The 25 Team USA Olympians to Follow on Instagram

The 25 Team USA Olympians to Follow on Instagram

The road to Rio has finally ended, and Team USA has arrived. From swimming to gymnastics to fencing and running, this month, 550 athletes will represent Team USA, including 292 women. (That’s the most in Olympic history to ever compete for a single country, proving that women, quite literally, run the world.) And while there are loads of familiar names and faces — like Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Carli Lloyd — there’s also a ton of new talent. We rounded up 25 of the most inspiring American athletes to watch, root for and, of course, follow on Instagram. (Behind-the-scenes Olympic Village access, FTW!)

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1. Simone Biles
Sport: Gymnastics
IG: @simonebiles
Why you should follow:
Though she’s arguably the buzziest name heading to Rio, this marks 19-year-old Biles’ first trip to the Olympics. But she’s no stranger to podiums and medals. Biles has 14 World Championship medals, 10 of which are gold, and is undefeated in the all-around program. She’s one of just three women in history to win four all-around titles at the P&G Gymnastics Championships, and has won the most world medals in U.S. history. She can also rope climb like no other. #squadgoals

2. Ashton Eaton
Sport:
Track and Field
IG: @ashtonjeaton
Why you should follow:
Because he’s the greatest athlete in the world. Eaton competes in the decathlon, so he’s a veritable master of not just one, but 10 events, including speed (100-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles, 400 meters), endurance (1,500 meters), agility (long jump, high jump, pole vault), and strength (shot put, discus, javelin) competitions. What, like it’s hard? The Oregon native won gold in London, so if he wins it again in Rio, he’ll be the first back-to-back Olympic decathlon champion in 32 years.

3. Elena Delle Donne
Sport: Basketball
IG: @de11edonne
Why you should follow: You don’t want to mess with Donne on the court. The 6-foot-five basketball star is known to “bring it home” in any game. In her 2013 WNBA debut for the Chicago Sky, she led her team to the playoffs for the first time in its history, earning her the league’s coveted Rookie of the Year award. Two years later, the Delaware-native was named the WNBA’s MVP. Averaging 23.4 points per game and shooting 95 percent from the free throw line? Just icing on the cake, really.

4. Jake Dalton
Sport: Gymnastics
IG: @jake_dalton
Why you should watch follow:
The 24-year-old has won four medals in four world championships, so his record is pretty legit. Although he didn’t medal at the London Olympics, he’s coming back stronger, fitter and with more tricks up his sleeves — literally.

5. and 6. Venus and Serena Williams
Sport: Tennis
IG: @serenawilliams and @venuswilliams
Why you should watch follow:
They’re the Williams sisters. So of course you should watch them. The indomitable forces on the court will duke it out in both the singles and doubles competitions. On their Instagram feeds, you’ll find behind-the-scenes photos of them getting their makeup and hair did for glamorous magazine cover shoots, and shots of them playing on the court, trying different workouts and playing with their dogs.

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7. Gabby Douglas
Sport: Gymnastics
IG: @gabbycvdouglas
Why you should follow: Douglas competed in London, where she became the first woman of color of any nationality in Olympic history to become an individual all-around champion. Now, “Gabby” has officially joined the ranks of other one-name wonders. The 16-year-old gold medalist even has a #gabbymoji that you can include in all your Team USA-related texts.

8. Ibtihaj Muhammad
Sport: Fencing
IG: @ibtihajmuhammad
Why you should follow:
Muhammad made headlines when she became the first Muslim woman who wears a hijab to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team. She’ll compete in both the individual and team sabre events.

9. Michael Phelps
Sport:
Swimming
IG: @m_phelps00
Why you should follow: Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time — and this will probably be his final Olympic Games. He’ll feel pretty OK about hanging up that Speedo, though. At 31, the “Flying Fish” has 22 Olympic medals — including 18 golds — and set an Olympic record in Beijing in 2008 when he won eight gold medals. He’s also the first American swimmer to qualify for five Olympic Games.

The 25 Team USA Olympians to Follow on Instagram

Photo: @af85

10. Allyson Felix
Sport:
Track and Field
IG: @af85
Why you should follow: Well don’t blink, because you’ll miss her. This girl is fast. The 30-year-old sprinter will head to Rio for her fourth Olympics, and she’s got a decorated history. She has already won four gold medals (three in London and one in Beijing), and two silver medals. The 2012 IAFF World Athlete of the Year is returning from a hamstring injury to compete in the 400-meter and the 4×400-meter dash. Brb, we can now train with the Nike+ athlete, too.

The 25 Team USA Olympians to Follow on Instagram

Photo: @kledecky

11. Katie Ledecky
Sport: Swimming
IG: @kledecky
Why you should follow: Real talk: Ledecky won gold in the London Games, has won nine world championship gold medals, and is probably the USA’s best shot at the top spot on the podium in Rio. At last year’s World Championships, Ledecky, now 19, made history as the first to swim — and win — all four freestyle distances at the same meet.

The 25 Team USA Olympians to Follow on Instagram

Photo: @runmeb

12. Meb Keflezighi
Sport: Track and Field
IG: @RunMeb
Why you should follow: You’d be crazy not to count Keflezighi as one of America’s favorite marathoners. At 38, the seemingly ageless runner won the Boston Marathon, just one year after the 2013 bombings. Keflezighi is the oldest American man to run the Olympic marathon, and the only one to make three Olympic teams. Follow him on IG, and you’ll feel like one of the fam.

13. Alex Morgan
Sport: Soccer
IG: @alexmorgan
Why you should follow: After the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup in 2015, all eyes have been on this group of strong, undefeatable women. If you remember the U.S. Women’s team competing at the London Olympic Games, you probably remember Morgan’s semifinal-winning header. Led by this vet’s pinpoint precision and lightning speed, you can bet Team USA is favored to win gold again.

14. Molly Huddle
Sport: Track and Field
IG: @mollyhuddle
Why you should follow:
Humble, hardworking and ready for a huge Olympic moment, Huddle is another favored runner to watch this year. She’ll compete in the 10,000 meters in Rio — an event only two American women have medaled at in the past. All eyes are on her to make history.

15. Nathan Adrian
Sport: Swimming
IG: @NathanGAdrian
Why you should follow:
First, that smile! But secondly, Adrian is a three-tie Olympic gold medalist who currently holds the American record in the 50-meter freestyle. His dashing, down-to-earth personality comes through on his Instagram feed, where he’s often seen goofing around and cheering on his teammates.

16. English Gardner
Sport: Track and Field
IG: @ughlyducklin
Why you should follow:
 This former Oregon Duck (hence the Instagram handle) is the fastest woman in the U.S. In Rio, Gardner will compete in the 100 meters and the 4×100 meters relay. Other claims to fame: At the University of Oregon, she set an American Junior record with a time of 11.03 and won four NCAA titles.

17. Carli Lloyd
Sport: Soccer
IG: @CarliLloyd
Why you should follow:
Consider Carli queen of the pitch. The 2015 FIFA World Player of the Year and co-captain of Team USA is out to win her third consecutive Olympic gold medal. Lloyd is a super scorer for the team: She netted the game-winning goal in 2008’s gold-medal match against Brazil, and scored both goals in the team’s victory over Japan in 2012. She also became a household name last year when she led the team to a FIFA World Cup championship.

18. Galen Rupp
Sport: Track and Field
IG: @galen_rupp
Why you should follow: The 30-year-old cross-country runner is a familiar face in the 10,000-meter event. (He won silver in the London Olympics, making him the first American to medal in that event since 1964.) But this year he made the jump to 26.2 miles and competed in his first marathon trials for the Olympics earlier this year — and he won them.

19. Missy Franklin
Sport:
Swimming
IG: @MissyFranklin88
Why you should follow:
In London, Franklin won four gold medals and a bronze. Plus, the 21-year-old has 17 world championship medals, including 11 gold, three silver, and three bronze. She’s often dubbed “the darling of the women’s swim team,” and she’ll compete in the 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter freestyle and 4×200-meter relay. Plus, don’t miss her IG feed for her Olympic nail art (nailed it) and some cute kitty pics.

20. Kevin Durant
Sport: Basketball
IG: @EasyMoneySniper
Why you should follow:
Now that America’s favorites, Steph Curry and LeBron James, have opted out of playing the Olympics, it’s up to Kevin Durant to lead Team USA to the gold medal. But make no mistake, this former gold medalist and NBA MVP averages 27.4 points per game. He was also voted Rookie of the Year during his debut season for the Seattle Sonics. On his Instagram feed, prepare for major shoe envy, and FOMO that you’re not on his pick-up-game texts.

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21. Aly Raisman
Sport:
Gymnastics
IG: @AlyRaisman
Why you should follow:
Raisman became the most decorated U.S. gymnast in London, taking home two golds and one bronze. She was fourth in the all-around, and has won four world championship medals. When not doing tricks on the floor or balance beam, Raisman likes designing fancy socks for Feat Socks, where she created a limited edition line for the Olympics.

22. Kerri Walsh-Jennings
Sport: Beach Volleyball
IG: @KerriLeeWalsh
Why you should follow:
Walsh-Jennings is a fan favorite — but this year she’ll compete without her 11-year partner, Misty Mae-Treanor, who retired after the 2012 games. Together, the duo won 21 consecutive Olympic matches. This year, Walsh-Jennings will play alongside partner April Ross — whom she defeated in London!

23. Trayvon Bromell
Sport: Track and Field
IG: @TrayvonBromell
Why you should follow:
Consider him the next Usain Bolt. At 20 years old, Bromell is poised to give Bolt a run for his medal — literally. As one of the top American sprinters, Bromell will compete in the 100-meter event. If one thing is clear from his Insta — this young star is ready to shine.  

24. Sarah Hammer
Sport: Cycling
IG: @sarah__k__hammer
Why you should follow:
Hammer is a two-time Olympic silver medalist, and her name is fitting — the world champion cyclist absolutely hammers on the bike. She has won seven UCI world championship titles and 11 UCI World Championship medals. She currently holds the world record in the 3K individual pursuit on the track. And based on the pics in her feed, she knows how to have a pretty good time, too.

The 25 Team USA Olympians to Follow on Instagram

Photo: @swimhaley

25. Haley Anderson
Sport: Swimming
IG: @swimhaley
Why you should follow: Anderson won a silver medal in the 10K open water event at the 2012 Games, and now she’s back in pursuit of gold. While most of the popular televised swimming events feature swimmers going all-out for short distances in the pool, Anderson’s up to something different: Her event takes place in open water, and it’s far. (That’s why it’s called a 10K marathon.)