Random Facts About the United States Olympic Team
The Olympics have already started...sort of. Here are some random facts about some of this year's U.S. Olympic team.
The United States delegation is made up of 530 athletes. There are 269 females and 261 males and that's only because our men's soccer team didn't make it. We will be competing in 246 of the 302 possible medal events.
The oldest athlete competing is 54. Her name is Karen O'Connor and she's part of the equestrian events. She has been a part of every Olympics since the Seoul games in 1988 and was named U.S. Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year on ten occasions. Karen will be taking part in both the individual and team events. Karen is among four Olympic athletes over the age of 50 and all of them are competing in equestrian events. The youngest athlete competing is 15 year old Katie Ledecky from Washington, D.C. The average age of our Olympic athletes is 27.
There are athletes from 45 of the 50 states taking part. The state sending the most is California with 128. Minnesota has several athletes competing. Whether they're from here or live here, there are several to watch. Lindsey Whalen will be playing basketball for the U.S. Lindsey grew up in Hutchinson and played for the Minnesota Golden Gophers Women's Basketball team and is now part of the Minnesota Lynx. Lindsey's Lynx teammate Seimone Augustus will also be playing for Team U.S.A. Amanda Smock grew up in Melrose and is part of track and field and competing in the triple jump. Chas Betts grew up in St. Michael and will compete in wrestling and Alise Post grew up in St. Cloud and is competing in BMX Biking. Some others to watch include: Shani Marks (basketball), Lindsey Berg (volleyball), Rachel Bootsma (swimming), Kelci Bryant (diving), Sam Hazewinkel (wrestling) and Susie Scanlan (fencing). The states that got shut out are: New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia.
There are eight sets of brothers and sisters competing in the Games and in all cases, they're competing in the same event. Diana and Steven Lopez are both competing in taekwondo, Zach and Paige Railey are competing in sailing and Bob and Mike Bryan are competing in tennis. The U.S. Olympic team also includes two sets of twins! The Williams sisters are playing tennis, and Grant and Ross James are competing for the U.S. in rowing.
Thirteen athletes are members of the armed forces. Eight of them are taking part in shooting events and there are seven Olympians competing in their fifth Olympics!
The Opening Ceremonies for the Games will take place Friday, July 27.