Olympic Results 2012: Biggest Winner and Loser from Entire London Games

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Kevin Durant #5 of the United States celebrates winning the Men's Basketball gold medal game between the United States and Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England. The United States won the match 107-100.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The world focused on Team USA's quest for basketball gold during the 2012 Olympics, but there were many winners and losers on the world's biggest stage.

While controversy played a major role in the Olympics, such as the United States Women's national team semifinal win over Canada, other teams had very little trouble taking home gold.

Individual competitors had varying success, and some underdogs came through to shock the world. Some favorites struggled to live up to expectations, but the underdogs made for great stories.   

American gymnasts Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman stole the show in the first week. Douglas won the individual all-around competition. Despite losing bronze on a tiebreaker in the all-around, Raisman won gold on the floor and bronze on the balance beam.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt was very impressive while taking home three golds, and he lived up to the expectations.

Pressure was enormous for several teams and individuals. They were expected to bring home gold or be considered a failure. 

Spain's soccer team was forced out of the tournament in group play, so they went home earlier than expected. 

With the London Olympics now in the books, it is time to determine who was the biggest winner and who was the biggest loser.


Winner: Team USA Basketball

Team USA faced the most pressure of any team in the Olympics, and they came through to bring home gold.

Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum were not on the team because of injury, and it was lacking depth, and Tyson Chandler was the team's only true center.

Erick Smith of USA Today covered the main controversy surrounding the men's basketball team, with the 2012 team being compared to the 1992 Dream Team.

The Americans expected to dominate the competition and win gold. They breezed through group play, but were tested in the finals. 

Spain was the biggest challenge because of their length. The Americans won by continuing to drill three-pointers, and they survived a tough test. Kevin Durant led the way, and he became the team's all-time leading scorer for a single Olympics.

ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports there is not expected to be an age limit in the next Olympics, and the Americans proved nobody can stop their best players.


Loser: Brazil Men's Volleyball

With the gold just a few points away, Brazil was ready to put Russia away. Instead, they suffered one of the biggest collapses in Olympic history.

The Brazilians won the first two sets and were up 22-19 in third set before they collapsed. They needed three points to claim gold, but ended up choking.

It is very difficult to use the term choking in the Olympics, but this is the best example.

The team had two match points but could not put Russia away. In a stunning turn of events, Russia battled back to force the game into a fourth set.

The Russians won the game in five sets to take home the gold. With the game in hand in the third set, Brazil managed to lose the game. They settled for silver after collapsing, and they know they let one get away.