TOKYO (AP) — The Americans won 113 medals at the Olympics. It was the fifth straight Summer Games at which they finished with a double-digit lead over the next country.
Still, it was not 121 medals, which is what they won five years ago in a Rio de Janeiro with fewer events.
But when the U.S. athletes voted for a flagbearer at the closing ceremony, medals didn't matter.
They chose four-time Olympian Kara Winger, a javelin thrower who has never won any hardware.
In doing so, they tapped into the core message resonating inside a fractured, fractious U.S. Olympic family over the last few years: The medals shouldn’t matter as much as the athletes who compete.