For the first time in Olympic history, more women (269) than men (261) are representing the USA in the London Olympic Games. Women athletes are now competing in all 26 sports, as a result of the introduction of three weight classes in women’s boxing. There are still two disciplines which are exclusively for women: rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming.
Here are some other notes on this summer's Team USA.
California is the state which produced by far the most US Olympians with 128, followed by New York and Pennsylvania with 35 each.
Texas was fourth with 32, Florida ranks next with 31.
There are no Olympic athletes who reside in New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia.
Olympic insider Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated published his Olympic predictions recently and he foresees the USA and China each winning 42 gold medals, with the Americans edging the Chinese 99-97 on the medal table.
In the 2008 Beijing Games, the USA topped China 110-100 in the overall medal count.
Cazeneuve picked Russia (79 medals), Great Britain (65) and Germany (49) to fill out the top five.
Rounding out the top ten are Australia, Japan, France, Italy and South Korea.
The American media hyped up the men's 400-meter individual medley as a showdown between the two best swimmers in the world, but apparently no one informed Ryan Lochte, who dominated the race. Lochte won by more than three seconds, earning his fourth Olympic gold medal, with Michael Phelps fading all the way back to fourth place.
Lochte was coming off a great 2011 season, winning five gold medals at last year's world championships.
Phelps barely qualified for the Olympic final, finishing eighth place in the morning, a bad omen of things to come. Phelps drew the dreaded lane eight for the evening final, far away from the action in the middle of the pool.
Missy "The Missile" Franklin is a precocious American teenager from Denver, who could return home from London with as many as seven Olympic swimming medals, many of them gold in color.
The 17-year-old, who wears size 13 shoes and stands 6-1, will swim in seven events and is destined to emerge as a superstar for Team USA.
She won that magic number of seven medals (three golds) at the 2011 world swimming championships and was voted world swimmer of the year.
Franklin goes to high school and trains in the Denver suburb of Aurora (CO), the city that made world headlines last week for tragic reasons. She says she will win in England to "shine some light on Colorado."
Franklin is one of the youngest members of the US swimming team, but already carries the torch for the future of women's swimming.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were widely criticized for being oppressively draconian when dealing with opposing political discord by the media, prior to their Opening Ceremonies (mostly unfair). Now, Olympic fans are learning that things may not be any better in London, as the local organizer’s latest rules about what can and cannot be brought to the various Olympic venues have been publicized.
Naturally, the organizers are getting heat for their long list of banned or restricted objects. Items such as noisemakers (including the droning vuvuzelas of South Africa), balls, bicycles, large flags, drums, picnic baskets and frisbees have been banned. In addition, no clothing bearing "political statements" may be worn. Only very small water bottles and sandwiches are allowed.
The Birmingham City Council (UK) paid $23,000 to a local artist for a wicker statue of Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt, who is conducting his pre-Olympic training in the city located 117 miles northwest of London.
Last week, the statue of Bolt's classic victory pose was unveiled in downtown Birmingham and incredibly, it is facing the wrong way.
Bolt's right arm is raised, instead of the left one, which Bolt always raises after a victory.
In London, Bolt will be trying to equal his stunning three-gold medal performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
No word yet on what will happen to this “artistically questionable” statue.
Reuben Foster is a nationally-ranked prospect from Troup County, Georgia, who committed to defending national champion Alabama last July. The 6-1, 240 pound middle linebacker, who is listed as the number two recruit in the nation by Rivals.com, then decided he wanted to play his final year of high school ball in the city of Auburn, Alabama, while still being actively recruited by universities such as Georgia, Auburn and Washington.
The never-ending saga regarding female participation in the Olympics seems to have finally reached a satisfactory conclusion, with the announcement Wednesday that two women would represent Saudi Arabia in the London Games.
During the first week of July, the ultraconservative, oil-rich kingdom had stated that none of its women had qualified to compete in London. The nation eventually succumbed to massive international pressure, though many observers viewed the announcement as a lame compromise.
Two other Islamic nations, Brunei and Qatar, agreed to enter women earlier this year. The three were the only countries in the world that had sent all-male squads to compete in past Olympics.
The Festival of San Fermin, more commonly known as the Running of the Bulls, takes place in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona July 7-14 annually. The 400-year-old spectacle was made world-famous in the novel "The Sun Also Rises," written by Ernest Hemingway in 1926.
The runs take place at 8 AM daily, on a 930-yard course, set in the outskirts of Pamplona. Six fighting bulls chase thrill seekers (dressed in traditional clothing) through the old city's winding cobblestone streets, en route to the bullring.
The bulls weigh in at about 1,100 pounds and are always in a foul mood during their three-minute gallop to the arena, where they will then face matadors in the afternoon.