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Putting Team USA’s 121 medals, 46 Rio golds in Olympics perspective

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The United States ended the Rio Olympics with a remarkable 46 gold medals, 37 silver, and 38 bronze combining for 121 medals.

That’s great, you say, but what does it mean? Well, good thing we’re paid to help put things in perspective.

For one, the difference between the first- and second-place teams is gigantic. The 51-medal dropoff from the United States to China is the largest total since 1984, and the seventh best all-time.

The total is the third-most medals in a single Olympics for the United States, and the eighth overall amongst all nations. Moreover, the 121 is the most by a single nation since the Americans hauled in 132 medals in 1988.

The 46 golds are tied with 2012 for the most U.S. golds in a single Olympics, and gave the Americans the ninth-biggest gap between first- and second-place gold winners since 1984. The U.S. had 19 more golds than Great Britain.

The picture above, by the way, comes with an amazing story. Read about the U.S. women’s water polo team and their amazing gesture to a coach who’s been through a tumultuous summer here.

“Blurred nightmare”: USA’s Suhr posts heartwrenching letter to fans

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Jenn Suhr’s goals went from defending her gold medal to just getting out of bed to compete in Rio.

The 2012 Olympic champion in the women’s pole vault, Suhr became “sicker than I have ever been” once she arrived in Brazil in what she’s calling “a blurred nightmare”.

Suhr finished tied for 7th in Rio after clearing 4.6m, which is still impressive considering 4.75 won her gold in London, though she had aims of hitting 4.9.

Gold winner Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece cleared 4.85, the same height as American silver winner Sandi Morris. The bronze distance was 4.80, won by New Zealand’s Eliza McCartney.

Suhr hails from Western New York, whose populace likes to view itself as the most blue of blue collar types, and she lamented her position in saying, “Western New Yorkers are tough, we are workers, and we don’t quit. We give 100% even if we aren’t.”

Read the full statement below. We want to give her a high-five and tell her we understand, and that she should feel no shame.

USA fighter Claressa Shields guaranteed a medal with semifinal berth

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Claressa Shields is going to medal again.

The 2012 gold medal boxer from Flint, Michigan, assured herself of that with a 3-0 decision over fellow middleweight Iaroslava Iakushina on Wednesday in Rio.

WATCH: Full fight replays

Shields, 21, only lost a single round between three judges, and cruised to the win.

She’ll face Kazakhstan’s Dariga Shakimova in a semifinal. Since both losing semifinalists in boxing receive bronze medals, she is guaranteed a medal.

The other semifinal sees Li Qian of China and Nouchka Fontijin of the Netherlands.