Which Country Has The Biggest Olympic Team? At Rio, Team USA Dominates The Numbers Game
With over 11,000 athletes competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, it's to be expected that many of us would wonder which country has the biggest Olympic team. Is there a dramatic difference in how many delegates countries can bring with them to the Olympics? What's the deciding factor in the number competing for each country? Interestingly, the range between the countries with the largest and smallest delegations is pretty significant.
According to Business Insider, Team USA has the largest delegation at the Rio 2016 Olympics, bringing a total of 554 athletes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brazil will have the largest delegation in the country's history, bringing a total of 462 athletes to the games. Just after Brazil is China, who is also bringing the highest number of athletes they've ever had in the Olympics, clocking in at 416 in total.
I'll admit, when I first read these numbers, I assumed that all countries brought a few hundred people. Sure, not all countries would dominate the numbers game like Team USA, but I assumed most countries brought a cool one or two hundred. It turns out, though, that I couldn't have been more wrong: Many teams are bringing record-breaking amounts of delegates to Rio 2016, but that doesn't mean their numbers are all in the hundreds. Israel, for example, is bringing a record amount of delegates to the games — but the number is only 47 athletes.
And Israel is far from the smallest delegation. In fact, according to Business Insider, some countries are bringing only two delegates to the Rio 2016 Olympics. Equatorial Guinea, for example, is a country with an estimated population of 760,000 people and is being represented by two women in the Olympics. Tuvalu, Bhutan, Dominica, Chad, Swaziland, and Liberia also all tie with Equatorial Guinea in bringing only two delegates each. In total, the Olympics will feature 11,494 athletes from a total of 206 countries.
But while bringing a larger delegation may increase your chances of bringing home more medals, countries with only a handful of delegates can and do still bring home the gold. And of course, some countries attend the Olympics and never bring home the gold, but they're still representing their homes with pride. Even if Olympians aren't winning medals, they're still Olympians nonetheless — and that's a huge win, whether you've got a medal or not.