The United States is anticipating sending about 600 athletes to the Tokyo Olympics. It could be the country’s largest Olympic contingent since the 1996 Atlanta Games, which included more than 640 American athletes. The first Tokyo-bound American athlete qualified for the Summer Games in July 2019. The group will continue to grow through the end of June, and the full Team USA roster must be finalized by the first week of July.
Who are some of the familiar names?
Team USA will include several past Olympic medalists. Long distance runner Galen Rupp will be competing in his fourth Olympics, having won bronze in the 2016 Olympic marathon and silver in the 10,000-meter race at the 2012 Games.
Softball star Cat Osterman made her Olympic debut at the 2004 Games in Athens, where the U.S. squad won gold, and was also on the 2008 team that took silver. Pitcher Monica Abbott played alongside her on that 2008 squad.
Shooter Vincent Hancock won gold in at the 2008 Olympics and again four years later in London before turning in a 15th-place finish four years ago at the Rio Games.
Fencer Mariel Zagunis will be competing at her fifth Olympics. Now 36, Zagunis has won two gold and two bronze medals and also served as the U.S. flag-bearer at the 2012 opening ceremony in London.
Wrestlers Kyle Snyder and Helen Maroulis will both be looking to defend their Olympic titles.
Who else has made the team so far?
As of the end of March, more than 100 U.S. athletes had qualified for the Tokyo Games, many of whom did so before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted scheduling and competition in spring 2020. They include:
Canoe/kayak: Nevin Harrison (Seattle)
Climbing: Nathaniel Coleman (Salt Lake City), Kyra Condie (Shoreview, Minn.), Colin Duffy (Broomfield, Colo.), Brooke Raboutou (Boulder, Colo.)
Cycling: Chloe Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind.), Hannah Roberts (Buchanan, Mich.)
Fencing: Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.), Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.), Daryl Homer (Bronx, N.Y.), Jake Hoyle (Wallingford, Pa.), Courtney Hurley (San Antonio), Kelley Hurley (San Antonio), Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), Alexander Massialas (San Francisco), Curtis McDowald (Jamaica, N.Y.), Gerek Meinhardt (San Francisco), Yeisser Ramirez (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Eliza Stone (Chicago), Anna van Brummen (Houston), Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)
Karate: Sakura Kokumai (Los Angeles)
Modern pentathlon: Samantha Achterberg (Littleton, Colo.), Amro ElGeziry (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Rowing: Kara Kohler (Princeton, N.J.)
Sailing: Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.), Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.), David Hughes (Miami), Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.), Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.), Pedro Pascual (Miami), Paige Riley (Clearwater, Fla.), Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.), Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.), Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.),
Shooting: Madelynn Bernau (Waterford, Wis.), Kayle Browning (Wooster, Ark.), Brian Burrows (Fallbrook, Calif.), Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colo.), James Hall (Anniston, Ala.), Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.), Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas), Lucas Kozeniesky (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Alexis Lagan (Boulder City, Nev.), Derrick Mein (Paola, Kan.), Nick Mowrer (Butte, Mont.), Keith Sanderson (San Antonio), Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Austen Smith, (Keller, Texas), Mary Tucker (Sarasota, Fla.), Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.), Allison Weisz (Belgrade, Mont.)
Softball: Monica Abbott (Salinas, Calif.), Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.), Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.), Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.), Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich.), Rachel Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.), Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.), Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.), Dejah Mulipola (Garden Grove, Calif.), Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.), Bubba Nickles (Merced, Calif.), Cat Osterman (Houston), Janie Reed (Placentia, Calif.), Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.)
Surfing: Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, Calif.), John John Florence (Oahu, Hawaii), Caroline Marks (Melbourne Beach, Fla.), Carissa Moore (Honolulu)
Swimming: Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif.), Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y.), Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif.)
Table tennis: Kanak Jha (Milpitas, Calif.), Nikhil Kumar (San Jose, Calif.), Juan Liu (New York), Huijing Wang (Sugar Land, Texas), Lily Zhang (Palo Alto, Calif.) Xin Zhou (Milpitas, Calif.)
Taekwondo: Paige McPherson (Sturgis, N.D.), Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Fla.)
Track and field: Abdi Abdirahman (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.), Sally Kipyego (Eugene, Ore.), Jacob Riley (Bellingham, Wash.), Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), Molly Seidel (Boston), Aliphine Tuliamuk (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
Triathlon: Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.)
Wrestling: Kyle Dake (Ithaca N.Y.), Thomas Gilman (Council Bluffs, Iowa), Adeline Gray (Denver), Ildar Hafizov (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), G’Angelo Hancock (Fountain, Colo.), Sarah Hildebrandt (Granger, Ind.), Helen Maroulis (Rocky Point, Md.), Tamyra Mensah-Stock (Katy, Texas), Kayla Miracle (Culver, Ind.), Alejandro Sancho (Miami), Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md.), John Stefanowicz (Jacksonville, N.C.), David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), Jacarra Winchester (Marshall, Mo.)
When are the major trials?
Qualifying events will continue through the end of June. Some of the most high-profile include:
Swimming: Wave I on June 4-7 and Wave II on June 13-20 in Omaha, Neb.
Track and field: June 18-27 in Eugene, Ore.
Gymnastics: June 24-27 in St. Louis
What about the U.S. basketball teams? Soccer teams?
The United States has earned a spot in both the men’s and women’s basketball Olympic tournaments. USA Basketball in March released a list of 57 finalists for the Tokyo roster, including 16 Olympic veterans. The group includes several NBA all-stars, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard.
The U.S. women’s pool includes 36 players, 16 of whom were expected to attend a training camp in late March. That group includes Sue Bird, Diamond DeShields, Diana Taurasi, A’ja Wilson and Sylvia Fowles.
Both teams are expected to announce their respective 12-member rosters later in the spring.
The U.S. women’s national soccer team qualified for the Tokyo tournament last February and when the final roster is announced this spring, it likely will feature a squad of familiar faces. The Tokyo-bound group should include several World Cup veterans, including Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe, among others.
The men’s squad failed to claim its first Olympic berth since the 2008 Games, losing to Honduras in a regional qualifier. The Olympic men’s competition is limited to under-23 players.
What other qualifiers are there?
Some sports, such as boxing, have their national team selected, but now must earn spots in the Olympic tournament. They’ll compete at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Americas, May 10-16 in Buenos Aires.
Other sports, such as men’s and women’s water polo, have earned spots in the Tokyo tournament but have not yet completed their rosters.
How do they select athletes in sports without trials?
Many sports rely on accumulated points, world rankings and international competitions for athletes to earn their spots at the Olympics. Those season-long competitions and qualifying events will continue through the spring and most will lay claim to their respective Olympic berths by June.
How has covid-19 impacted qualifying?
With the exception of the handful of sports that qualified athletes before March 2020, most every Olympic sport had to shuffle its competition schedules and rework its qualifying process because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many events were canceled, which meant that some sports had fewer qualifying events available. Some sports, such as skateboarding, were still scrambling in March to stage qualifying events and give athletes ample opportunities to compete before Tokyo.