Five countries send their biggest ever Olympic teams in Sochi

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-2-6 9:00:35

Five countries, including Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States are sending their biggest ever Winter Olympic teams to Sochi.

Australia is sending 60 athletes, beating its previous record of 40 at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and the same number at Vancouver 2010.

The Australians will have competitors in 10 of the 15 sports at the Games, while 70 percent of their athletes will be making their Olympic debut in Sochi.

While not generally known for its winter sports, the Australia team includes Vancouver 2010 gold medalists Torah Bright (snowboard) and Lydia Lassila (aerials), and silver medalist Dale Begg-Smith (moguls).

A winter sport powerhouse, Canada is sending 220 athletes to Sochi 2014, an increase from the 202 it sent to the Vancouver 2010 Games.

The Canada team also includes a record 100 female athletes competing in every sport apart from Nordic combined.

The Netherlands is sending 41 athletes compared to its previous largest team of 33 which travelled to Torino in 2006. More than half the Dutch squad (22 athletes) are speed skaters, the nation's specialist winter sport.

Switzerland is dispatching 163 athletes to Sochi, including five gold medalists from Vancouver 2010. The Swiss sent a team of 138 to Vancouver and left with nine medals. They have targeted 10 this time around.

The United States boasts the biggest team in Sochi, and also the largest sent by any countries and regions to any Olympic Winter Games.

With 230 athletes it is larger than the squad of 212 the United States had at the Vancouver 2010 Games, and also bigger than Russia's team of 223 athletes.

The US team of 105 women and 125 men, including 106 returning Olympians, will compete in all 15 sports.

Posted in: Olympics

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