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Fourth-Place Medal

Team USA is sending the largest group of Winter Olympians ever to Sochi

Mike Oz
Fourth-Place Medal

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(Team USA)

Team USA is already a winner at the 2014 Winter Olympics. The final roster of United States Olympians headed to the Sochi Games was announced Monday and it contains 230 names — that's both the biggest team the U.S. has ever sent to a Winter Olympics and the biggest team any country has sent.

America — land of the free, home of the brave and where we assemble Costco-sized Olympic squads.

We'll be the first to admit this factoid isn't as sexy as it might sound. Fact is, every Winter Olympics sees the U.S. sending its biggest team ever. Such is the nature of these things. But 230 is a lot when you consider Mexico is sending one dude in a Mariachi skiing outfit.

The 230 people on Team USA — 105 women and 125 men — will appear in all 15 athletic disciplines at the Sochi Games, and they'll give the country a chance to medal in 94 of the 98 contests, Team USA estimates. How does that stack up to past games? Glad you asked.

In 2010, Team USA sent 216 athletes to the Winter Olympics. That was up from 211 in 2006 and 202 in 2002. A little perspective: at the Lillehammer Games in 1994, Team USA sent 147 competitors.

In addition to the roster numbers, the Team USA data collectors also put together this list of fun facts you can use as conversation fodder with your pals as we await the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 7:

• Thirty-eight states are represented, including 20 athletes hailing from California, 19 from both Colorado and Minnesota, and 18 from New York.

• The oldest and youngest Olympians on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team – women’s curler Ann Swishelm, 45, and freestyle skier Maggie Voisin, 15 – are separated by 30 years, while the average age is 26.

• Men’s ice hockey forward Blake Wheeler is the tallest member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team at 6 feet, 5 inches, and standing 5 feet tall, figure skater Marissa Castelli and short track speedskater Jessica Smith are the shortest members of Team USA.

• Team USA features one set of twins in women’s ice hockey players Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux. Other team siblings include cross-country skiers Sadie and Erik Bjornsen, curlers Erika and Craig Brown, Nordic combined athletes Bryan and Taylor Fletcher, snowboarders Arielle and Taylor Gold, ice hockey players Amanda and Phil Kessel, and figure skaters Maia and Alex Shibutani.

• Twenty-two members of Team USA have children; there are 19 fathers and three mothers.

• Seven athletes serve in the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program – including men’s bobsled athletes Nick Cunningham, Chris Fogt, Steven Holcomb, Justin Olsen and Dallas Robinson; and luge athletes Preston Griffall and Matt Mortensen.

At the 2010 games, Team USA set a Winter Olympics record for medals won with 37. And while a record for most Olympians is cool, Team USA beating its own record for medals is the real goal.

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Mike Oz is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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