The 2008 Beijing Games will soon come to an end but before they do let’s check out some recent medal winners from Latin America and the Caribbean.
* A few of the gold-medal matches in team sports were decided between the U.S. and Brazil:
- Brazil won their first ever gold in women’s volleyball, by beating an upstart U.S. team by 3 games to 1. Helia Souza, Marianne Steinbrecher and company led Brazil to a perfect 8-0 record and only conceded one set throughout these Games.
- Carli Lloyd's tally in extra time was enough for a 1-0 U.S. victory to clinch gold in women’s soccer. Yet the Brazilians’ performance throughout the tourney was exemplary including the work by the dynamic duo of Marta and Cristianne.
- Brazil and the U.S. will meet once more in a battle for the gold in men’s volleyball on Sunday.
* Mexico achieved a pair of gold medals in taekwondo. Guillermo Perez won in a tight decision over Yulis Gabriel Mercedes of the Dominican Republic in the -58kg class, while Maria Espinoza triumphed in the women’s +67-kg category.
Sadly, not all has been fair play in taekwondo; Cuba’s Angel Matos and his coach received lifetime bans after Matos kicked a referee in the face in a bronze medal match.
* Argentina was the pre-Games favorites to win the gold in men’s soccer and they proved it by winning 1-0 over Nigeria. Angel di Maria’s chip shot 58th minute stood as the lone goal as Argentina successfully defended the Olympic crown with this year’s unbeaten run.
(Honorable mention goes to Brazil for assuring them the bronze by shutting out Belgium 3-0).
* As Miguel mentioned this morning, Cuba’s baseball team “lost another nail-biter” 3-2 to South Korea in their gold medal game. Despite a 6-2 record in the tourney, Cuba couldn’t overcome the plucky Koreans in what was (for now) the last Olympics baseball game ever.
* Jamaica’s track and field athletes have exceeded expectations throughout these Games. Usain Bolt added a third gold medal to his personal tally after his country won the 4x100 men’s relay in world record time. Though the women’s 4x100 team stumbled, their 4x400 team performed well and captured the bronze.
Image- AFP (“Brazil's team captain Helia Souza is thrown into the air as the team celebrates defeating the US”)
Sources- CBC, USA TODAY, The Australian, the Latin Americanist, Reuters, Heavy Medal, RTE, SI.com, Xinhua, Guardian UK, China Daily,