Sunday, July 21, 2024

Meet Team USA headed to Paris Olympics: What you need to know

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Team USA is officially set for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee on Wednesday unveiled the full, final roster for its 2024 Olympic team, a group of nearly 600 athletes who will represent the United States across 31 different sports in Paris.

Gymnast Simone Biles, swimmer Katie Ledecky and sprinter Noah Lyles are among the returning Olympians and presumptive gold-medal favorites who headline Team USA, which is expected to bring one of the largest delegations to the Paris Games. The team will feature athletes from 46 states and the District of Columbia, ranging in age from 16 to almost 60. And while it will include hundreds of first-time Olympians, it will also have a few six-timers, too.

Sarah Hirshland, the chief executive officer of the USOPC, said in a teleconference last month that U.S. officials would not make public predictions about how this group will fare at the Paris Games, which run from July 26 to Aug. 11.

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“But we certainly do expect to have a very strong performance, as we have historically seen in these Games,” Hirshland said. “And it is important to us, because it’s important to athletes. They come to these games to be wildly successful.”

Here’s a closer look at the 2024 U.S. Olympic team.

How many athletes are on Team USA?

There are 592 athletes on the 2024 U.S. Olympic team, which makes it a slightly smaller group than the team at the most recent Summer Games in Tokyo (613 athletes) but quite a bit larger than the 2016 team in Rio de Janeiro (554).

The U.S. will have at least one athlete competing in 31 of the 32 sports on the Paris program, with team handball the only exception. Track and field, unsurprisingly, has the largest contingent with 120 athletes while rhythmic gymnastics and modern pentathlon have one each.

Women will also make up the majority of the U.S. Olympic team in Paris, with 314 athletes set to represent Team USA in women’s events (53%) compared to 278 men (47%).

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The U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team is set, meet the team

Simone Biles is back along with some returning faces as the team looks to build on their Tokyo team silver medal at the Paris Games.

Which state has the most Olympic athletes?

Nearly 1 in 5 athletes on the 2024 U.S. Olympic team hail from a single state: California.

The Golden State will have more than twice as many athletes on Team USA than runner-up Florida, which will have 44. Texas is the third highest-ranking home state among U.S. athletes, with 38.

Only four states do not have a single representative on the 2024 Olympic team: Maine, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Who is the youngest athlete on Team USA?

There will be three 16-year-olds on the U.S. Olympic team for the Paris Games, though gymnast Hezly Rivera − who just turned 16 last month − is the youngest. Paige Heyn (skateboarding) and Quincy Wilson (track and field) are the others.

In total, the U.S. will have 32 teenagers on its Olympic roster, including six skateboarders.

Who is the oldest athlete on Team USA?

The oldest members of Team USA are, once again, on the equestrian team.

Steffen Peters will celebrate his 60th birthday in September and, according to NBC via Olympic data website OlyMADMen, he will be the oldest U.S. athlete to compete at the Summer Olympics since 1936.

Laura Kraut, another equestrian athlete, is 58. And the third-oldest member of Team USA in Paris will be shooter Keith Sanderson, who is making his fourth Olympic appearance at 49.

How many athletes are making their first Olympic appearance?

A whopping 340 of the 592 members of Team USA − or roughly 57% − will be making their Olympic debuts at the 2024 Summer Games.

And for another 165 athletes, or about 28% of the team, the Paris Olympics could very well feel like their first. Those athletes’ only previous Olympic experience came at the 2021 Tokyo Games under the significant restrictions and limitations wrought by COVID-19.

Who is the most experienced athlete on Team USA?

Three athletes will be making a whopping sixth trip to the Summer Olympics for Team USA this summer, including the aforementioned Peters, who made his Games debut in Atlanta in 1996.

Diana Taurasi (women’s basketball) and McLain Ward (equestrian) have each represented the U.S. at every edition of the Summer Games going back to 2004 in Athens.

Who is the most decorated athlete on Team USA?

Swimmer Katie Ledecky will be competing at her fourth Olympic Games and has already won 10 medals for Team USA, including seven golds and three silvers. No other member of this year’s Olympic team has won double-digit medals at the Summer Games.

Fellow swimmer Caeleb Dressel and gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles have each won seven medals at past Olympics. All of Dressel’s medals are golds, while Biles has won four gold medals, one silver and two bronzes.

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