The United States has named their final delegation to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as the team was finalized on Tuesday. The USA will be sending their largest delegation yet as they send 267 athletes and seven guides.
That is over a 17% increase in the delegation size, and could well get even bigger following Russia’s failed appeal. The Americans will be competing in 20 sports in Rio, with the United States qualifying all eight of their team sports teams for the first time since Athens 2004.
Winning 98 medals in London saw the USA finish the medal tally in fourth place, included in the team are 14 defending champions. The headliner is likely Jessica Long, who could well exceed Michael Phelps; she won five gold, two silver, and one bronze in the pool in London.
There are two other multiple gold medallists from London in the team, Raymond Martin (with four) and Tatyana McFadden (with three), both competing in athletics. As usual for the USA the group is a diverse group that really deflects the United States, with 20 athletes on the team born outside the country.
As usual there is a strong representation from the US Military in the Paralympic Games squad with 30 members of the team involved in the military. Three are active military with shooter John Joss, swimmer Elizabeth Marks and archer Michael Lukow currently serving. In addition there is one foreign military in the squad in Triathlete Krige Schabort who served in the South African Army.
The veteran of the team, at least in terms of appearances at a Paralympic Games is Allison Jones, who enters her eighth. The oldest athlete is 64 year old Dee Smith, who will compete in sailing, and the youngest is McClain Hermes, who recently turned 15.