The U.S. had a great day to kick off the 2012 London Olympic Games on Saturday. After Ryan Lochte took home the nation's first gold medal at the games, Destinee Hooker, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh-Jennings, and the men's gymnastics team put the Americans in a good position in each of their respective sports.

Lochte was the biggest winner on day one, taking his first gold medal since the 2004 games and putting pressure on teammate Michael Phelps, who did not medal in the 400-meter individual medley. Lochte won with a race time of 4:05.18, good enough to finish 3.68 seconds ahead of the second-place time. Despite Phelps' admittedly "crappy race," the world record holder for most gold medals finished just a second behind Lochte's 4:12.35 in the qualifying rounds early Saturday.

While the world tried to comprehend what happened to the once-invincible Phelps, fellow Americans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings were able to continue their domination on the volleyball court. The teammates are vying for their third consecutive beach volleyball gold medal and got off on the right foot by defeating Natalie Cook and Tamsin Hinchley of Australia.

It was a close match. The Americans won 21-18 in the first set and 21-19 in the second. The Bleacher Report noted that "when it came down to crucial points, though, May-Treanor and Walsh were extremely sharp."

It was a more important victory than the first-round win might suggest. Since the Beijing Olympic Games, May-Treanor tore her Achilles' tendon while competing on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and Walsh-Jennings gave birth to two boys. Retirement looked appealing, although the duo eventually decided to return and told ESPN their reinvigorated bond makes them a more formidable opponent.

"Misty said we have nothing left to prove because we have done so many great things, but I want to prove to the world that we're the best in 2012," Walsh-Jennings said. "I feel like if we win a third gold medal, when we win a third gold medal in London, it will put us in that realm. We'll be the best there ever was in beach volleyball."

May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings have Sunday off to recover and prepare for the Czech team of Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova on Monday.

The indoor volleyball team may not have the tradition Walsh and May-Treanor do, but they were just as successful on Saturday. Destinee Hooker led the team with 21 points in a 3-1 victory over South Korea, which surged late in the game. The U.S. showed why they are ranked No. 1 in the world since their silver medal in Beijing.

The Washington Post reported the crowd at Earls Court chanted, "Des-tin-ee! Des-tin-ee!"

The women's team has never won a gold medal, although new coach Hugh McCutcheon has replaced Lang Ping on the bench. He brings the experience necessary to win, based on his gold with the men's team. Since McCutcheon's arrival, the team has gone 99-37.

The U.S. replaced Brazil with the No. 1 ranking last year, and the two teams are set to face off when pool play continues on Monday. The Brazilians, despite their No. 2 world ranking, have still been picked as the gold-medal favorites by many. The medal matches are set for Aug. 11.

Meanwhile, the U.S. men's gymnastics team was leading in the qualifying round over perennial powerhouses China and Japan. In fact, China was in sixth while the Americans will head into the competition in the No. 1 spot, just ahead of Russia (No. 2) and Great Britain (No. 3).

The Americans were led by Danell Leyva, who was the top qualifier for the all-around, John Orozco, Jake Dalton, Sam Mikulak, and team captain Jonathan Horton, who will compete in the high bar, according to USA Today.  

Horton spoke for his team, but could have easily have been referring to the U.S. performance as a country on day one of the games.

"I think we made a very big statement," Horton said. "I think we showed people that we're not all talk. We have made a lot of big statements and we put a lot of pressure and expectations on ourselves, and I think we showed the world we are capable of reaching this goal."