The 2008 U.S. Team includes 310 men and 286 women, who will compete in 30 sports in Beijing, including the newest Olympic disciplines of bicycle moto-cross (BMX), open water swimming and women’s steeplechase. The only team events the U.S. will not compete in are men's field hockey and team handball.
“The United States will send a strong team of 596 athletes who will represent our country with pride and honor,” said USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr. “America's athletes recognize just how challenging the competitive environment will be, and they are preparing with this in mind. We are confident they will rise to the competitive challenges in Beijing.”
Forty-seven U.S. states will have athlete representatives competing in Beijing, based upon athletes’ listed hometown affiliation. California will send the most representatives with 175, while Montana, North Dakota and Vermont do not have a representative on the U.S. Team competing in 2008.
This year’s U.S. Olympic Team demonstrates that age is no obstacle when you have a dream to pursue.
Four members of the team competing in Beijing next month are over 50 years old. Distinction as the oldest U.S. athlete goes to sailor John Dane III (Gulfport, Miss.), made his first U.S. Olympic Team at the age of 58. At age 56, Libby Callahan (shooting/Columbia, S.C.) will become the oldest U.S. female Olympian of all time.
The youngest U.S. team members will compete together as part of the women’s 10m synchro team in diving. Both 15, Mary Beth Dunnichay (Elwood, Ind.) edges partner Haley Ishimatsu (Seal Beach, Calif.) as the youngest U.S. athlete.
“These athletes have faced extreme challenges and made tremendous sacrifices for the opportunity to represent their country in Beijing,” said USOC Chef de Mission Charles Lee. “Being a part of this historic event is a tremendous honor for each and every person in this delegation and one the U.S. team will fully embrace.”
The U.S. Team roster could still be adjusted due to injury, illness or exceptional circumstances up to the technical meetings for each sport.
Courtesy of The United States Olympic