LOS ANGELES: The US Olympic Committee announced a 555-strong team for the Rio de Janeiro Games that includes 292 women, the most women to represent any country at the Games.
With 263 men on the squad, it’s just the second time that the United States will send more women than men to the Olympics after fielding a team of 269 women and 261 men in London four years ago.
The team includes 68 gold medalists among 191 returning Olympians.
The US will compete in 27 sports and 244 of the 306 medal events that will be contested in Rio. The team was announced in a ceremony on Venice Beach in Los Angeles.
Among the 191 returning Olympians there are three six-time Olympians, seven five-time Olympians, 19 four-time Olympians, 50 three-time Olympians and 112 two-time Olympians.
Of the 68 who have won Olympic gold, 53 are looking to defend their titles from London, including 19 in individual events.
Topping the list of most decorated male and female competitors to make the team are swimming great Michael Phelps, whose 22 medals include 18 gold, and track and field athlete Allyson Felix, whose six medals include four gold.
Joining Felix as four-time Olympic champions are sisters Serena and Venus Williams, who will look to match the Olympic record for overall medals in tennis of five.
The USA will also seek to continue its success in team sports, with the women’s basketball team chasing a record sixth straight gold and the men’s basketball team aiming to win a third straight gold and 15th title overall.
The women footballers will try to become the first World Cup champions to win the following year’s Olympic title while the US women’s rowing eight hasn’t lost an Olympic or world title since 2006.
US women will look to repeat as Olympic champions in artistic gymnastics, having won the last four Olympic and world titles from 2011-15. And with historic Copacabana Beach serving as the backdrop,
Team USA also will look to continue its storybook history in beach volleyball with Americans having reached the top of the podium at every Olympic Games since the sport was added in 1996.