U.S. Olympic team of 550-plus athletes most of any nation in Rio

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The U.S. will send the largest delegation of athletes of any nation to the Summer Olympics — currently 555 qualified for Rio — for the first time since the 2004 Athens Games.

The USOC is planning to officially announce the full team Saturday live on Periscope via @TeamUSA from Los Angeles at 3:45 p.m. ET.

Here’s the full list of U.S. Olympic team qualifiers.

Team USA has significantly more athletes than its biggest medal rival, China (416), and host nation Brazil (462).

In 2012, host Great Britain had 541 athletes in London, while the U.S. sent 530. In 2008, host China had 639 athletes in Beijing, while the U.S. sent 596.

The 2016 U.S. Olympic team will include its most female athletes of all time and more women (292) than men (263) for the second time.

It includes at least 191 returning Olympians, with seven going to their fifth Games and three going to their sixth Games — shooters Emil Milev and Kim Rhode and equestrian Phillip Dutton. Milev and Dutton previously competed for Bulgaria and Australia, respectively.

Rhode moves one shy of the U.S. record of seven Olympic appearances (John Michael Plumb, equestrian, 1960-1992) and will become the first American to compete in the Olympics on five different continents. She could join Italian luger Armin Zoeggeler as the only Olympians to earn medals at six straight Games.

Two 2016 U.S. Olympians competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics — Milev and fellow shooter Enkelejda Shehaj, a former Albanian who is going 20 years between Olympic appearances. More on Shehaj’s story here.

The oldest athlete is Dutton, who is 52. The youngest is table tennis player Kanak Jha, who is 16. It’s the first time since 1948 that a U.S. Summer Olympic team has nobody younger than 16, according to sports-reference.com.

MORE: Rio Olympics schedule highlights, daily events to watch

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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