FOR SIX WEEKS, FROM OLYMPICS OPENING TO PARALYMPICS CLOSING, A DISPARATE BAND OF MEN AND WOMEN REPRESENTONE COUNTRYWITH ONE COMMON GOAL: GOLD
Life has changed for the 163-pounder since his London gold: His wife, Lauren, has given birth to two sons, the second just last month. But expectations remain the same for Burroughs, 28, who could become the first U.S. wrestler to repeat as champ since John Smith in 1992.
Kayla Harrison and Marti Malloy
The first judoka from the U.S. to win gold, London 78-kg champ Harrison (top) calls 57-kg 2012 bronze medalist Malloy her best friend.
As a 16-year-old she was a Mexican team alternate for 2012. The Texas-born dual citizen is now a sophomore mechanical engineering major at SMU.
The Eritrean refugee won silver at Athens in 2004, six years after being naturalized as a U.S. citizen. In '14, a year after the Boston Marathon bombings, he become the first American to win that race in three decades. After his fourth-place finish in London, Keflezighi, 41, is striving to be the second American with two marathon medals. (Frank Shorter won gold in 1972 and silver in '76.)
Track and field
Paralyzed below the waist at birth by spina bifida, McFadden, 27, spent her first six years in a Russian orphanage. At age eight, equipped with a wheelchair and living in Clarksville, Md., she embarked on a racing career that has included three Paralympic golds and five silvers on the track, and wins in all four major U.S. marathons.
At age two, Zummo had her lower right leg amputated due to a pair of congenital disorders. In seventh grade she began playing volleyball with a prosthetic, which the 23-year-old University of Central Oklahoma grad now casts aside when she takes the court.
Born without legs, Jenifer took up wheelchair sports when he was four. Hoops took him to Edinboro (Pa.) University, where he earned a criminology degree in 2011, and to London, where he took bronze in '12.
Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas
The new face of the new Fierce Five (Fiercer Five? Fiercesome Fivesome?), Biles (far left) hopes to earn team and individual gold as Raisman (center) and Douglas did in '12.
Alise Post and Connor Fields
Post and Fields will try to make up for the team's podium shutout in London, where both were eliminated after crashes.
Carlin Isles and Madison Hughes
Considered the fastest man in rugby, Isles (left) ran his way onto the Detroit Lions' practice squad in 2013. Hughes, the rugby team captain, starred at Dartmouth after spending his teens in England.
The 19-year-old grandson of a migrant worker who left Oaxaca, Mexico, for California, Balderas, at 132 pounds, will try to get the U.S. back to the men's boxing podium; the country failed to medal in 2012 for the first time in a century.
Maggie Steffens and Ashleigh Johnson
The 21-year-old Johnson (right) will start in goal, after overcoming her reluctance to commit to the national team. Steffens, 23, is a nightmare for any goalie but Johnson, having scored a tournament-high 21 times as the U.S. won gold in 2012.
Alexander Massialas, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Daryl Homer and Mariel Zagunis
Muhammad (second from left), the first Olympian to represent the U.S. in a hijab, headlines a squad that includes the top-ranked male foilist (Massialas), the sabre gold medalist in 2004 and '08 (Zagunis), and the '15 world championships runner-up in sabre (Homer).
Elena Delle Donne, Tamika Catchings and Sue Bird
Reigning WNBA MVP and Olympic first-timer Delle Donne (near right) has cause to smile alongside three-time gold medalists Catchings (center) and Bird. Headed by UConn coach Geno Auriemma (and featuring five former Huskies, including Bird), the team is favored to top the podium for a sixth straight Games.
Track and field
The Georgia high school track champ lost his lower right leg to compartment syndrome in 2010. Two years later he ran the 400 meters and 4 × 100 relay in London; in '15 he set the 100 world record for his classification.
Track and field
The 24-year-old—and the competitive alter ego she calls Baby Beast—qualified for their first Olympics with the second-fastest 100 (10.74) in the world this year.
Track and field
Blind since age eight, Gillette has won long jump silvers at the last three Paralympics and is the only totally blind athlete to jump more than 22 feet.
When the Kalona, Iowa, resident—who was born without arms—first toed a bow in October 2009, it was to hunt deer to feed his family. Less than three years later he scored Paralympic silver in London. Since then Stutzman, 33, has set a Guinness world record for longest accurate shot (310 yards) and announced his intention to become the world's best archer, period.
Briana Provancha and Annie Haeger
Nicknamed Team No Filter for their candidness, Provancha (left) and Haeger won a boatload of national competitions together at Boston College. In Rio they hope to sift through the competition (and the sewage) to become the fourth U.S. two-woman dinghy to medal.
Maya DiRado, Ryan Lochte and Simone Manuel
After starring on a loaded team that includes 11-time medalist Lochte (top) and defending NCAA 50- and 100-yard freestyle champ Manuel (far right), Stanford alum DiRado, 23, plans to leave the pool to work as a business consultant in Atlanta.
Coming on July 28, more about Team USA: video interviews, photos and information on even more athletes at SI.com/team-usa