We are three weeks away from the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and though we will hear much talk about the Zika virus and crime in Rio, we are looking forward to seeing some of the greatest athletes in the world. Though the USA Olympic Team is comprised of about 550 people, here are some events and people we should keep an eye on at the 2016 Olympics.
- Fresh off her Wimbledon win where she claimed her 22nd overall Grand Slam Title, the queen of tennis Serena Williams will not only defend her 2012 Olympic gold medal in singles, but she will team, possibly for the last time in the Olympics, with her older sister Venus Williams to defend their 2012 gold medal win in doubles in 2012. Joining Venus and Serena on the women’s contingent for the Americans are Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens.
- Led by Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, the USA Men’s Basketball team will be the favorites heading into the Olympic competition. Joining those two as likely superstars are 2016 NBA Finals combatants Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson, with DeMarcus Cousins being the most talented big man on the team.
- Four-time gold medal winner Allyson Felix leads the American Track and Field team into the always exciting and competitive competition. Though Felix won the gold medal in the 200 meters in London, she didn’t qualify for the 200s for the US. She did for the 400s and will also be a force on the American relay teams. Other notables for the US include 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters Justin Gatlin, who won bronze in the same race in 2012, and Tyson Gay, the American record holder in the same event.
- Lia Neal made history in London in 2012 by being the first African American woman to swim on a US relay team, winning the bronze medal. Neal is making history again with fellow Stanford University swimmer Simone Manuel, as it will be the first time two African American swimmers have competed at the Olympics for the US.
- Simone Biles is the woman that everyone around the country will be watching. She is the first African-American woman to be world all-around champion and is the first woman ever to win three consecutive world all-around titles. Gabby Douglass, a member of the Fierce Five that won gold in London, also won the all-around gold in 2012.
With veterans like Venus and Serena as well as younger stars like Simone and Gabby, the 2016 Olympics in Rio have the potential for a lot of Black Girl Magic.