Mar 18, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Nia Ali (USA) poses with United States flag after winning the womens 60m hurdles during the 2016 IAAF World Championships.

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There are 554 athletes who will represent the United States of America at the 2016 Rio Olympics, which begin with the opening ceremonies on Friday night. More than 40 American athletes hail from Philadelphia and the surrounding area, spanning from York to Cochranville to Lititz in Pennsylvania and, across the river, from Berlin to Sicklerville all the way down to Wildwood Crest. Many top athletes have come to Philadelphia to train for Rio as well, including several members of the U.S. Rowing team and at least one notable Olympian who considered Philly her home base despite growing up halfway around the world.

Of the U.S. Olympians born, bred or just training in the region, five hail from within the city limits of Philadelphia.

That list includes: Former Villanova and Cardinal Dougherty High School standout Kyle Lowry of USA Basketball; Glenn Ochal from Roman Catholic High School by way of Princeton, who will be competing in his second-straight Summer Games on the U.S. Rowing team; Ajeé Wilson, the 800-meter track star who was born in Philadelphia before moving to Neptune, N.J. and currently attends Temple University; Nia Ali, the 100-meter hurdler who went to West Catholic High School; and Taylor Ellis-Watson, the recent University of Arkansas graduate who attended Springside High School and will be competing in the 4×400-meter relay in Rio.

As the Summer Games begin, and millions of Americans tune in to support Team USA over the next three weeks, here are the five athletes that Philly faithful can really call their own. (Biographical information from the USOC and TeamUSA.org.)

Kyle Lowry

Basketball: USA Basketball Exhibition Game-Nigeria at USA
Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
  • Sport: Basketball
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 250
  • DOB: 3/25/1986
  • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • High School: Cardinal Dougherty High School (Philadelphia) ‘04
  • College: Villanova University
  • Team/Club: Toronto Raptors
YouTube video

Lowry was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2006 NBA Draft after a stellar career at Villanova. Lowry played three seasons in Memphis before moving to Houston in 2008. Four years ago, Lowry was traded to the Toronto Raptors, where he has become a bona fide NBA star, named to the NBA All-Star team the last two seasons before earning his first invitation to the Olympics in Rio.

Glenn Ochal

Aug 4, 2012; London, United Kingdom;  Glenn Ochal , left, took the  bronze medal during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports
Glenn Ochal , left, took the bronze medal during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Sport: Rowing
  • Event(s): Eight
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 210
  • DOB: 3/1/1986
  • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • High School: Roman Catholic High School (Philadelphia) ‘04
  • College: Princeton University ’08, Economics
  • Team/Club: USRowing Training Center – Princeton
  • Coach(es): Bryan Volpenhein
YouTube video

Ochal will compete in the rowing Men’s Eight event in Rio. In London in 2012, Ochal was part of the team that won a bronze medal in the Men’s Four event, a definite surprise in a race the U.S. was not expected to medal.

Nia Ali

Jul 8, 2016; Eugene, OR, USA; Nia Ali holds her son Titus Maximus and an American flag after competing during the women’s 100m hurdles finals in the 2016 U.S. Olympic track and field team trials at Hayward Field.
Nia Ali holds her son Titus Maximus and an American flag after competing during the women’s 100m hurdles finals in the 2016 U.S. Olympic track and field team trials.
  • Sport: Track and Field
  • Event(s): 100-meter Hurdles
  • Height: 5-6
  • Weight: 143
  • DOB: 10/23/1988
  • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • High School: West Catholic High School (Philadelphia) ‘06
  • College: University of Southern California ‘11, Psychology
YouTube video

Ali will participate in the 100-meter hurdles in Rio after winning a gold medal in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2016 Indoor World Championships earlier this year. Ali took a year off after winning at the 2014 Indoor Worlds to give birth to her son Titus, in May 2015, making her one of 10 moms on the U.S. Olympic team.

Taylor Ellis-Watson

Francena McCorory (left) and Taylor Ellis-Watson (center) and Phyllis Francis (right) compete during the women’s 400m semi-finals in the 2016 U.S. Olympic track and field team trials.
Francena McCorory (left) and Taylor Ellis-Watson (center) and Phyllis Francis (right) compete during the women’s 400m semi-finals in the 2016 U.S. Olympic track and field team trials.
  • Sport: Track and Field
  • Event(s): 4×400-meter
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 142
  • DOB: 5/6/1993
  • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • High School: Springside High School (Philadelphia) ‘11
  • College: University of Arkansas ‘16, Psychology
YouTube video

Ellis-Watson was a nine-time NCAA All-American in college, having transferred to Arkansas after a year at the University of Pittsburgh. She helped the Razorbacks win the 2016 NCAA National Championship, competing in both the 400-meter and the 4×400 relay.

Ajeé Wilson

Mar 20, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Ajee Wilson takes victory lap with United States flag after placing second in the womens 800m during the 2016 IAAF World Championships.
Ajee Wilson takes victory lap with United States flag after placing second in the womens 800m during the 2016 IAAF World Championships.
  • Sport: Track and Field
  • Event(s): 800-meter
  • Height: 5-8
  • Weight: 135
  • DOB: 5/8/1994
  • Birthplace: Philadelphia
  • Hometown: Neptune, N.J.
  • High School: Neptune Academy of Allied Health & Science (Neptune, N.J.) ‘12
  • College: Temple University ‘16, Kinesiology
  • Team/Club: Juventus Track Club
  • Coach(es): Derek Thompson
YouTube video

Wilson hails from Neptune, N.J. but was originally from Philly — the USOC roster has her hometown and birthplace as Philly, but her bio page, as seen above, recognizes Neptune as her hometown — and is a student at Temple University.

Wilson did not compete at the collegiate level, eschewing scholarship offers to go to school locally while continuing her training on a professional level. She is one of the medal hopefuls for the U.S. Track and Field team after qualifying in the 800-meter.

Olympians from the Region

There are dozens of medal contenders from just outside the city limits, including wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs from Camden, reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd from Delran and one of the best women’s basketball players on the planet in Elena Delle Donne, from Wilmington. Here is a list of some local hopefuls, listed by hometown.

[table id=PhillyOlympians /]

A map of the local Olympians
A map of the local Olympians

The chart below is a list of those Olympians who attended college in the region.

[table id=OlympiansCollege /]

For perspective, here is a map of all the United States Olympians, plotted by hometown.

nationalolympians