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Which Olympian From Your State Should You Cheer On In Rio?

Will your state go for the gold? (Spoiler alert — probably not if you live in Montana or North Dakota, sorry!)

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1. Alabama: DeMarcus Cousins

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

Sport: Basketball

Position: Center

He may play for the Sacramento Kings of California, but this NBA star was proudly born and raised in Alabama. Aside from playing a big game, DeMarcus has an even bigger heart — he hosts a completely free basketball camp for underserved youth in Sacramento and has made a pledge to donate $1 million to the families and community of Sacramento!

2. Alaska: Alev Kelter

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Sport: Rugby

Position: Scrum Half

Alev joined the US Rugby team in 2014 with NO PRIOR RUGBY EXPERIENCE, and now she's headed to the Olympics, you guys. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, though, since this badass also led the US women's ice hockey team to win the gold at the 2009 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship.

3. Arizona: Alex Naddour

instagram.com

Sport: Gymnastics

Program: Artistic Gymnastics

Alex is a first-time Olympian and a brand-new dad! He's married to world champion gymnast Hollie Vise, and their daughter Lilah was born in February. When it comes to motivation to win big, Alex says, "Each set I'm doing, it's not just for me or for my wife or friends, family. It's for my daughter." Swoon.

4. Arkansas: Isabella Isaksen and Margaux Isaksen

Sport: Track & Field

Event: Pentathlon

These two sisters from Fayetteville are ready to kick some serious Olympic ass. They are both competing in the pentathlon, and just in case you don't know, that includes fencing, freestyle swimming, show jumping (horses), pistol shooting, and cross-country running. Whatever, no big deal. This is Margaux's (right) third Olympic appearance and the first for Isabella (left).

5. California: Allyson Felix

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter

Not hard to root for Allyson — she's the world's best 200m runner. And she might make history this time around, since she could potentially hold the title for most Olympic track and field medals for a female American athlete.

6. Colorado: Mallory Pugh

Aaron Ontiveroz / Getty Images

Sport: Soccer

Position: Forward

At just 18 years old, Mallory was named the captain of the 2016 US Women's World Cup team for this November's tournament. The youngest on her team and the second-youngest competitor in the history of US Olympic women’s soccer, she's already a superstar. Expect great things from your hometown girl, Colorado!

7. Connecticut: Alyssa Naeher

Brian Bahr / Getty Images

Sport: Soccer

Position: Goalie

Alyssa was not only part of Team USA 2008 when they won the Women's World Cup title, she also won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper of the entire tournament. In 2014, she was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, with a record-setting 106 saves. Looks like Team USA is in good hands this summer!

8. Delaware: Elena Delle Donne

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard/Forward

There's a lot to root for with Elena. Not only is she an incredible athlete, she is also an ambassador for Lyme Research Alliance, after being diagnosed with Lyme disease as a sophomore in college. She also has served as a Special Olympics global ambassador since 2014, advocating for those with intellectual disabilities worldwide — inspired by her sister, who was born deaf and blind and has cerebral palsy and autism.

9. Florida: Ashleigh Johnson

Harry How / Getty Images

Sport: Water Polo

Position: Goalie

Ashleigh is one of the top water polo goalies in the world — nothing’s getting past her! And she’s known for how playful she is in the water, so she’ll be a guaranteed fun time to watch. Not to mention she’s a Princeton grad, so, yeah, lots to be proud of here.

10. Georgia: Jay Litherland

Al Bello / Getty Images

Sport: Swimming

Event: Freestyle

Jay’s a bit of a triple threat: He’s an actual triplet, has triple citizenship (America, Japan, and New Zealand), and beat out Ryan Lochte by a second to attend the Olympics. Watch out!

11. Hawaii: Kawika Shoji and Erik Shoji

Sport: Volleyball

Positions: Kawika - Setter; Erik - Libero

Another sibling powerhouse, these two brothers are ready for Rio! While they were at Stanford University, Kawika and Erik had the disctinction of being the first brothers ever to win AVCA All-America first-team honors in the same year.

12. Idaho: Kristin Armstrong

Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Sport: Cycling

Program: Road Race, Time Trial

This isn't Kristin's first time at the Olympics. Or her second. In fact, she has competed in THREE previous Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012) and has won the GOLD not once, but TWICE (Beijing 2008, London 2012)! There's a lot to be proud of here, Idaho.

13. Illinois: Ben Kanute

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Images

Sport: Triathlon

Ben finished his first triathlon when he was only 8 years old. But he's also a super relatable guy who always roots for the home teams from Chicago. Oh, and his pre-race ritual? He typically spends the night before a race watching a bad made-for-TV movie.

14. Indiana: Amanda Elmore

usrowing.org

Sport: Rowing

The Olympics are filled with overachievers, and Amanda is certainly that — she was her high school valedictorian, she was named her high school's athlete of the year in 2009, and then she went on to win Purdue University’s Most Valuable Oarswoman in 2012 and 2013. Now she might add an Olympic medal to that trophy case.

15. Iowa: Jenny Simpson

Harry How / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: 1500m

Jenny repped America in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and as they say — third time's the charm! Plus, in 2014 Track & Field News ranked her No. 1 in the world for the 1500m.

16. Kansas: Nico Hernandez

Jason Connolly / AFP / Getty Images

Sport: Boxing

Weight Class: Light Flyweight

In Rio, Nico's not just fighting for himself and the USA. He fights in memory of his close friend and teammate Tony Losey, who died in 2014. He also credits his family as an inspiration and driving force. He says, "When I'm in the ring, I'm just thinking about my family and making a better life for them."

17. Kentucky: Lee Kiefer

Kirby Lee / Getty Images

Sport: Fencing

Program: Foil Fencing

She may only be 22 years old, but this is Lee's second trip to the Olympics — and this time she has her eyes set on that elusive gold medal. Looks like she's got a pretty good shot — after all, she's the only athlete in the world to have earned individual podium finishes at the senior, junior, and cadet world championships.

18. Louisiana: Seimone Augustus

Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Sport: Basketball

Position: Forward

Seimone has already made two appearances at the Olympics — in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 — and she helped her team bring home the gold BOTH times. Her bio is crazy impressive, starting with her joining a junior basketball team for 5-year-old boys when she was THREE YEARS OLD all the way through her rise to stardom in the WNBA. Seimone is a superstar, born and raised in Baton Rouge.

19. Maine: Eleanor Logan

Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Sport: Rowing

Eleanor's got a gold medal from the 2008 Olympics, and another gold from the 2012 games...so getting a third would round this out nicely, don't you think? (Bonus points: She has an adorably dog-filled Instagram.)

20. Maryland: Katie Ledecky

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Sport: Swimming

Event: Freestyle

Katie is a damn FORCE. She holds world records in three swimming categories: the 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyles. She’s been named one of Time’s most influential people, and did I mention she’s only 19 years old?

21. Massachusetts: Aly Raisman

Harry How / Getty Images

Sport: Gymnastics

Program: Women's Artistic

Aly started doing gymnastics at 2 years old as part of a Mommy & Me class, and since then she's obviously come a long way. At the 2012 Olympics, Aly took home three medals — two gold and a bronze — making her the most decorated gymnast that year. And now she's here to defend those medals.

22. Michigan: Claressa Shields

Scott Heavey / Getty Images

Sport: Boxing

Weight Class: Middleweight

Have you seen the documentary T-Rex? It’s literally about Claressa and how she became the first woman in history to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. She’s a damn warrior.

23. Minnesota: Kiana Eide

instagram.com

Sport: Gymnastics

Program: Rhythmic Gymnastics (Team)

At 17, Kiana is the youngest and newest member of the team — but don't let her age fool you, she is a fierce competitor!

24. Mississippi: Brittney Reese

Ian Walton / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: Long Jump

Brittney is coming back strong after taking home the gold medal in London at the 2012 Olympics. Aside from four World Indoor and Outdoor Championships gold medals, Brittney is also a strong supporter of her hometown community. In November 2011, she bought 100 Thanksgiving turkeys to help feed the homeless surrounding her hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi. Heart + talent = a winning combination!

25. Missouri: Maya Moore

Harry How / Getty Images

Sport: Basketball

Position: Forward

First of all, Maya loves red velvet cake — so you know she's good people right there. She's been on the cover of ESPN magazine, played basketball with President Obama, and already won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics. Only thing better is to get another one of those gold medals this year, right?

26. Montana (honorary athlete, because Montana doesn’t have any participants in 2016…sorry): Jillion Potter

Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images

Sport: Rugby

Position: Prop

Here’s all you need to know about Jillion: She survived cancer. She also broke her neck at one point and came back from that. She’s a damn survivor. And if Jillion can survive all of those obstacles and still play in the Olympics, then you, my Montana loves, should definitely be rooting for her. She’s basically the epitome of a strong American, after all.

27. Nebraska: Jordan Larson

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Sport: Volleyball

Position: Outside Hitter

Jordan grew up in a town with a population of 830…talk about coming from humble beginnings! She earned a silver medal in the 2012 Olympics, so this year could be her golden one.

28. Nevada: Vashti Cunningham

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: High Jump

Vashti grew up around athletic greatness: Her father is a former NFL quarterback, and her mother is a retired ballerina. So it’s not hard to see how she melded the two and found her sweet spot in the high jump. She’s won a world junior record, and there’s a really good chance she’ll be winning a medal in Rio.

29. New Hampshire: Sarah True

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

Sport: Triathlon

Here's a crazy family fact: Sarah's older sister is New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff. So clearly overachievement runs in the fam. Sarah finished fourth in the 2012 Olympics, so chances are, if that competitive streak kicks into high gear, she'll place higher this time around.

30. New Jersey: Ibtihaj Muhammad

instagram.com

Sport: Fencing

Program: Saber Fencing

First of all, Ibtihaj taught Michelle Obama how to fence. That’s just to start! And in 2016 she’ll be the first Olympic athlete ever to compete while wearing a hijab. She’s a trailblazer, AND she attended Duke. Some people really do have it all.

31. New Mexico: Gerina Piller

Matt Sullivan / Getty Images

Sport: Golf

You don’t always have to start playing an Olympic sport in utero, and for Gerina, she didn’t start to golf until she was 15. That’s ancient compared to the other folks on this list. (Maybe there’s still hope for all of us?! No?! OK.)

32. New York: Carmelo Anthony

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Sport: Basketball

Position: Small Forward

Carmelo is just the whole package: an activist and a Knicks player who also earned two gold Olympic medals and a bronze the last three times he played. Plus he set the American basketball team record for scoring the most points in a single game. Claps all around!

33. North Carolina: Michelle Kasold

Rob Carr / Getty Images

Sport: Field Hockey

Position: Forward

I don’t need to tell you that being a two-time Pan Am gold medalist and having this be your second time at the Olympics makes you a badass. But yeah, OK, Michelle is a badass.

34. North Dakota (honorary athlete, because ND doesn’t have any participants in 2016): Paula Lynn Obañana

Dennis Grombkowski / Getty Images

Sport: Badminton

OK, so Paula isn’t actually from North Dakota, but she grew up in Minnesota, which is pretty damn close. And she gets a giant gold medal alone for speaking up about how insanely expensive it is for athletes to actually make it into the Olympics. She worked her ass off to get to Rio, and chances are she’s going to play harder as a result.

35. Ohio: Lee Kiefer

instagram.com

Sport: Fencing

Program: Foil Fencing

Fencing runs in Lee's blood, as her father was a fencer while studying at Duke. Lee, also a total smartypants, is studying premed at Notre Dame, on top of slaying your faves in fencing.

36. Oklahoma: Gil Roberts

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: 400-meter, 4x400-meter

Here’s something that will melt your heart: When Gil made it to the Olympics team this year, he said that it had been "a dream of mine since I was a kid, and I’m on cloud nine right now.” Awww, dreams coming true!

37. Oregon: Ashton Eaton

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: Decathlon, Heptathlon

When they were handing out world records, Ashton just decided to snatch up two: one for the decathlon and another for indoor heptathlon. He won a gold at the last Olympics, so if he wins again we just have to start bowing down.

38. Pennsylvania: Joe Kovacs

Harry How / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: Shot Put

The first great thing about Joe is that his mom was the first shot put coach he ever had, and they're basically besties. “We have this bond that you really can’t separate," she told NBC. The second thing to know is that he's addicted to Starbucks. And the third thing is that he loves Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. 'Nuff said.

39. Rhode Island: Elizabeth Beisel

Handout / Getty Images

Sport: Swimming

Event: 400m Individual Medley

Aside from Elizabeth’s silver and bronze medals, which she took home in the 2012 Olympics, she’s also got a killer Instagram filled with dogs and swimming shenanigans. Would want to hang with her.

40. South Carolina: Raven Saunders

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: Shot Put

Raven’s called “Hulk” for a reason, and that's because of how she transforms on the field. She’s also got the chops to prove it: She has the longest throw by a female collegian in women’s NCAA history as of 2015, and she broke South Carolina's shot put record by 11 feet. Hulk, indeed!

42. Tennessee: Brian Baker

Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Sport: Tennis

Program: Singles

If ever there was a comeback kid in the Olympics, it’s Brian. His career has been derailed on and off due to sports injuries, so much that one reporter commented that his life is a "collection of preparing for surgeries, recovering from surgeries, preparing for tests.” But now that he’s at the games, the test is ON.

43. Texas: Simone Biles

instagram.com

Sport: Gymnastics

Program: Women's Artistic

If you haven't heard of 19-year-old Simone Biles, then you need to rethink your life choices. She's incredibly fun to watch (she's done routines to the Game of Thrones theme song, for example) and also moves like a damn magician.

44. Utah: Maka Unufe

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Sport: Rugby

Position: Wing

When Maka played football in high school, his nickname was Maka “Catch me if you can” Unufe. So while this is his first time at the Olympics, it likely won’t be his last.

45. Vermont: Lea Davison

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Sport: Cycling

Program: Mountain Bike

Lea’s Olympic dreams were almost dashed a month ago in France when she was competing in a World Cup cross-country mountain bike race. She crashed her bike and later required six stitches on her elbow — but even with her injury, she still finished the race as the top American. How’s that for a fighter?

46. Virginia: Gabby Douglas

instagram.com

Sport: Gymnastics

Program: Artistic Gymnastics

Gabby is a goddamn national treasure. She has her own Barbie doll! And last Olympics she won the all-around gold, so here’s hoping she likes repeat performances.

48. West Virginia: Ginny Thrasher

wvusports.com

Sport: Shooting

Program: Three-Position Rifle

Thrasher placed third at the 2014 Junior Olympics, but 2016 has already been a helluva year for her — she was named Top Performer of the NCAA Championship, and now she's headed to Rio...2016 just might be her year.

49. Wisconsin: Annie Haeger

Todd Warshaw

Sport: Sailing

Program: 470 (Two-Person Dinghy)

Annie says her love of sailing began at the tender age of 5, and by 8 years old, she was competing. Just think about where you were at 8, then remember Annie, and you'll know why you're rooting for her.

50. Wyoming: Mason Finley

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Sport: Track & Field

Event: Discus Throw

When Finley attended the University of Wyoming, his classmates fondly called him a "gentle giant," and at 6-foot-8, it's not hard to see why. Let's hope this giant brings home a giant gold medal.

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