However, the collapse of the USSR and the coming period of chaos in the economic and political life of Russia did their thing. If at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 athletes of 12 former republics of the Soviet Union, acting as a single team, still by inertia were able to take the first place, having won 45 gold medals, then already through 4 years at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, the Russian team achieved only 26 medals of the highest test. In the first place with a huge advantage (44 gold medals) was the USA team.
Positive trends that began in the late 1990s led to the Russians performing more successfully at the next Olympics. 32 golds in Sydney (2000) seemed to inspire hope that Russia will now be able to make up serious competition to the USA. But here a rapidly developing China came into play. Already at the Olympics in Athens in 2004, the Chinese team confidently pushed Russia to the third all-team place, winning 32 gold medals (Russians — only 27). And at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, the Chinese generally became triumphants, having received 51 medals of the highest test. The Americans with 36 gold medals were second, the Russians with 23 were third.
Alas, there is virtually no chance that at the Olympics in London our athletes will perform a miracle and become leaders again. The reality is that the limit of our ability is 3rd team place. Russian athletes aim for this result. The minimum task is to get 25 gold medals. The task is maximum 30.