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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have named a 555 member team for the Rio 2016 Olympics as they seek to top the medal table for the second successive Summer Games.

At London 2012, the American team finished with a tally of 45 gold, 29 silver and 29 bronze medals and their squad for the forthcoming Games contains 53 athletes who are looking to defend titles from four-years ago.

The United States will be represented in 27 sports at the Games, with 263 men and 292 women making up the delegation.

The selection will mark the most women to have ever competed for any nation in Olympic history, beating the 289 who represented China at Beijing 2008.

Four-time Olympic champion swimmer and Los Angeles 2024 vice chair Janet Evans helped to reveal the team at an event on Venice Beach, California, with USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun among those to wish those selected luck at the Games.

“We applaud a diverse and distinguished group of our nation’s greatest athletes, who will represent Team USA in Rio,” he said.

“Sport, and the Olympic Movement in particular, has always had a unique ability to inspire our nation and unite the world.

“These Olympic Games will be no different in that regard as 555 Americans rise to their best and make our nation proud.

“I am especially excited for the historic achievement of our women’s delegation, which is a true testament to the strength and growing number of women’s sport opportunities in the United States.”

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time with 18 gold, two silver and two bronze medals, will be targeting further success in the pool heading into his fifth Games.

The 31-year-old is due to compete in the 100 and 200 metres butterfly at Rio 2016, as well as the 200m individual medley.

Allyson Felix is the most decorated woman in the team having won four gold medals and two silver medals, while fellow four-time Olympic champions Serena and Venus Williams will lead the American challenge in tennis.

Equestrian athlete Phillip Dutton and shooters Emil Milev and Kim Rhode are all due to compete at the Games for the sixth time in their career.

“For both returning and first-time Olympians, the pursuit of an Olympic dream is never an easy journey,” said Alan Ashley, United States' Chef de Mission and USOC chief of sport performance.

“Earning the distinction of being named to the US Olympic Team requires years of relentless focus, unwavering dedication and untold sacrifices.

“I’d like to commend all of those who helped support our athletes in pursuit of their Olympic dreams.

“During the Games, we will continue to uphold that same level of support as we help our athletes strive for excellence on the world stage.”

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