American women are racking up gold at the Rio Games—check out these fierce competitors who have already dominated their sports.

By Brown West-Rosenthal
Updated: August 11, 2016

We're just days into the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro-and the women from Team USA are absolutely killing it (this despite the fact that some media coverage could be undermining our ladies). The American women already have 10 gold medals-yes, 10. And according to Google Trends, four out of the top five trending Olympic athletes are women: Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, and Lilly King (Michael Phelps is the guy, obvs). So let's celebrate the serious girl power going down in Rio with a rundown of what our fave female athletes have accomplished (so far).


Yesterday, Team USA's women's gymnastics team, aka "The Final Five": Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez, and Simone Biles-won the "team all around." "Final Five" is a nod to the group being the last five-member team (the 2020 games will only have four members on each team); the group is also the last team that will be coached by legendary Márta Károlyi. And Team USA didn't just win, they killed it. In all four events-vault, floor, uneven bars, and balance beam-not one member faltered or fell. They finished way ahead of the competition, too, with a team total of 8.209 points. That margin is even more impressive considering that when Team USA's "Fierce Five" from the 2012 Games in London won this event, they did so with 5.066 points! Let's go, ladies!


Katie Ledecky swam her way to gold for the women's 200m freestyle and the women's 400m freestyle (plus, she took silver for the women's 4x100m freestyle relay with her team). Oh, and did we mention she shattered her own world record in the women's 400m freestyle? She also pushed through some serious pain to snag that gold in the 200-she told ESPN: "Everything was hurting and I knew I wasn't going to be able to see the field in the last 50, so I just had to dig deep and do my own thing," she said. "When I saw it for real on the scoreboard, it all kind of sank in then!" (Psst! You don't need a pool to sneak in a swimmer's workout. Just try this swimming workout you can do on dry land.)

And then there's Lilly King who beat Russia's Yulia Efimova for the gold in the 100m breaststroke. This was a super-controversial match-up because Efimova was allowed to compete in Rio despite just ending a 16-month suspension for doping. King didn't hold back her disdain during the semifinals. When Efimova waved a No. 1 finger, King waved her finger right back in a "no, no, no" style. It's no surprise that searches for "Lilly King finger" even momentarily surpassed searches for "gold medals" that night. The world wanted to know more about the 19-year-old who wasn't afraid to take a stand-or win! Can you blame everyone?


At just 19 years old, Virginia Thrasher took home the very first gold for USA in the Women's 10m Air Rifle. Raised in Springfield, VA, Thrasher actually wanted to be a figure skater growing up, but realized it wasn't her sport. Fun fact: She took up shooting in 2011 after a hunting trip with her grandfather! Thrasher beat out China for the gold by a full point-an extremely wide margin for such a precise sport.


Not only does American cyclist Kristin Armstrong celebrate her birthday this week, she also celebrates her third consecutive gold medal in the women's cycling time trial. She clocked in at 44 minutes, 26.42 seconds. Oh, and she biked through rain and a nosebleed to the finish line, where her 5-year-old son was waiting to give her the biggest hug.

Don't tune away from the Games just yet, either!

The women's soccer team is still in it to win it as are beach volleyball superstars Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross. Plus, there's still wrestling, basketball, and track and field to come. Don't worry, we'll be updating you on all the historical moments that are sure to come. And in the meantime, check out these 15 female Olympic athletes we love.



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