The London Games came to an end on Sunday, and it has been a spirited journey for so many athletes.
On the final day, the U.S. men's basketball team fulfilled its destiny. Despite fierce competition from Spain and its star big men, Pau and Marc Gasol, the U.S. won gold in a tight game, 107-100. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 points, and LeBron James added 19 points on eight-of-13 shooting.
Chris Paul made a key layup with less than a minute left to lift the U.S. team to victory. The usually reserved Mike Krzyzewski leaped in jubilation with the game winding down, even though Spain had a glimmer of hope with some missed free throws by the U.S.
Russia beat Argentina in the bronze-medal match, 81-77. Andrei Kirilenko converted eight-of-12 shots for 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Manu Ginobli scored 21 points for Argentina.
In men's volleyball, Russia earned its first gold since 1980 when the team defeated Brazil in five sets, 20-25, 29-27, 25-22, 15-9. Russia has now won four gold medals in men's volleyball.
Croatia took home the gold in men's water polo, as it defeated neighbor Italy in the final, 8-6. While Croatia is a powerhouse in the sport, this was the nation's first gold medal, as Hungary had won the last three gold medals.
In men's handball, France became the nation to win consecutive Olympic titles in the sport when it edged Sweden, 22-21.
Uganda runner Stephen Kiprotich took the gold in the marathon and defeated Kenyans Abel Kirui and Wilson Kiprotich, his brother, by 26 seconds and a minute 36 seconds, respectively. American Meb Keflezighi finished fourth.
Japan's Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu took the gold in the 145 lb. freestyle wrestling final when he ended India's dream of itsfirst Olympic wrestling gold by beating Sushil Kumar, a railway worker. Akzhurek Tanatarov of Kazakhstan earned the bronze.
In the 210 lb. freestyle, American Jake Varner won gold by defeating Ukraine's Valerie Andriitsev, 1-0, 1-0. Georgi Gogshelidze, of Georgia, took the bronze.
Laura Asadauskaite, of Lithuania, earned the gold in the women's modern pentathlon in the final medal of the London Games.
The U.S. won the medal race with 104 medals, with 46 gold. China finished second with 87, followed by Russia with 82. The host nation, Great Britain, earned the third-most golds with 29 and finished fourth in the overall count.