Diana Taurasi: Basketball
With Diana Taurasi, the US’ basketball Olympic women’s team has won gold three times: 2004, 2008, 2012. In 2011, Taurasi was named one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all time. Her parents immigrated to the US from Argentina before she was born.
Pedro Pascual: Sailing
Pedro Pascual first began windsurfing at age 13 in Cadiz, Spain. Pascual won gold at the 2015 RS:One European Championship. Rio will be his Olympic debut.
Carlos Balderas: Lightweight Boxing
Carlos Balderas is a first-generation American born to Mexican strawberry pickers. At age 7, he was introduced to boxing as a punishment for getting into a fight.
Danell Leyva: Gymnastics
Born to Cuban parents who defected from Cuba’s national gymnastics team, Danell Leyva is the 2011 gymnastics world champion. He is known for his own signature move on the horizontal bar and excels at the parallel bars. Leyva won bronze for the US in the 2012 Olympic games.
Brenda Martinez: Track and Field
Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Brenda Martinez used to run away from her parents as a child and started running track as a punishment. Martinez won bronze in the 2013 Moscow World Championships and gold in the 2014 Nassau World Relay Championships.
Tony Azevedo: Water Polo
Nicknamed “The Savior”, Tony Azevedo is currently USA Olympic water polo team captain. Although he was born in Rio de Janeiro, Azevedo moved to California shortly after birth. Azevedo is a four-time Olympian and led the US to the silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Antonio Vargas: Flyweight Boxing
A Houston native, Antonio Vargas started boxing at age 9 to help him deal with ADHD. In 2015, Vargas was named USA Boxing’s Elite Male Athlete of the Year.
Anita Alvarez: Synchronized Swimming
25-year-old Anita Alvarez will be making her Olympic debut in Rio. Alvarez has been a member of the US national team since 2007 and has represented the United States at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, at the 2016 German Open, and at the 2016 French Open, winning bronze in all three events.
Ryan Lochte: Swimming
11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte was born to a Spanish-Cuban mother. Lochte holds the world record in the 100 meter individual medley, 200 meter individual medley, and the 300 meter individual medley. He is known for his backstroke and has won multiple recognitions, including the World Swimmer of the Year Award.
Steven Lopez: Taekwondo
Born in Nicaragua, Steven Lopez is one of the most renowned athletes in Taekwondo. He is the 2000 and 2004 Olympic gold medalist. Lopez was named one of the 100 Influentials of 2008 by HispanicBusiness.com
Carmelo Anthony: Basketball
Of Puerto Rican descent, Carmelo Anthony has played with the United States’ Olympic men’s basketball national team three times, winning bronze in 2004 and gold in 2008 and 2012. After playing against Nigeria in the 2012 London Olympics, Anthony set the US team record for the most points made during a single game, scoring 37 points.
Melissa Gonzalez: Field Hockey
Melissa Gonzalez made her international debut in 2010 and first played in the US Olympic national team during the 2012 London games. In total, Gonzalez has played in over 150 international games.
Angelica Delgado: Judo
A first-generation American born to Cuban parents, Angelica Delgado learned Judo when she was 9 years old. In 2012, Delgado finished one spot away from qualifying to the London Olympics.
Robin Prendes: Lightweight Rowing
Originally from Matanzas, Cuba, Robin Prendes is a men’s lightweight rower who represented the US in the 2012 London Olympics.
Laurie Hernandez: Gymnastics
Of Puerto Rican descent, Laurie Hernandez is the youngest member of the US Olympic women’s gymnastics team. She describes her gymnastics style as “sassy”.
Sarah Robles: Weightlifting
During high school Sarah Robles began competing in throwing events. She did not begin weightlifting until 2008 and qualified for nationals just three months after. Robles was one of the two women representing the US in the 2012 Summer Olympics. She was banned by the International Weightlifting Federation for 2 years after she tested positive for drugs at the 2013 Pan American Games.
Nico Hernandez: Boxing
A two-time junior Olympic gold medalist, Nico Hernandez trains with his father, who is a truck mechanic in Kansas.
Here are 17 athletes hoping to make their mark, and take home the gold, for Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.