the top shot for a record record 237 consecutive weeks from February 2, 2004 to August 17, 2008.
Against Gonzalez, Nadal raced to a one set lead before Gonzalez set up two set points in set two by hitting inside out forehand winners.
Nadal's more powerful forehand and serve would decide the match however.
"Not in my best dreams could I have imagined this," Nadal said.
Also scoring medals for their countries after disapointing singles losses were former world number ones Federer who partnered with
Stanislas Wawrinka to take gold in men's doubles, and Venus and Serena Williams of the USA who scored gold in women's doubles.
But for a semifinal loss at the Australian Open in January, Nadal might have achieved the unthinkable, winning all four of tennis' grand
slams plus the Olympics for a Golden Slam Slam. Nadal lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in Melbourne in the semifinals before taking
titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics. Tennis' final grand slam, the US Open begins next Monday.
The Golden Grand Slam has only been won once ever, in 1988 by Steffi Graf of Germany. Should Nadal win the US Open, then he would have
a chance in January to record a noncalender Golden Grand Slam in January at the Australian Open.
Men's Singles Gold/Silver
Rafael Nadal (ESP) def. Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3
Men's Singles Bronze
Novak Djokovic (SRB) def. James Blake (USA) 6-3, 7-6(7-4)
Women's Singles Gold/Silver
Elena Dementieva (RUS) def. Dinara Safina (RUS) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
Women's Singles Bronze
Vera Zvonareva (RUS) def. Li Na (CHN) 6-0, 7-5
Men's Doubles Gold/Silver
Roger Federer/Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) def. Simon Aspelin/Thomas Johansson (SWE) 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3
Men's Doubles Bronze
Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) def. Arnaud Clement/Michael Llodra (FRA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Women's Doubles Gold/Silver
Serena Williams/Venus Williams (USA) def. Anabel Medina Garrigues/Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP) 6-2, 6-0
Women's Doubles Bronze
Zheng Jie/Yan Zi (CHN) def. Alona Bondarenko/Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 6-2, 6-2