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Olympics 2021: What you need to know about Team USA

The 2021 Olympics are here. For Team USA, there’s Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, Kevin Durant, Megan Rapinoe, Diana Taurasi, Collin Morikawa and a whole host of other names to know.

This is the second-largest American Olympic team ever. Here are a few more facts to know about Team USA.

The team by the numbers

There are 613 American Olympians who qualified for the Tokyo Games in 36 different disciplines. That is the second-most in United States history, trailing only the 1996 Atlanta Games when America had a contingent of 646 athletes. One of those athletes, equestrian Phillip Dutton, was at the Atlanta Games, but competed for Australia. The track team has the most members with 130.

On the podium

The United States is the all-time leader of every medal category. Including both Summer and Winter Games, Americans have won 1,134 gold medals, nearly tripling the total of 473 won by the Soviet Union. If the United States wins 153 medals, it would reach 3,000 total medals won.

The pool party

For the first time since 1996, Michael Phelps will not swim for Team USA. Despite that, there is a host of superstar swimmers, headlined by Ledecky, who has won six Olympic medals. Joining the team is 15-year-old Katie Grimes. She is the youngest swimmer to qualify since Ledecky in 2012. Grimes will make her debut in the 800-meter freestyle.

The fast Felix

Allyson Felix will represent the United States in track for the fifth time. She is the fourth female athlete to qualify for five Olympics in track and field and joins Gail Devers as the only sprinters to accomplish the feat. Felix has won nine medals (six gold, three silver) and is one win away from tying Carl Lewis for the most medals won by an American in track and field.

New looks on the court

Despite being loaded with NBA talent, there isn’t a lot of Olympic experience. Nine of the 12 players on America’s roster will be making their Olympic debuts. Their coach is new too. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich replaces Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. Popovich is looking to join Chuck Daly (1992), Lenny Wilkens (1996) and Rudy Tomjanovich (2000) as the only coaches to win NBA titles and Olympic gold. The new faces might not be a big deal since America has Durant. He has played in the previous two Olympics and, with 311 career points, is second behind Carmelo Anthony (336) for the most points scored in Olympic competition.

The United States’ women’s basketball team faces a similar issue. It will have six first-time Olympians, including WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson. The veterans, featuring Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles and Brittney Griner, have won a total of 15 gold medals.

Eddy Alvarez can do it all

Eddy Alvarez might be one of the most unique athletes on Team USA. He’ll play infield for the baseball team, but he has Olympic experience — in short track speedskating. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Alvarez won silver in the men’s 5,000-meter relay.

Speaking of baseball

It’s back in the Olympics. Mike Scioscia, who guided the Los Angeles Angels to their lone World Series title, is the team’s manager. The team does not have any current major league players, but consists of minor leaguers and free agents, including Scott Kazmir.

Recent winners represent in golf

Team USA’s golf team will feature three Americans who have recently won majors: Justin Thomas (2021 Players Championship); Morikawa (2020 PGA Championship and 2021 British Open); and Bryson DeChambeau (2020 U.S. Open).

LFG in Tokyo

Coming off a 2019 World Cup victory, the venerated U.S. Women’s National Team is trying to regain soccer gold for the first time since 2012. America was knocked out in the quarterfinal round in 2016. It will feature two players — Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath — playing on their fourth Olympic team. Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara and Alex Morgan, the heroes of the World Cup, are all making their third Olympic appearance. The team averages 111 international caps per player and has a combined 77 Olympic appearance and 17 Olympic goals.

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.

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