Track star Marion Jones and the United States men's and women's basketball teams are following their scripts so far by showing gold-medal form.
But some other golden performers -- such as swimmer Misty Hyman (200-meter butterfly) and cyclist Marty Nothstein (men's sprint race) -- caught most Olympic observers by surprise.
Hyman's was among 33 swimming medals (14 gold) won by the U.S., whose supremacy was challenged -- at least verbally -- by the Australians.
"We were able to use the threat of being dethroned as the best swimming nation to step up and reach another level that we would never have reached," said Gary Hall, who shared a gold medal with teammate Anthony Ervin in the 50-meter freestyle.
Through Sunday's competition, the U.S. leads the overall medal standing with 52. China has 44.