According to the U.S. Olympic Committee, for the first time in history, the U.S. Olympic team will send more female athletes to the Games than male athletes. The U.S. will have 269 female athletes competing in London and 261 males. Overall, those 530 athletes qualified to compete in 246 out of the 302 medal events in the Games. The U.S. will be competing in 25 out of the 26 sports because the U.S. is not sending a team to compete in team handball. If the U.S. men’s soccer team had qualified for the Olympics, there’d be more males going than females, but the women qualified and the men didn’t, and that’s what made the difference.
Here are ten random facts about the team:
1. The oldest American competing is 54-year-old Karen O’Connor, in equestrian. The youngest is a 15-year-old swimmer named Katie Ledecky.
2. There are four athletes over 50 competing. All of them are competing in equestrian events, but there’s also an 18-year-old competing for the U.S. in equestrian.
3. The average age of the American Olympians is 27.
4. There are 13 mothers and 54 fathers competing in the Olympics.
5. The U.S. is sending athletes from 45 different states. California has the most, at 128. The five states that got shut out are New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia.
6. This is the first year the Olympics will feature women’s boxing. The U.S. is sending three female boxers to compete.
7. We’re sending plenty of famous athletes to compete, including Michael Phelps, Venus and Serena Williams, Andy Roddick, Hope Solo and all the basketball players including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
8. There are eight sets of siblings who made the team, and in all eight cases, both siblings are in the same sport. Two of those are sets of twins - Bob and Mike Bryan in tennis and Grant and Ross James in rowing.
9. Thirteen athletes are active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including eight who are competing in shooting events. The Army is also sending three wrestlers, one competitor for the modern pentathlon and one in track and field.
10. There are seven Americans who are going to their fifth Olympic games. Before this year, only 16 Americans total had ever been to five Olympics.