made on the mat and further dominance on the basketball court, the H was more than represented.
Simone Biles took all the headlines during the first week of the Games as she opened up a dialogue regarding mental health and gymnasts. Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, pulled out of the team final for the U.S. gymnastics team as well as four other individual events as she said she battled the “twisties.”
Still, Biles wouldn’t be deterred. She would compete in the balance beam on Thursday and took home the bronze, even if she wasn’t at 100 percent.
“To do beam, which I didn’t think I was going to be, just meant the world to be back out there,” Biles told ESPN. “And I wasn’t expecting to walk away with the medal. I was just going out there doing this for me.”
Despite the move, the U.S. gymnastics team as a whole flourished. Suni Lee took the individual all-around title and the team won silver in the team all-around event. Jade Carey took home gold in the floor event and the U.S. walked away from gymnastics with six medals, split evenly amongst gold, silver and bronze.
In wrestling, Tamyra Mariama Mensah-Stock made history by becoming the first Black American woman to win gold. On the track, Missouri City native Bryce Deadmon helped the U.S. men’s 4×400 team cruise to a gold medal in the 4×400 relay, minutes after Allyson Felix became the most decorated track athlete in U.S. history with her 11th medal following the women’s victory in the 4×400 relay. Hiram Clarke’s Raevyn Rogers earned bronze in the 800 meters while two Houstonians, Cat Osterman and Simeon Woods Richardson helped the U.S. bring prominence back to softball and baseball as the two sports made their return after a long absence.
Overall, the United States dominated the games in terms of overall medals with 113 and the most gold medals with 39. Expected dominance in basketball happened as the U.S. men beat France on Friday (August 6) in a revenge game to win the gold and the U.S. women beat Japan by 15 to claim their seventh straight gold medal.
Check out more history made by Houston-based Olympians below.
1. Tamyra Mariama Mensah-Stock (Katy)Source:Getty
Tamyra Mensah-Stock made history during the Games when she became the first Black American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling and the second American woman ever. Mensah-Stock is currently ranked as the best freestyle wrestler in the world and wants to see more Black women in wrestling.
“These young women are going to see themselves in a number of ways and they’re going to look up there and go, I can do that,” she said. “I can see myself.”
2. Simone Biles (Spring)Source:Getty
The GOAT in terms of gymnastics became a focus during the Games when she removed herself from team competition as well as numerous individual events due to a bout of the “twisties.”
In turn, Biles created a greater conversation about mental health in gymnastics and about trusting your body in the air. In what may be her final Olympics, she finished third in the beam event, adding to her impressive résumé as the most decorated gymnast of all time.
3. Jordan Chiles (Spring)Source:Getty
Chiles and her fellow gymnasts knew they were great, even if Biles took a step back to focus on herself. The Spring native took Biles’ place during the all-around team event, helping the U.S. finish second to earn a silver medal.
4. Raevyn Rogers (Houston)Source:Getty
Hiram Clarke pulled up in the 800m. Raevyn Rogers helped the United States dominate the middle-distance race in Tokyo as she took the bronze.
5. Bryce Deadmon (Missouri City)Source:Getty
Deadmon (second from left) helped the United States dominate on Saturday (August 7), taking home gold in the 4×400 meter relay. He also helped lead the US to a bronze medal in the mixed 4×400 meter relay.
6. Brittney Griner (Houston)Source:Getty
During their gold medal win over host nation Japan, Brittney Griner was the most dominant player for the United States’ women’s basketball team. Her 30 points in the gold medal game broke Lisa Leslie’s 25-year mark when she scored 29 against Brazil in the Atlanta Games.
Griner’s feat not only led Team USA to its 7th consecutive gold medal, but it also earned the Houston Nimitz star and Baylor product her second gold medal.
7. Simone Manuel (Sugar Land)Source:Getty
Simone Manuel made history in the Rio Games with her 50m freestyle gold medal win. Five years later, the 25-year-old helped the USA take home bronze in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay.
8. Cat Osterman (Houston)Source:Getty
Osterman is already considered one of the greatest softball players ever and easily the greatest softball pitcher ever. With softball making a return to the Games in 2021, Osterman helped lead Team USA to a silver medal.
9. Simeon Woods Richardson (Sugar Land)Source:Getty
Richardson, a pitcher part of the Toronto Blue Jays organization, helped Team USA to a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics along with fellow Houston natives Scott Kazmir and Shane Baz.