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Rio Olympics 2016 medal count: USA continues its domination in international sport

People watching the Rio Olympics have become accustomed to hearing the Star-Spangled Banner play, as American athletes continue to dominate the medal count.

It’s been a strong showing for Team USA so far at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, with America winning in both overall medals and in gold medals, distantly followed by China, Japan, and Australia.

Vox Media’s SB Nation keeps a live Olympic medal tracker that breaks down the gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded to each competing country.

Athletes continue to break records this Olympics: Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Balandin won his country’s first gold medal in swimming, and Michael Phelps keeps adding to his medal count as the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time.

It’s likely that by the end of this year's games, the United States will claim dominance in international sport for the sixth Olympics in a row. That’s every Winter and Summer Games since 2006.

Since the dawn of the modern Olympics in 1896, the United States has always found a home on the podium — except for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, which the United States boycotted altogether.

"The rise and fall of each country’s medal count over time … is also a snapshot of modern history: The world pauses for war; countries rise, fall and acquire new names; the United States and the Soviet Union grow in strength during the Cold War; China emerges as a global player," the New York Times’ Gregor Aisch and Larry Buchanan write, having tracked the countries’ medal counts since Athens 1896. (They visualized the medal counts for every sport since the start of the modern Olympics.)

Likewise, the Rio Games has its own place in history. Brazil is the first South American country to host the Olympics, and during the worst economic recession in its country’s history. And these games are also the first to have a team made up of refugees — a reminder of one of today’s most dire international crises.