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U.S. team for PyeongChang largest of any nation in Winter Olympic history

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The U.S. Olympic team for PyeongChang announced Friday is 242 athletes, making it the largest Winter Olympic team for any nation in history.

The U.S. holds the record of 222 competitors at the Sochi Olympics, where it sent 230 athletes. These eight did not compete.

Canada is expected to have the second-largest delegation in South Korea with between 220 and 230 athletes.

The full list of U.S. athletes qualified after the teams for every sport were named with the last being cross-country Friday morning.

The headliners are Alpine skiers Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety and snowboarders Shaun WhiteKelly Clark and Jamie Anderson, all Olympic champions.

Star first-time Olympians include figure skater Nathan Chen and snowboarder Chloe Kim.

Some notables:

Oldest U.S. Olympian: Brian Gionta (39, hockey), the only athlete on the team born in the 1970s. PyeongChang would be the first Summer or Winter Olympics without a U.S. competitor 40 years or older since 1994.

Youngest U.S. Olympian: Vincent Zhou (17, figure skating). PyeongChang would be the first Summer or Winter Olympics without a U.S. competitor younger than 17 since the 1988 Calgary Winter Games. (not counting Erika Brown, who competed in the demonstration sport of curling in Calgary at age 15)

Most Olympic experience: Kikkan Randall (cross-country skiing) and Kelly Clark (snowboard halfpipe) are going to compete in their fifth Olympics, a record for a U.S. female athlete.

Most Olympic medals: Shani Davis (speed skating) with four (two golds, two silvers). J.R. Celski (short track speed skating) and Clark each have three medals.

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MORE: Katie Couric returns to NBC for PyeongChang Olympics

Heimana Reynolds wins skateboard world title, nears an Olympic goal from age 10

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In February 2009, a 10-year-old Heimana Reynolds was profiled by his local NBC TV station on Oahu.

“My goal is to become a professional skateboarder and compete in the X Games and the Olympics,” he said, according to the report.

Skateboarding would not be added to the Olympics for another seven years. But here Reynolds is, age 21, having just won the world title in park, one of two skateboarding events that debut at the Games in Tokyo.

Reynolds, who wasn’t named to the four-man U.S. national team in March, consolidated his lead in the Olympic qualification rankings by prevailing over a pair of Brazilians in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

A shirtless Reynolds scored 88 points in the final, beating Luis Francisco (85.50) and Pedro Quintas (85).

No more than three Americans can make the Olympic team in the event, which will make it difficult if three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champion Shaun White decides to continue his skateboarding pursuit. White was the sixth-best American, bowing out in the semifinals in 13th place on Saturday in just his second contest since returning to competitive skating last year.

Back to Reynolds. He grew up on the North Shore and attended the Punahou School, where Barack Obama is the most famous alum. His first name is Tahitian, reportedly referring to the power of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

Reynolds, the son of a surfer, proved a natural on land. After pre-teen media profiles, he blossomed into a world silver medalist last year. He won an Olympic qualifier in China in July to take the top spot in the Olympic rankings despite a best career X Games finish of sixth.

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MORE: Chloe Kim details tough Princeton transition

Primoz Roglic, ex-ski jumper, wins Vuelta a Espana

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In a year of new talent in cycling, a former world junior champion ski jumper won the last Grand Tour.

Primoz Roglic, a 2007 World junior team ski jumping champion, won the Vuelta a Espana, becoming the first Slovenian to capture a Grand Tour. He prevailed by 2 minutes, 16 seconds over Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde after Sunday’s final stage, a largely ceremonial ride into Madrid.

“Not much words to say about it,” Roglic said in a speech atop the podium. “See you next races.”

Roglic, 29, became the fifth straight first-time Grand Tour champion dating to Geraint Thomas‘ 2018 Tour de France title.

Roglic benefited from Thomas and other stars like Chris Froome skipping the Vuelta, but he also had the credentials, having finished fourth in the 2018 Tour and third in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Valverde deserves acclaim, too, having, at age 39, made his ninth Grand Tour podium and seventh at the Vuelta. Valverde, the reigning world road race champion, has gone 16 years between his first and most recent Vuelta podium. He also had a record-breaking 19th Grand Tour top 10, according to Gracenote.

Then there’s third-place finisher Tadej Pogacar, a 20-year-old Slovenian who became the youngest Grand Tour podium finisher since 1974.

Roglic, who suffered this scary crash before leaving ski jumping, joined Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz and Colombian Egan Bernal as this year’s Grand Tour winners. All ride for different teams.

Roglic is with Jumbo-Visma, which also includes this year’s Tour de France third-place finisher Steven Kruijswijk and will include, starting in 2020, 2018 Tour de France runner-up Tom Dumoulin.

Kruijswijk abandoned the Vuelta with a knee injury in the fourth stage. Dumoulin did not start the Vuelta.

The road cycling season continues with the world championships in Yorkshire, Great Britain, later this month.

MORE: Chris Froome: Pre-Tour de France crash like ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ scene

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