Michael Phelps Leads the Way for Team USA at Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony
Team USA stands to win the country's 1,000 medal while competing in Rio this summer
Team America has arrived.
Led by flag-bearer Michael Phelps – whose Ralph Lauren-designed uniform was quite literally illuminated with the colors of the American flag – the team made its way into Maracanã stadium to assemble with the rest of the competing athletes.
As they walked around the stadium, the American athletes joyfully hugged each other and snapped selfies.
Sprinter Allyson Felix danced to the music and wore a huge smile as she walked with her teammates.
Many of the athletes used their walk as an opportunity for selfies and team photos, like Serena Williams, who posed inside the stadium with fellow tennis stars Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
NBA star Harrison Barnes, who cheesed with the stadium crowd, called the moment, a “dream come true.”
The U.S. contingent is made up of 554 athletes, more than any other nation – and the biggest team ever for the United States.
Related Video: Michael Phelps is Set to Carry the U.S. Flag For the Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony
Notably absent? Simone Biles and the rest of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. The women decided to sit out the opener ahead of their first day of competition, Sunday. The women’s soccer team also watched the ceremony from home, resting up for their Saturday match against France.
Team USA stands to win its 1,000 Olympic gold medal during the Rio 2016 Games. Currently, the United States’ gold medal total stands at a robust 976, more than the next three countries combined – the Soviet Union (395), Great Britain (235) and France (203). When that moment comes is hard to say; Team USA won 46 gold medals four years ago in London, with swimmers – whose competition are scheduled for the first week of events – responsible for 16 of those.
To learn more about all Olympic hopefuls, visit teamusa.org. The Rio Olympics begin Friday on NBC.