>> Triple jumper James Connolly won the USA's first gold at the inaugural Olympic games, way back in 1896. 120 years later, America is a stone's throw from capturing their 1000th. Yes, 1000th gold in the Summer Olympic games. How amazing is that? That's about a quarter of all gold medals won ever.
Reuters sports reporter Steve Keating.>> The next country to win a 1000th medal, at the current rate that they're winning gold medals now, will not happen in a century. It'll take almost a century for another country to reach that level. And they think that that would be China, and the next closest would be Germany.
And on that same projection, it would take Germany almost two centuries to get to 1000 medals.>> Arriving here in Rio, the US had 977 gold medals. Russia, including its days as the Soviet Union, second with 473 golds, and Germany in third with 288. Phelps is the most decorated Olympian ever, with 22 gold medals and counting.
So who will be the lucky athlete to hit the milestone?>> It could be Simone Biles. She's already raked up a number of gold, and she's expected to rack up a few more. That honor could go to her. Or it could go to some athlete that we've never even heard of, sailing, a Greco-Roman wrestler.
Cuz the person who wins that 1000th medal, it's a real milestone. They're gonna be remembered. The USOC is planning a celebration. Nothing over the top, but they're going to do something special for it. And yeah, it's a fantastic achievement.>> But that doesn't mean America rules all sports.
No American has ever stood atop the podium in field hockey, triathlon, badminton, handball, table tennis, modern pentathlon, or polo and lacrosse, which are no longer in the Olympics.