USOC sending 596 athletes to Beijing

Updated: July 23, 2008, 11:50 PM ET
Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The U.S. Olympic Committee will send 596 athletes to the Beijing Games, according to a list the federation released Tuesday night.

Swimmer Michael Phelps, gymnast Paul Hamm and sprinter Tyson Gay are among the 310 men on the team. Swimmer Dara Torres, gymnasts Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin and sprinter Allyson Felix are among the 286 women.

U.S. athletes will compete in 30 sports, including the newest disciplines -- motocross, open water swimming and women's steeplechase. The U.S. will send teams in women's field hockey for the first time since 1996 and baseball for the first time since 2000. Baseball goes off the Olympic program after the Beijing Games.

Torres, 41, is one of three athletes making their fifth Olympic trip. The others are archer Butch Johnson and cyclist George Hincapie.

Sheila Taormina will compete in modern pentathlon; she is the first woman to qualify for the Olympics in three sports. She had previously made it in swimming and triathlon.

The oldest U.S. athlete is 58-year-old sailor John Dane III, the youngest is 15-year-old Mary Beth Dunnichay. Dunnichay's partner in 10-meter synchro diving, Haley Ishimatsu, is also 15.

The USOC said its team roster could still be adjusted because of injuries, illnesses or "exceptional circumstances" up through the technical meetings for each sport.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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