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5 Summer Olympic Sports Team USA Can’t Conquer

Sorry, America. You are not the greatest in everything after all. Despite a whopping 2,638 medals (1,065 gold) since the Summer Olympics began in 1896, the United States has failed to medal in at least five sports. Even if the outright Olympic odds heavily favor Team USA to win the most medals (-2200) and the most golds (-650) at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris, we are not betting them to win in these sports.


5 Summer Olympic Sports Team USA Can’t Conquer
Evita Griskenas | Ulrik Pedersen / NurPhoto via AFP

Five Sports In Which Team USA Failed to Medal


Rhythmic Gymnastics

While the U.S. gymnastics program has produced household names like Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney, Team USA has never won in the rhythmic category. Since it was added in 1984, Europe has dominated the sport.

The best finish for the U.S. team was 11th place, achieved by Valerie Zimring in 1984 and Laura Zeng in 2016. In the last Summer Olympics, Zeng and Evita Griskenas finished 13th and 12th, respectively. The American team finished 11th. So consider Team USA a long shot at best should they qualify for this year’s edition.



Badminton has been a tough nut to crack for the United States. Despite competing in men’s and women’s singles and doubles since 1992, and mixed doubles since 1996, America’s best finish has been a quarterfinal appearance in men’s doubles with Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong in 2008.

In Tokyo, Timothy Lam and Beiwen Zhang failed to medal in singles while brothers Phillip and Ryan Chew also fell short in men’s doubles. Zhang, now ranked 10th in the world, will return for this year’s Olympics. She’ll be joined by five others. However, like in rhythmic gymnastics, we’re giving them long online sports betting odds to medal.



If the Americans have a kryptonite sport, it’s handball. The sport is just not notable enough in the U.S., which is evidenced by the lack of athletes who can qualify. An American has not qualified for the Olympic handball tournaments since 1996. The men’s team has competed six times, finishing in sixth way back in 1936. The women’s team appeared four times from 1984 to 1996, with their best result a fifth-placed finish.

In 2024, Team USA will be absent from the handball tournament again. Host country France is the favorite on both the men’s (+160) and women’s (-135) side. Denmark has the second-shortest odds at +180 and +175, respectively.



Table Tennis

Despite being an Olympic sport since 1988, the U.S. has never medaled in table tennis (or ping pong). Kanak Jha and Lily Zhang represented Team USA in Tokyo but both came home empty-handed.

Thus far, Amy Wang and Rachel Sung join Zhang in representing the U.S. in Paris. We won’t underestimate them, though their odds of winning medals are bleak at best. On the men’s side, Jha is on track to return to the Olympics.



Trampoline became an Olympic event in 2000, but the U.S. team has yet to win a medal. The best American finish was seventh place by Savannah Vinsant in 2012. Nicole Ahsinger and Aliaksei Shostak failed to medal in Tokyo in 2021. The former finished in sixth.

The U.S. will send Jessica Stevens and Shostak to Paris. Stevens may be the best American hope at ending at winning a medal from this list. She recently snapped a 49-year drought at the world championships when she finished third.

We’d say she has fair odds to finish on the podium. However, we’ll have to wait for the official sportsbook lines.



Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.


Questions of the Day

What are Team USA’s odds to win the most medals in gymnastics?

Team USA should have top-three odds to finish with the most medals in gymnastics. In 2021, the U.S. team finished third with six medals. But in 2016, they placed first with 12.

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