The U.S. swim team won the men’s 4×200 relay in Rio, bringing home gold for the U.S. at the 2016 Olympic Games. The team consisted of veterans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and was rounded out by Townley Haas and 2016 200-meter freestyle bronze medalist Conor Dwyer. This relay team was considered the one to watch coming into the Rio Games, especially after their medal finish in London in 2012. The team has managed to capture the heart of a nation, with veterans Phelps and Lochte serving as the oracles on a team with a considerable number of talented newcomers.
Although the 4×200 relay was a massive win for the U.S., this win marks a 25th career medal for Michael Phelps, who became the most decorated Olympian in the Rio Games. His week was marked with controversy as he chased Chad le Clos from South Africa in the other Olympic swimming finals. The South African swimmer appeared to taunt Phelps during the other swimming semi-finals, but Phelps had the last say when his team pushed through and grabbed gold in the men’s 4×200 relay and also becoming an Internet sensation with his own hashtag for #phelpsface.
For the Olympic men’s 4×200 relay, the U.S. Swim Team was a perfect storm of swimming talent. Conor Dwyer’s ability and outstanding showings earlier in the week in the Olympic Games set the stage for an excellent swim for him in the men’s 4×200 relay. Townley Haas’ young talent and first time gold in the Rio Games proved to be a valuable asset for the Team USA in swimming. Haas qualified for the relay team in trials and made a greater showing in the men’s 4×200 relay.
Lochte, a long time rival and friend of Phelps, lent his expertise to the squad, helping the team in the qualifying round and serving as the veteran in an otherwise rookie lineup. That move proved to be a valuable choice for the team, landing them in the final for the men’s 4×200 relay. Lochte has been a long-time favorite of Olympic fans, and his fierce competition in the pool has made for great media.
Conor Dwyer rounded out the men’s 4×200 relay team. Having already won an individual medal in the Rio Games, he proved he was ready for the challenge the men’s relay would bring. Dwyer didn’t disappoint and helped the U.S. keep their lead in his leg of the high contested match. He was even able to help out men’s relay teammate, Michael Phelps, when his swimming cap broke shortly before he was to swim, his anchor leg in the competition.
For the U.S. men’s 4×200 relay team, the desire to keep the gold tally in the Rio Games climbing for the U.S. came with immense pressure. All eyes were on the U.S. swim team, including those of the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team who came to cheer them on in the finals–a ritual that has turned into its own type of tradition. The U.S. men’s swim team now boasts the most Olympic medals in the village, according to Phelp’s live interview with NBC after the relay win.
The gold medal captured in the men’s 4×200 relay is the fourth for the U.S. men’s swim team. They have held the title of gold medalists for the last four Olympic Games. The relay, however, is not the last competition for most on the team. A number of the team members will be competition in the remaining heats and qualifiers for individual swimming events. Hopefully, their talent will continue to take them over the top and bring in more gold medals for the U.S.
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