Tokyo Olympics

San Diego Cycles Over Czech Republic in Olympic Medal Count

Editors note: San Diego County is not actually a country competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

The county of San Diego finished the Tokyo Olympics strong by adding another gold medal to the count. San Diego, in Southern California, finished the Olympics in 23rd place in the medal count.

San Diego's shiny medal collection still trailed significantly next to the Big 3: US -- 113 medals; China -- 88; and ROC, 71.

With five gold medals as well as two silvers and five bronze under its belt, tiny San Diego County (population 3.3 million) is, however, running ahead of 71 of the world's nations that have earned medals, including outsize competitors like India (pop. 1.17 billion; G:1 S: 3, B: 3), Indonesia (pop 267 million; G:1, S:1, B: 3) and our neighbor to the south, Mexico (pop. 129 million; B: 4). Trailing just behind San Diego now is the Czech Republic, a nation with nearly 11 million people.

Here's where San Diego stands so far:

  • Michael Andrew: gold medal, 4x100 medley relay
  • Keegan Palmer: gold medal, park skateboarding
  • Kelsey Plum: gold medal, 3x3 basketball
  • Xander Schauffele: gold medal, golf
  • Steffen Peters: silver medal, dressage
  • Brittney Reese: silver medal, long jump
  • *Sky Brown: bronze medal, park skateboarding
  • Brian Burrows: bronze, trap shooting
  • Jagger Eaton: bronze medal, street skateboarding
  • Cory Juneau: bronze medal, park skateboarding
  • Jennifer Valente: bronze medal, team pursuit cycling & gold medal, omnium cycling

*Brown splits her residency between Oceanside, Calif., and Japan and competed for Great Britain. It could be argued that it's only half a medal, but we're claiming it! Unfortunately, we had to draw the line somewhere -- we're not yet claiming Nevin Harrison, who just committed to attending San Diego State this fall and who crushed the final of the inaugural women's C-1 200m, the first U.S. canoe sprint gold in 33 years and first-ever by a woman.

All the athletes with San Diego connections who have traveled to Tokyo are covered with Olympic glory, of course, but the accomplishments of the seven who have stood atop the podium are special. Here's more about each of them.

Valente Wins Omnium, Historic U.S. Track Cycling Gold

San Diegan Jennifer Valente won the gold medal in the women's cycling omnium on Saturday with a total of 124 points

Valente took the top spot after the omnium's first event, and held the lead to become the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic track cycling gold. This gold medal adds to her cycling track team pursuit bronze medal from earlier in the Games.

Japan's Yumi Kajihara took silver and Kirsten Wild from the Netherlands won bronze.

San Diego Grabs Pair of Podium Spots in Park Skateboarding

Australian teen Keegan Palmer -- who was born in San Diego -- claimed the first Olympic men's park skateboarding gold medal in a hugely entertaining and suspenseful final.

The 18-year-old, who moved Down Under at an early age and turned pro at 14, entered the competition ranked No. 7 in the world. He obliterated the Olympic field, putting up a 94.04 on his first run and a 95.83 on his third. No one else cracked an 87.

San Diego native Cory Juneau, 21, worked his way up from the eighth and final spot in qualifying to snag bronze with an 84.13 on his best run. Juneau was a bronze medalist at the 2017 X Games

The silver medal went to the oldest skateboarding medal winner at these Games, 26-year-old Pedro Barros of Brazil, who scored an 86.14.

Skateboarder Sky Brown Puts It in Park in Tokyo

Park skateboarding bronze medalist Sky Brown extended a theme initiated last week by a pair of skates who claimed medals in the street completion: 13-year-olds with podium time.

Brown, who splits her time living between Oceanside, Calif., and Japan, caught plenty of air on Wednesday representing her father's home country of Great Britain. Brown is the youngest person to win an Olympic medal for Britain.

The newly minted teen -- she turned 13 just a month ago -- captured fans' hearts with her final run of 54.04, beaten by a pair of Japanese skateboarders.

Sakura Yosozumi won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in women's park skateboarding. Yosozumi, 19, shared the podium with Japanese teammate Cocona Hiraki, 12, who took home the silver with a 59.04.

Brown's fellow North County skater Bryce Wettstein, who was supportive of all of the skaters, especially Brown, advanced to the final. Wettstein's teammates Brighton Zeuner and Jordyn Barratt missed out, finishing in 11th and 12th in prelims, respectively. Wettstein finished sixth with a 44.50 on her first run.

Jennifer Valente Takes Tokyo Olympics for a Ride

San Diegan Jennifer Valente won an Olympic bronze medal Tuesday in women's team pursuit cycling, after the United States led on every split over Canada in the 4-kilometer race.

"I think anytime you come into the Olympics, you want to go for gold, and today we put together some of the best rides that we were able to, and today on the day it was bronze, and we're really proud of everything behind that and what this bronze means after a year and a half of not racing and really just coming together,'' Valente said after winning her second medal.

Valente won a silver medal in team pursuit in the 2016 Rio Games.

The 26-year-old Valente grew up in San Diego riding mountain and BMX bicycles around her neighborhood with her brothers. Valente's father Thomas raced bikes in the 1980s, and she grew up listening to race stories. She participated in many sports as a youth, including soccer, baseball and swimming.

Encouraged by her father's love of riding bicycles, when she was 14, she attended youth classes at the San Diego Velodrome and was drawn in by the uniquely contained environment in which she could push herself.

In team pursuit, the two opposing teams start on either side of the track. The winner is the team that catches the other team or records the fastest time. A team is caught when the opposing team comes within one meter of the other.

"We're proud of what we did out there,'' Valente said. "We left everything on the track. It's just that Team GB had a little more gas.''

Xander Schauffele: Golden in Golf!

San Diego's golden boy Xander Schauffele is also golden in golf.

The Scripps Ranch native and San Diego State University alum held a lead he secured in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics golf tournament to secure his gold medal 18-under par.

NBC 7’s Steven Luke caught up with Xander Schauffele after his win.

The 27-year-old entered the final round of the men’s golf tournament with a one-stroke lead on Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. And while a few golfers made it close, it was Schauffele who walked away with the lead.

Watch Schauffele's gold-winning shot below:

Jagger Eaton: Kickflips for Bronze!

It was firsts all around when street skateboarder Jagger Eaton secured bronze in the sport's debut at the Tokyo Olympics.

And if winning a medal at all wasn't remarkable enough, Eaton did it with a busted ankle.

“I really torqued my ankle three months ago,” the 20-year-old Eaton told NBC 7. “I almost gave myself a spiral fracture.”

That’s what happens when a bone experiences extreme force, cracking diagonally and resembling a corkscrew. Eaton skated on it at the world championships in Rome in the first week of June to make sure he could qualify for the Olympic Games, and things got even worse.

“I tore two ligaments and gave myself two fractures,” Eaton said.

Watch highlights from Eaton's medal-winning performance as he talks with TODAY:

Steffen Peters: Silver on Horseback!

Carmel Valley resident Steffen Peters was part of the dressage team that secured a medal for the U.S. for the first time in the dressage team grand prix special since 1948.

His wife and ranch team in San Diego couldn't be prouder of Peters and Mopsie, the horse Peters rode to victory.

It wasn't the German-born rider's only accomplishment of the Tokyo Olympics: At 56-years-old, Peters also made history as the oldest U.S. Olympic medalist since 1952.

Watch Peters, Sabine Schut-Kery and Adrienne Lyle trot their way to silver below:

Kelsey Plum: She's Got High Hoops

The San Diego native Kelsey Plum led the women's 3x3 basketball team to the top of the podium at the Tokyo Olympics after beating Russia in the finals.

Before the Tokyo Olympics, Plum's coaches and neighbors watched her journey to this moment.

“We knew something was different about Kelsey,” San Diego Sol Basketball Coach Spatticus Harris said. "I used to play pick-up basketball with her father back in the day, and she joined our program San Diego Sol. I got to coach her in the seventh and eighth grade, and talk about someone that always loves a challenge and ultra-competitive."

Plum’s journey on the basketball court has taken her from San Diego Sol to La Jolla Country Day to the University of Washington to the Las Vegas Aces to the Tokyo Olympics.

Watch Plum and Co. drive to the gold here:

Michael Andrew Makes a Splash

Swimmer Michael Andrew – an Encinitas resident who surfs North County breaks – will head home with a gold medal after the closing ceremonies.

It's been a while since San Diego has had a swimmer in the Olympics with gold medal potential, but Andrew fit that bill, qualifying for three separate individual events, but it was his teamwork that paid off over the weekend.

The U.S. men’s swim team had won every Olympics gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay in event history – and it kept that streak alive Saturday night.

Get to know San Diego local and Team USA swimmer Michael Andrew. NBC 7's Steven Luke reports.

Ryan Murphy, Caeleb Dressel, Zach Apple and Andrew beat Great Britain and Italy's teams, taking home the gold medal with a world-record time of 3:26.78 on their final day of swimming at the Tokyo Games.

After disappointing finishes in previous swimming events and controversy over decisions he's made regarding the pandemic (including not getting vaccinated and not wearing a mask during an interview in the media area, where masks are optional but many athletes have worn them), Andrews victory had to have been sweet.

Here's Andrews and the medley makers bringing home the gold:

Brittney Reese Leaps Her Way to Silver

Reese's silver secured Monday night is the third medal of her Olympic career. She also took home silver in 2016 and gold in 2012.

She's a seven-time world champion who was born in Inglewood, California, and now calls San Diego home.

Brittney Reese took home the silver medal in the long jump, finishing just behind gold medal winner Malaika Mihambo of Germany.

Reese may be a living legend on the track -- where she is known for showing up with big-time performances on the largest of stages -- but her most incredible accomplishment could be how she quietly showed up for her best friend off the track.

Reese stepped up to raise her best friend's son as her own and has embraced the role as a single mom while traveling the globe as a professional athlete.

Listen/Subscribe to NBC 7’s Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo podcast wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts. On each episode, NBC 7 News Today anchor Steven Luke will sit down with athletes in their prime, each with their sights set on one thing: representing Team USA in Tokyo this summer. How will they achieve their Olympic dreams?

Brian Burrows Shoots Into Bronze Position

Not only did Brian Burrows help secure a bronze for his team in mixed trap shooting, but he also helped Team USA get its first-ever medal in the event.

Maddy Bernau and Brian Burrows jumped out to an early 18-17 lead after 20 shots. Bernau missed three of her next five to open the door for Slovakia, but eventually hit the winning shot in a shoot-off.

Burrows, who was 12th in the men's trap event, hit 23 of 25 targets in the final. Bernau hit 19.

Team USA shooters Madelynn Ann Bernau and Brian Burrows took bronze in the first-ever mixed team trap competition in a close match that ended with a sudden-death shoot off.

City News Service contributed to this report -- Ed.

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