Message From Rio 2016 - Day 16

Team USA's gold medal winning 4x400m women's relay team (left to right Natasha Hastings, Phyllis Francis, Allyson Felix and Courtney Okolo) give thanks to the Brazilian fans at the Rio Olympics during their victory lap.

Future is bright as Team USA exits Rio with 32 medals

RIO DE JANEIRO – My time in Rio has come to a close with the final night of festivities. I thought the Games were awesome. The citizens of this beautiful city are warm and friendly; the thousands of volunteers were kind and helpful; and the competition was intense and awe inspiring.

Team USA had a spectacular 10 days of competition, capped off by Galen Rupp’s brilliant bronze medal run in the men’s marathon – bringing the total U.S. medal count to 32. Rupp became the first American to earn a medal in the marathon since 2004 and only the third to win a medal since 1924.

His performance was special because it placed an exclamation point on the overall achievements of the distance team. Typically, our sprinters, jumpers and throwers carry the team, but this year there was a definite balance. For a guy who cares deeply about Team USA’s success, I was proud to observe all of these outstanding performances, and it wasn’t all about the medals. Jared Ward’s sixth-place finish in the marathon was groundbreaking as both our men’s and women’s marathoners left a calling card for the future of the endurance team.

Lastly, I want to extend congratulations to our coaching staff – who worked diligently for more than a year to form a connection with these great athletes and their coaches – our phenomenal medical staff and the entire staff of USA Track & Field. It was a collaborative effort and our future is bright as we look forward to World Championships in London (2017) and Doha (2019) before assembling in Tokyo for the Games in 2020. 

I am encouraged by the Olympic spirit and the power of athletics. Let’s all work together to make the 2021 World Championships in the United States the turning point for our sport.

Vin Lananna
2016 Olympic Head Coach – Men’s Track and Field

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