Five gold-medal-winning teams are up for Team of the Olympic Games, presented by Dow.
So how could you possibly decide among these amazing champions?
Let’s take a closer look at the incredible achievements and background of each team.
Then, to cast your vote, go to www.TeamUSA.org/awards. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 9.
Voting for Best of the Games, presented by Dow, is also being held for best female and male athlete.
Women’s Basketball Team
Rio Accomplishments: Team USA went 8-0 to win the gold medal, beating Spain 101-72 in the gold-medal game.
Why it Mattered: The U.S. women are an unstoppable force on the international scene, as further proven by this year’s gold medal, their sixth straight and eighth overall. Team USA has now won 49 straight Olympic games dating back to 1996. Since beginning play in 1976, they have an overall Olympic record of 66-3.
Fun Fact: Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi have now won four gold medals since making their Olympic debuts in 2004 in Athens. They are tied with Lisa Leslie and Teresa Edwards as the only athletes to ever collect four Olympic gold medals in basketball.
What’s Next: The WNBA took a break to allow its star players to represent their countries in Rio. The season resumed on Aug. 26, and the regular season will end on Sept. 18.
Women’s Gymnastics Team
Rio Accomplishments: The “Final Five” won the team gold medal with an amazing score of 184.897. Individually, they added eight more medals, three of them gold.
Why it Mattered: Team USA had never won back-to-back team gold medals in gymnastics until this year. The squad’s eight-point margin of victory over silver medalist Russia was the largest since gymnastics abandoned the “one through 10” system of judging and went to the current system in 2006.
Fun Fact: The team dubbed themselves the “Final Five” and announced it to the world on live television after winning gold. The name is both a nod to the retirement of Martha Karolyi, who served as the national team coordinator since 2001 and is credited largely with turning the U.S. women into a powerhouse, and the fact that beginning in Tokyo in 2020 gymnastics teams will be limited to four athletes.
What’s Next: The “Final Five” will next be seen headlining a national tour this fall, while Laurie Hernandez will compete on the upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars.” Madison Kocian is committed to UCLA.
Women’s Rowing Eight
Rio Accomplishments: Another Olympic gold medal.
Why it Mattered: This was the third straight gold medal for the U.S. women, who ran their unbeaten streak in world and Olympic competition to 11 years. Overall, the United States now has four gold medals since the event was first included in the Olympic Games in 1976. Still, only two members of the crew, Eleanor Logan and Meghan Musnicki, had previous Olympic experience prior to Rio.
Fun Fact: Logan has been on each of the last three Olympic teams and is now the only U.S. rower in history to win three gold medals.
What’s Next: The women have been busy on their victory tour since returning home from Rio. With so many new faces on this year’s team and still more talent in the pipeline, the U.S. team will seek to continue its dominance in 2017 and beyond.
Women’s Track 400-Meter Relay
Rio Accomplishments: The team of Tianna Bartoletta, Tori Bowie, Allyson Felix and English Gardner won the gold medal in 41.01 seconds.
Why it Mattered: Not only did the team defend its gold medal from London in 2012, but it also ran the second-fastest 400-meter relay in history. Only the 2012 U.S. Olympic squad, which clocked in at 40.82, has run faster.
Fun Fact:The U.S. women were disqualified in the preliminary heat after a faulty baton exchange between Felix and Gardner, but USA Track & Field appealed and the team was granted a rerun because Felix was bumped by a Brazilian runner.
What’s next: The Diamond League wraps up in September, and the top track athletes will be back on the global stage next summer at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
Women’s Water Polo Team
Rio Accomplishments: The Americans went undefeated at 6-0 to win the gold medal, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 73-32 along the way.
Why it Mattered: Only one team has won a medal at every women’s water polo tournament since the sport made its Olympic debut in 2000, and only one team has successfully defended its gold medal. And that’s Team USA on both counts. This year’s win was all the more emotional because the brother of coach Adam Krikorian died of a heart attack just days before the Opening Ceremony.
Fun Fact: Since winning Olympic gold in 2012, Team USA has also captured three World League titles, a World Cup and a world championship.
What’s Next:For Aria Fischer, at least, it’s back to high school. She’s set to graduate in 2017. The team will look to defend its world title at next summer’s world championships, held in Budapest, Hungary.