Sports

Nearly 300 women representing Team USA at Rio Olympics

 

The 292 women athletes competing for the United States Olympic team this month at the 2016 Rio Games represents the largest contingent of women who have ever competed for one nation in Olympic Game history.

Title IX continues to work and Americans are reaping the benefit. Athletics in America has never been stronger.

Stanford, at the forefront of the Title IX movement, is the most represented school in the world, with 20 women competing for the U.S, and another eight competing for other countries.

There are also two Stanford women involved with television broadcasting at the Olympics.

It's not limited to Stanford. There's a Palo Alto, Castilleja, Pinewood and two Sacred Heart Prep grads, one as a team manager, who are in Rio.

There are 19 men on the team with local connections, 16 from Stanford, two others from Menlo Park, one of whom attended Menlo-Atherton, and one from East Palo.

At least five of these athletes are defending gold medals and several others with medals already in their trophy cases.

Best chance for gold with a local connection? Women's soccer, women's swimming, women's water polo, women's rowing and men's fencing.

Best chance for a medal with a local connection? In addition to the above, men's and women's diving, men's and women's rugby, men's and women's volleyball and men's water polo.

Talking points:

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team features 191 returning Olympians, including three six-time Olympians, seven five-time Olympians (Tony Azevedo and Kerri Walsh Jennings among them), 19 four-time Olympians, 50 three-time Olympians and 112 two-time Olympians. Among the returnees are 108 Olympic medalists, 68 of whom are Olympic champions and 45 who have won multiple Olympic medals. Of the 68 returning Olympic champions, 53 are looking to defend their titles from London, including 19 in individual events.

Cardinal grad Elle Logan has a chance at history. Should the Americans rowing eight earn gold, Logan would became the first rower not from Romania to have won three Olympic gold medals in the event.

Topping the list of most decorated U.S male and female athletes to make the team are Phelps and Allyson Felix (track and field). With 22 medals, including 18 golds, swimmer Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, from any nation, and the first American male swimmer to qualify for five Olympic Teams.

Making her fourth Olympic appearance, Allyson Felix is the most decorated U.S. Olympic female with four gold medals, and six overall. 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.

The U.S. women's basketball team is seeking a record sixth consecutive gold medal and the U.S. men's team will look for its third straight and 15 overall.

Nine athletes on the U.S. roster have competed at the Youth Olympic Games, including Alex Massialas (fencing, 2010) and Lily Zhang (table tennis, 2014).

Stanford grad Cherika "CoCo" Ukogu is representing Nigeria in rowing (single sculling), the first ever Olympic rower from the nation.

Stanford incoming freshman David Jessen is the son of 1988 Olympic gymnast Hana Ricna.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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