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Maryland ranks higher on the Olympic gold list than all but five countries


Wrestler Kyle Snyder was one of many 2016 Olympic gold medalists who grew up in Maryland. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

The 2016 Rio Olympics concluded on a fitting note Sunday as the U.S. men’s basketball team dominated Serbia, 96-66, to win its third straight Olympic gold medal and help extend the United States’ lead in the Rio Olympics medal count.

After two weeks of competition, the U.S. finished with 121 overall medals (46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze), its highest total since the 1984 Olympics, in which the Americans brought home 174.

It also served as an appropriate end for two of the members of that men’s basketball team, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, who grew up in state of Maryland. The Old Line State (or is it Old Bay State?) produced 14 gold medals, three silvers and one bronze.

Only five countries finished with more than 14 gold medals in Rio. Maryland’s 18 total Olympic medals would place the state 14th in the overall medal count.

“Maryland’s killing it at the Olympics,” wrestler Kyle Snyder told The Post’s Adam Kilgore. “I don’t know how many gold medals. [Michael] Phelps and [Katie] Ledecky – that’s what I’m talking about. They’re killing it. Snyder and [Helen] Maroulis as well. And Melo. And so is Durant. And plenty of other athletes.”

(Note: This is not meant to be a comprehensive list. It counts those who grew up in the state. Relay or team medals are not counted twice. For example, Rockville’s Jack Conger, who swam at Good Counsel, earned a gold medal in the men’s 4×200 meter freestyle relay, but Michael Phelps was on that team, and their gold medals only count once toward the country’s medal count.)

Michael Phelps (Baltimore)

The 31-year-old came back from retirement in 2014 to win five gold medals and one silver in Rio, extending his career records for most overall Olympic medals (28) and most golds (23).

Phelps won gold in the 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, 4×100-meter freestyle relay, 4×200-meter freestyle relay and the 4×100-meter medley relay, to wrap up his legendary career (or so he insists). Phelps also took silver in the 100-meter butterfly, losing to Singapore’s Joseph Schooling, who grew up idolizing Phelps.

Katie Ledecky (Bethesda)

The most dominant athlete on the planet lived up to the hype and demolished her own world record in the 800-meter freestyle, beating the second-place finisher by 11.38 seconds.

Ledecky, 19, added golds in the 200-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle and 4×200-meter freestyle relay and a silver in the 4×100-meter freestyle. The Stone Ridge alum received a hero’s welcome after returning to the D.C. area last week and will begin her career at Stanford later this month.

It’s just a Maryland thing!! #swimunited @kledecky

A photo posted by Kevin Durant (@easymoneysniper) on

Helen Maroulis (Rockville)

A former student at Magruder High, Maroulis scored gold in one of the biggest upsets at the Olympics by toppling Japan’s Saori Yoshida, considered the best female wrestler ever, in the women’s freestyle 53-kg weight class.

Chase Kalisz (Bel Air)

Fourteen years ago, Kalisz was connected to a ventilator and lying in a coma. Now, the 22-year-old is an Olympic silver medalist in the 400-meter individual medley.

Matthew Centrowitz (Arnold)

It felt like Centrowitz, a five-time All-Met from Broadneck, was destined for a great Olympics this year, but even the 26-year-old himself was stunned after becoming the first American to claim Olympic gold in the 1,500-meter race in 108 years.

Kyle Snyder (Woodbine)

By defeating Azerbaijan’s Khetag Goziumov, the 20-year-old Snyder became the youngest American to win a wrestling Olympic gold medal. He won all 179 matches while competing at Good Counsel High in Olney.

Angel McCoughtry (Baltimore):

McCoughtry, 29, chipped in eight points to help Team USA earn its sixth straight Olympic gold medal in women’s basketball by dominating Spain, 101-72.

Aaron Russell (Ellicott City)

The 23-year-old outside hitter smashed in two kills in Team USA’s 23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13 victory over Russia in the bronze medal match.

Russell was a star goalie for Centennial High’s soccer team, partly because many public schools in Maryland did not offer boys’ volleyball as a varsity sport.

Kevin Durant (Suitland)/Carmelo Anthony (Baltimore)

Durant, the Washington Post’s 2006 All-Met Player of the Year, nearly outscored Serbia on his own in the first half Sunday en route to Team USA’s victory over Serbia.

By halftime, Durant had scored 24 of his 30 points, while Serbia had 29 in total. The 27-year-old former Montrose Christian superstar picked up his second Olympic gold medal, while teammate Anthony, who moved to Baltimore as a young kid and played at Towson Catholic High in Baltimore for three years, won an unprecedented third Olympic gold medal in men’s basketball.

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