The United States will be represented by 613 athletes at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Whether they’re gold-medal favorites, athletes trying to capitalize on another trip or first-time Olympians, there’s a compelling story behind each of them.
Here’s just a few of the names to keep in mind among the Americans at this year’s Games:
The 45-year-old Gibb will be the oldest Olympic beach volleyball player ever when he competes in Tokyo. Gibb, a Bountiful High and University of Utah grad, was the 2018 and 2019 U.S. volleyball men’s beach player of the year and is back for his fourth Olympics.
Gibb took fifth at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics with teammate Sean Rosenthal, then failed to advance out of pool play with former BYU volleyball player Casey Patterson in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Gibb will have a brand-new partner for Tokyo, though, after his teammate Taylor Crabb tested positive for COVID-19 days before their first Olympic match. Gibb and Crabb were tied for fourth in the FIVB world rankings and No. 11 in FIVB’s provisional Olympic rankings, one spot ahead of the other American team of Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena.
Now, Gibb will team with replacement Tri Bourne, who he’s never played with before. Bourne and partner Trevor Crabb, Taylor’s brother, finished 14th in the provisional Olympic rankings.
“While there is no question that I’m devastated not to be competing, I’ve now taken on a new role — supporting my new team: (coach) Rich (Lambourne, who played at BYU), Jake and Tri,” Taylor Crabb said in a statement through USA Volleyball. “I want to send positive vibes and negative test results to all athletes here in Tokyo — stay healthy and enjoy every moment.”
Biles, the unquestioned leader of the gold-favorite U.S. women’s gymnastics team, knows all about winning the hardware — she’s won 25 medals in her career, including five at the 2016 Olympics. In Rio, she took home gold in the team, all-around, vault and floor, while earning bronze on the beam.
Now, the 24-year-old Ohioan has her sights set on becoming the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles since Czech gymnast Vera Caslavska in 1964 and 1968. Biles has won the all-around competition all six times she’s competed in either the Olympics or World Championships, and she’s the heavy favorite to do so again.
Biles could also become the first U.S. woman in any sport to win five gold medals in a single Olympic Games.
One of the five new sports making its debut at the Tokyo Olympics is skateboarding, and the Americans have one of the best leading the way in that competition.
The 26-year-old Huston, a Davis, California, native, has been a competitive skateboarder for the past decade, having won 11 medals — six golds, five silvers — at the World Championships. He won three straight world championship golds in street skateboarding, one of two skating competitions in Tokyo, before taking silver earlier this summer.
Huston also has brand appeal, evidenced by his 4.7 million followers on Instagram.
Biles isn’t the only women’s U.S. legend at this year’s Olympics. The 24-year-old Ledecky is headed back to the Olympics for the third time, with a chance to add some serious hardware and compete for gold in five events.
The Washington, D.C., native won gold in 2012 at the age of 15, then took home four more in 2016, along with a silver. She’s one of three women swimmers on the U.S. team headed back for another Olympics, along with Haley Anderson (three-time Olympian) and Allison Schmitt (four-time Olympian).
Ledecky isn’t just in the running, either. She’s the favorite to win gold in four events — the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyles — and she will compete in the 4x200 freestyle relay as well. She’s the only American swimmer who qualified for four individual events.
Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin
Track and field
Olympic track and field is one of the most popular sports among Americans, and there will be several intriguing storylines for U.S. athletes at this year’s games.
The 400-meter hurdles rivalry between Muhammad and McLaughlin should provide plenty of drama. The pair are ranked the top two in the event, and Muhammad had beaten McLaughlin twice in the 400 hurdles in a major race prior to this summer’s U.S. Olympics trials.
At the trials, though, the 21-year-old McLaughlin got the best of the 31-year-old Muhammad and set a world record with a time of 51.9 seconds. With a gold medal on the line, who will win in Tokyo?