Team USA sending more women than men for the 4th consecutive Summer Olympics


DENVER — For the fourth consecutive Summer Olympics, Team USA will be sending a roster featuring more women than men.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced the 592-member contingent Wednesday that’s heading to the Paris later this month. The lineup features 314 women and 278 men, spanning ages from 16 to 59 and with 46 states represented.

There are 66 Olympic champions who’ve earned a combined 110 gold medals and three five-time Olympians, including basketball standout Diana Taurasi along with equestrians Steffen Peters and McLain Ward.

The opening ceremony in Paris takes place on July 26, with athletes assembling in boats that sail along the Seine River toward the Eiffel Tower. Competition kicks off July 24 and ends Aug. 11.

Team USA is the favorite to top the medal table, with Nielsen’s Gracenote forecasting 123 medals, with 37 of them gold.

“As they prepare to represent our nation on the greatest stage in all of sports, we honor their personal achievements and celebrate the unwavering support of the people that make it possible — their families, teammates, national governing bodies, coaches, and communities around the country,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a statement. “In the true spirit of ‘One for All,’ we join a proud nation of fans in cheering them on through inspiring performances and unforgettable moments.”

There are a trio of 16-year-olds heading to Paris, with artistic gymnast Hezly Rivera the youngest of the bunch. The oldest athlete is Peters at 59.

Swimmer Katie Ledecky leads Team USA with 10 Olympic medals, including seven golds and three silvers. Next on the list are gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Caeleb Dressel with seven medals apiece, while swimmer Ryan Murphy has six medals.

California leads the way by sending 120 athletes. That’s followed by Florida (42) and Texas (41). There are three athletes who list hometowns that are abroad — sailing’s Ian Barrows is from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; soccer’s Maximilian Dietz from Frankfurt, Germany, and water polo’s Luca Cupido from Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy.

Four athletes are making the Olympic squad for a fourth time. The list includes Brady Ellison (archery), Gerek Meinhardt (fencing), Stu McNay (sailing) and Vincent Hancock (shooting).

Of the 592 athletes heading to Paris, 75% of them competed on the college level. There are 15 teams that are made up completely of athletes who played in college. That pertains to women’s basketball, men’s and women’s 3×3 basketball, beach volleyball, men’s and women’s indoor volleyball, diving, fencing, women’s field hockey, women’s rugby, modern pentathlon, men’s and women’s water polo, rowing and triathlon.

What’s more, representation spreads across all divisions of the NCAA, along with junior colleges and club programs.

Team USA said there are at least a half-dozen set of siblings on the roster. They include Annie and Kerry Xu (badminton), Brooke and Emma DeBerdine (field hockey), Alex and Aaron Shackell (swimming), Gretchen and Alex Walsh (swimming), Juliette and Isabella Whittaker (track and field) and Chase and Ryder Dodd (water polo).

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AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games



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