By Gary R. Blockus | July 12, 2017, 5 p.m. (ET)

 

Team USA is looking for a whole new crop of athletes this week as “Scouting Camp – The Next Olympic Hopeful” takes place July 13-16 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The United States Olympic Committee, partnering with 24 Hour Fitness, has identified 91 athletes selected from online and in-person workouts as a new talent-identification initiative.

Who: 91 Athletes

Out of the pool of 91 athletes invited to participate in “Scouting Camp – The Next Olympic Hopeful,” one male and female athlete from each of the four sports will be selected to receive professional coaching, training and medical support in national team camps as they prepare for the chance to compete on the Olympic stage. Their experiences and progress will be highlighted throughout the week via Team USA social channels, and winners will be announced on a two-hour broadcast airing Aug. 25 on NBCSN.

Sports: 4

The athletes are trying out for one of four sports they hope their talents transfer over to: bobsled, rugby, skeleton and track cycling. In addition to coaching and sport science services, the athletes will be mentored by U.S. Olympians John Daly (skeleton), Sarah Hammer (track cycling), Carlin Isles (rugby) and Lauryn Williams (bobsled, track and field).

Where They Come From: 29 States

Athletes hail from 29 U.S. states, led by California with 14, but Texas is right behind with 13. Altogether, 19 states feature multiple U.S. Olympic hopefuls.

NCAA Breakdown: 61 Percent Played NCAA Division I Sports

With 72 of the athletes currently enrolled in collegiate sports, NCAA Division I athletes lead the way with 61 percent of the participants. The Southeastern Conference features the most athletes in camp with four, including skeleton hopeful Brittany Cabbler of the University of Kentucky, and Ahmed Hulwe of the University of South Carolina in rugby. Five other conferences are sending four athletes, including the Great Lakes Valley Conference of Division II, with Missouri University of Science and Technology sending two: Utah natives Molly Hackett (rugby) and Alec Hackett (bobsled), who are married.

Average Height: 5-Foot-6

The tallest athlete is listed at 6-foot-4, and the shortest at 5-feet, but 6-footers lead the way with 14 listed at that height. Overall, 31 of the athletes are 6-feet or taller, and 29 are 5-foot-7 or shorter. Sam Reid (bobsled) of Massachusetts and Logan Van Way (track cycling) of Louisiana are the tallest in camp at 6-foot-4. Amanda Marie Zayas of Florida (track cycling) and Sara Simon (skeleton) of New Jersey are the shortest at 5-feet.

Average Age: 25

Alexander Brennan (rugby) of Florida, who turned 19 in June, is the youngest prospect, and Julia Burch (track cycling), a 53-year-old duathlete from Tennessee, is the oldest hopeful. Brennan is a former high school football star but is currently not competing in college sports at the University of South Florida.

“Olympians are the greatest role models I have looked up to all my life, and to actually become an Olympian is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements and honors one could ever have bestowed upon them,” Brennan said.

“(Making the Olympic team would be) Indescribable...It would mean the world to me,” Burch said.

Athletes Recruited By 24 Hour Fitness: 16

Athletes applied online or attended an in-person screening session at one of 13 designated 24 Hour Fitness facilities across the country in major markets from New York to Los Angeles. Seven of the athletes identified at the 24 Hour Fitness locations are earmarked for skeleton, plus four more for bobsled.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.