Olympics-U.S. sending large, experienced team to reclaim share of medals in Beijing

People stand beside an installation featuring Shuey Rhon Rhon, the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games Mascot ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic in Beijing, China January 24, 2022. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

(Reuters) - The United States will send its second-largest Winter Olympic contingent to compete in Beijing next month, with 222 athletes vying to bring home medals after a disappointing outing in Pyeongchang.

The U.S. fell far short of their medals target four years ago, bringing back 23, the fewest they have claimed since the 1998 Nagano Games.

The 2022 roster includes 99 returning Olympians - four of them five-time Olympians - the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said, making it the most experienced squad that the U.S. has ever sent to a Winter Games.

"This is an exciting 2022 U.S. Olympic Team –- a great mix of returning champions building on remarkable legacies and first-time Olympians eager to show what they can do on the biggest stage in sport," Rick Adams, the USOPC chief of sport performance, said in a statement.

"The dedication of these Team USA athletes to train and compete in this unpredictable global environment is exemplary."

The roster includes the most female athletes the U.S. has sent to a Winter Olympics, with 107 women expected to compete.

The oldest member of the team is 40-year-old snowboarder Nick Baumgartner, while the youngest is 16-year-old figure skater Alysa Liu.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; editing by Clare Fallon)

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