Featuring vets and newcomers, USA aim for pinnacle at Paris 2024

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As the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics is approaching, the United States is gearing up to send its best athletes, including a mix of seasoned stalwarts and fresh faces, to take the show biggest stage in the sporting world.

Team USA stands on a long-standing legacy of success, having taken home the most gold medals in each edition of the Summer Games since Atlanta 1996, with the notable exception of Beijing 2008, when hosts China stood on top.

After topping the medal table four years ago in Tokyo, both in number of gold medals and in their overall haul, they have good reason to be bullish about their medal prospects in Paris - but with the caveat that nothing is guaranteed amid what is sure to be tough competition. From the basketball court to the pool, the gymnastics arena to the track, here are a few notable places where the Americans will look to bag hardware in Paris.


The U.S. men's basketball team, which began a training camp on July 6 in Las Vegas, features a blend of seasoned veterans and dynamic new talents, making it a formidable contender for Olympic gold.

The team is headlined by three-time Olympic champion Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns) and two-time gold medalist LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers). Durant is the USA's all-time Olympic leader in points and several other categories, and James is the NBA's all-time scoring leader.

Also among their ranks are Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Jrue Holiday (Boston Celtics), Kawhi Leonard (L.A. Clippers) and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics).

The squad boasts a depth of international experience, with 11 Olympic appearances and 10 gold medals between them, and includes four NBA MVPs and six NBA champions.

Head coach Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors) leads the team, to be assisted by Mark Few (Gonzaga University), Tyronn Lue (L.A. Clippers), and Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat).

The U.S. men's team will compete in Group C, facing Serbia, South Sudan and the winner of the Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico. The group phase will be held in Lille, northern France, before the tournament moves to Paris for the knockout stages.


The United States swimming team heads to Paris 2024 with a mission to reclaim the gold medal count from Australia that it ceded at the Worlds last year. Following a strong showing at the Olympic trials, where many American swimmers exceeded expectations, the U.S. team is filled with top contenders, but few sure bets. Competition is expected to be fierce, particularly from powerhouses like China and Australia.

Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the women's 1,500m freestyle final at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, July 25, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

On the women's side, Katie Ledecky is perhaps the only medal favorite with anything approaching 'shoo-in' status, expected to dominate in both the 800m and 1,500m freestyle. The U.S. women's team, which won medals in every event except the 50m, 100m, and 200m freestyle at last year's World Championships, looks poised for a similar performance in Paris.

Kate Douglass has potential in both the 200m IM and 200m breaststroke but will face stiff competition from McKeown, McIntosh, Alex Walsh, Tatjana Schoenmaker and Tes Schouten. Other medal hopefuls include Lilly King, Katie Grimes, Katharine Berkoff and Phoebe Bacon, though gold may be a long shot for them.

Gretchen Walsh (100m butterfly) and Regan Smith (100m backstroke) are strong contenders, though Walsh faces tough rivals like Zhang Yufei, Maggie Mac Neil and Torri Huske. Smith will contend with Kaylee McKeown in the 100m and 200m backstroke and Summer McIntosh in the 100m butterfly.

On the men's side, Caeleb Dressel aims to defend his gold medals in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly, though he is not the overwhelming favorite he was four years ago. Ryan Murphy is also in the gold-medal conversation for backstroke events but faces strong competition. Bobby Finke, a strong contender in the 1,500m freestyle, will have a tough path even if Ahmed Hafnaoui is absent.

Nic Fink and Matt Fallon are strong breaststroke contenders, though neither is a medal lock. Hunter Armstrong and Keaton Jones will support Murphy in backstroke events, but both face tough opposition. Carson Foster leads in the IM races but will find it challenging to surpass Leon Marchand for gold.

Although the U.S. is likely to lead the overall medal count in the pool, securing numerous gold medals will be a challenge amidst the fierce global competition.


Team USA has strong contenders in women's gymnastics, but also myriad reasons to worry. The delayed date of Tokyo 2020 caused condensed preparation for the team, and remarkably bad injury luck at and around last month's trials may present major opportunity for rivals China to repeat or even improve upon their performance in the category for years ago. Notably absent from the American squad is Skye Blakely, sidelined by an Achilles injury sustained in preparation.

The U.S. Women's gymnastics team for Paris 2024, announced on June 30, is led by Olympic veteran Simone Biles. Alongside her are returning Tokyo champions Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey, with newcomer Hezly Rivera completing the squad.

Biles, 27, is the oldest U.S. gymnast to compete in the Olympics in 72 years. A dominant force in gymnastics, Biles earned four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games and five golds at the 2019 World Championships. After withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health issues, Biles remains one to watch as the Americans aim high on the medal table.

Jordan Chiles, a silver medalist in Tokyo, is another veteran returning to the team. She has been vocal about the importance of mental wellness and is dedicated to helping her teammates stay focused and positive. Chiles is preparing to peak at the right time for the Paris Games.

Suni Lee, the reigning all-around champion from Tokyo, faced health challenges in 2023 related to her kidneys, which temporarily sidelined her. After a remarkable comeback in August 2023, Lee is set to compete again, known for her excellence on the uneven bars.

Jade Carey, the reigning floor exercise champion from Tokyo, has continued to excel, particularly in floor and vault. Competing at the collegiate level for Oregon State, Carey has shown consistent improvement and is expected to deliver strong performances in Paris.

Newcomer Hezly Rivera, the 2023 U.S. junior champion, rounds out the team. Despite her lack of senior-level experience, Rivera showed the skill and determination in her junior career that make her one to watch in Paris.


The Americans dominated the athletics medal table in Tokyo, taking 26 total medals including seven gold, and their squad for Paris looks frightfully strong and sure to bring home a major hardware haul, with gold a strong possibility in multiple events.

Northern Arizona University wonderkid Nico Young, fresh out of a stunningly successful NCAA career and aged just 21, made a splash on the first day of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, finishing third in the 10,000 meters to qualify for Paris, clocking a lightening fast time of 27:52.40.

It marked just the second career 10,000m race for Young, who set the collegiate world record of 26:52.72 back on March 16, 2024 to qualify for the Olympic trials. Young, who recently signed a shoe contract with Adidas, qualified along with Nike runners Grant Fisher (27:49.47) and Woody Kincaid (27:50.74). Young has shown a great deal of injury resistance in an event that is infamous for the strain it places on athletes, and his youth, combined with how clearly comfortable he is racing strategically at the front of a pack, make him a force to be reckoned with and one to watch.

This remarkably strong trio puts the Americans well into medal contention for this event in Paris, despite stiff competition from the usual suspects in Africa and Europe.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, returning from an injury that kept her out of the 2023 season, asserted her dominance with a world record of 50.65 seconds in the 400m hurdles at the U.S. Trials, setting the stage for a potential historic second Olympic title. Her form, including a world-leading 48.75 in the 400m, positions her as a strong favorite.

U.S. sprinter Noah Lyles aims to replicate his World Championships' success by targeting gold in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m events in Paris. His recent form, highlighted by a 19.53 in the 200m and anchoring a world-leading 4x100m team, underscores his readiness.

Another athlete to watch is Sha'Carri Richardson, the reigning world 100m champion, who continues her strong form with victories and near-record times. She will be able to focus exclusively on the 100m and 4x100m in Paris after narrowly missing the 200m qualification.


With a team that includes a mix of seasoned veterans and fresh faces, the Americans have every reason to be bullish on the medal prospects this year in Paris, but they can take nothing for granted. With strong rivals like China and Britain supplying competition, that guarantees precious room for error and injury, even in areas like athletics, where dominance is the default. It is not enough for team USA to just send their "A-team." Their "A-team" had better be on their "A-game."

The Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games gets underway on July 26 with the opening ceremony, and are set to close on August 11. 

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