Monday, May 20, 2024

100 days out from Olympics, here are the top American athletes to watch in Paris

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The Olympic Games in Paris are just 100 days away, and Team USA is starting to take shape as some of the nation’s biggest stars punch their tickets to Europe.

Over 110 American athletes have already qualified for the summer games, and around 400 more are expected to join them on the trip to France.

Here is a look at who has qualified so far, and who has yet to make the team.

Already Qualified

Coco Gauff, Tennis

At just 20-years-old Gauff has been a bright spot for the future of American tennis. The Florida native won her first grand slam tournament at the 2023 U.S. Open. This will be Gauff’s second Olympic team, but she had to withdraw from the 2020 Tokyo Games after testing positive for COVID-19.

Gauff has succeeded in the past on the famous clay courts of Roland Garros Stadium, reaching the final of the French Open in 2022.

Scottie Scheffler, Golf

Team USA has dominated the medal stand in golf, which was brought back to the Olympics in 2016. Scheffler hopes to continue that success this summer at Le Golf National in Guyancourt, France.

Last week, Scheffler won his second Masters Tournament, maintaining his number one Official World Golf Ranking.

Lebron James, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid; Men’s Basketball

In perhaps no other sport is American domination on display like it is in basketball. Team USA has won seven of the last eight gold medals in the sport. USA Basketball released the roster Wednesday, and it is a star-studded lineup of All-Stars and future Hall of Fame players.

James and Davis both star for the Lakers, and have four Olympic medals combined. Embiid, who was born in Cameroon and holds French and American citizenship, committed to Team USA last year after a meeting with executive director Grant Hill.

Yet to Qualify

Simone Biles and Suni Lee, Women’s Gymnastics

Biles is the most decorated gymnast in World Championship history and also already has seven Olympic medals. When she withdrew from the Tokyo Olympic games, Suni Lee stepped up for Team USA, securing the all-around gold on the women’s side.

Both Biles and Lee will be strong contenders for medals again in Paris, but Team USA does not pick its roster until after the U.S. Olympic trials conclude on June 30.

Sha’carri Richardson and Noah Lyles, Track and Field

In Paris, Team USA has serious contenders for gold in the 100 meter and 200 meter events. Lyles is currently ranked first in the world in the 100m and 200m, and earned a bronze medal for his 200m sprint in Tokyo.

Sha’carri Richardson is looking to make her first Olympic team, after a positive test for marijuana ahead of the 2021 trials derailed her path to Tokyo. In 2023, Richardson won the World Championship in the 100 meter sprint, proving she is in top form ahead of Paris. Both Lyles and Richardson will need to run their best races to qualify for Paris at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials at the end of June.

Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel, Swimming

While it’s unlikely anyone can match the medal output of Michael Phelps, Caeleb Dressel has been stacking up Olympic medals since his first appearance in 2016 in Rio. He now has seven gold medals, showing his versatility in relays, freestyle and butterfly events.

Katie Ledecky also has seven gold medals, with the first one coming when she was just 15-years-old in the London Olympics. The 800m freestyle has been her best event, as she currently holds the 16 best Olympic times ever in that distance.

Both Dressel and Ledecky will put their best effort on the blocks in Indianapolis for the swimming Olympic trials, which begin on June 15.

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