U.S. Olympic team for Tokyo features record number of women

Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles, and Allyson Felix will be looking to add to their medal haul at the Tokyo Olympics
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The 2020 U.S. Olympic roster includes a record number of women.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) unveiled the official U.S. roster for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A total of 613 athletes – 329 women and 284 men – are set to represent the U.S. in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Olympics will mark the third straight Games in which women outnumber men on the U.S. Olympic team:

  • At the 2016 Rio Olympics, the U.S. team included 291 women (compared to 264 men).
  • At the 2012 London Games, 268 women competed for the U.S. (compared to 262 men).

Don’t miss a moment: On Her Turf’s day-by-day guide to the Tokyo Olympics

The 329-woman U.S. Olympic roster also breaks the record for most women to represent a nation at a single Games. The previous record (291) was set by the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Games.

Note: The official USOPC roster does not count athletes currently registered as alternates, even though soccer, water polo, and rugby will have flexibility to include alternates on game-day rosters in Tokyo. According to the USOPC release, “alternate athletes in these sports are immediately eligible to be called into game day rosters and, in that case, will become Olympians.” Given that, it is possible that more than 329 women will ultimately represent the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics. 

The eight most decorated members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic team are all women:

  • Allyson Felix (nine Olympic medals)
  • Allison Schmitt (eight Olympic medals)
  • Katie Ledecky (six Olympic medals)
  • Simone Biles (five Olympic medals)
  • Sue Bird (four Olympic medals)
  • Diana Taurasi (four Olympic medals)
  • Simone Manuel (four Olympic medals)
  • Mariel Zagunis (four Olympic medals)

The 2020 U.S. Olympic roster also includes at least 12 moms:

  • Skylar Diggins-Smith (basketball)
  • Diana Taurasi (basketball)
  • Mariel Zagunis (fencing)
  • Alex Morgan (soccer)
  • Gwendolyn Berry (track and field, hammer throw)
  • Allyson Felix (track & field, 400m)
  • Quanera Hayes (track & field, 400m)
  • Sally Kipyego (track & field, marathon)
  • Brittney Reese (track & field, long jump)
  • Aliphine Tuliamuk (track & field, marathon)
  • Cat Osterman (softball)
  • Foluke Gunderson (née Akinradewo) (volleyball)

For three U.S. athletes – Allyson Felix, Diana Taurasi, and Mariel Zagunis – Tokyo will mark their fifth Olympics, but first as moms.

There are three sets of sisters on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team:

  • Jessica and Nelly Korda (golf)
  • Kristie and Sam Mewis (soccer)
  • Aria and Makenzie Fischer (water polo)

Here is a look at just a few of the records that U.S. women can break at the Tokyo Olympics:

In Tokyo, the U.S. women’s basketball team will be aiming for a seventh straight Olympic gold medal, a streak that began in 1996. In addition to the gold medal streak, the U.S. women also haven’t lost an Olympic game since 1992. Two members of the U.S. team – Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi – could become the first basketball players of any gender to win five Olympic gold medals.

With nine Olympic medals, Allyson Felix is already the most decorated American woman in Olympic track and field history. In Tokyo, Felix could tie or break the record for most medals won by an American track & field athlete, male or female. The current record is held by Carl Lewis (10).

Also on the track, the U.S. women’s 4x400m relay team will be looking to claim a seventh straight gold medal. With the exception of the 1980 Moscow Games, which the U.S. boycotted, the American quartet has won either gold or silver in this event at every Games since it was added in 1972.

Simone Biles has the potential to tie or break the record for most individual gold medals in gymnastics. The current record is seven (held by Czech gymnast Vera Caslavska) and Biles will enter Tokyo with three gold medals from individual events.

The U.S. women’s water polo team is one of the most dominant teams in the world in any sport, having won every major tournament it has entered in recent years. The Americans already own the record for most Olympic medals (5) and gold medals (2) in women’s water polo. In Tokyo, the U.S. could become the third nation to win three straight Olympic gold medals in water polo. Only Hungarian men (2000-08) and British men 1900-20) have previously accomplished that feat.

U.S. women own an impressive podium streak in swimming’s 4x100m freestyle relay. The American team has won a medal in the event at nine straight Olympics, dating back to 1984. In fact, excluding the 1980 Moscow Games – which the U.S. boycotted – the American women’s 4x100m free relay team has won a medal at every Olympics since 1920.

After qualifying for one of the toughest swimming doubles in history, Katie Ledecky could become the first athlete to win gold in both the 200m and 1500m at the same Olympics.

For more ways women can make history at the Tokyo Olympics, check out the On Her Turf series “100 ways women can make history at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.” 

READ MORE: U.S. Olympic team for Tokyo its second-largest in history, most women ever

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC