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Get To Know The 33 Olympic Athletes Who Call Texas Home

USA Gymnastics
Simone Biles, 19, from Spring, Texas won gold in both women's all-around gymnastics and as a part of "The Final Five" U.S. women's team.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: More than 30 members of Team USA hail from Texas; Denton’s losing another beloved music venue; President Obama has been listening to Leon Bridges this summer; and more.

Name an Olympic sport, and you can most likely find a Texan on the team. Even though Texas brings 33 athletes to the games in Rio this year, it’s not really a matter of quantity. A week into the international competition, the state has already claimed bronze, silver and gold.

You can see profiles of all 33 Olympians from Texas, including gold-medal gymnasts Simone Biles of Spring, Texas and Madison Kocian of Dallas and the first African-American female swimmer to win an individual swim medal, Simone Manuel of Sugar Land.

Here are the Texas Olympians at a glance:

  • Number of first-timers: 26
  • Oldest Athlete: Keith Sanderson, 41, rapid fire shooter
  • Youngest Athlete: Madison Kocian, 19, gymnast
  • Most Common Birthplace and Hometown: Houston
  • Born Out Of State: 12
  • Born Out Of U.S.: 1, Kerron Clement from Trinidad and Tobago, 400m hurdles
  • Sport with highest number of athletes: Track and field, 11
  • Sport(s) with lower number of athletes: Wrestling, soccer, table tennis, rugby, equestrian, cycling, boxing and archery all have one Texas representative

There are 554 U.S. Olympic athletes this year. Nearly half of them come from five states: California (124 athletes), Florida (39 athletes), Texas (33 athletes), Pennsylvania (31 athletes) and New York (30 athletes). [NPR]

  • The “old dirty basement” of J&J’s has been the home to DIY shows in Denton for 15 years. Its run ends, much to the community’s sadness, Saturday night. The story seems familiar because it is. In the past year two other longtime Denton venues Hailey’s Club and Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios bit the same dust. J&J’s announced the closure on Aug. 6 on its Facebook page that despite “months of heated negotiations” with the building’s owner, and Jaime Ham, J&J’s owner, lost access to the basement. And, he had plans to renovate the space and hand it over to “music enthusiast” Matt Farmer  to continue its service to the Denton community. Read D Magazine’s tribute to the space. [D Magazine]


  • President Obama is a fan of Fort Worth’s Leon Bridges. Just see his latest Spotify playlist. For the second consecutive summer, Obama put together daytime and nighttime mixes of his favorite songs published from The White House’s account on the music streaming service. The daytime playlist includes legends like Nina Simone and The Beach Boys and trending artists like Courtney Barnett and Bridges. His upbeat tune “Smooth Sailin’” is the second song on the list.  Bridges’ has been riding a major wave since the beginning of 2015, and with a presidential endorsement, his popularity won’t ebb anytime soon. [Spotify]   

  • Dallas filmmaker David Lowery’s remake of “Pete’s Dragon” has been receiving rave reviews. The film, which opens today, is a Disney-budgeted, live-action remake of a 1977 children’s film about an orphan and his dragon friend, Elliott. Despite the high praise for the film, Lowery couldn’t watch more than 40 minutes of it at the Los Angeles premiere. He told The Big Screen duo the premiere is an “extraordinary event,” but he just “got antsy” and the same thing has happened at his previous film premieres. Listen to the full interview for more on bringing Pete’s Dragon to life. [The Big Screen]","_id":"00000174-20e2-d47e-a1f7-72e7f6f10001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">">","_id":"00000174-20e2-d47e-a1f7-72e7f6f10001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">

  • Revolver, one of D-FW’s popular craft breweries has been bought by MillerCoors. Revolver quickly gained a favorable reputation in Dallas-Fort Worth after opening in 2012 in Granbury, and that local reverence attracted MillerCoors, and partnership discussions began in late 2015. GuideLive says the new partnership will allow the brewery to expand beyond Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and College Station into San Antonio and Houston next.The brewery's owners Ron and Rhett Keisler and head brewer/partner Grant Wood will “remain in place.” That better go for the Blood & Honey, too. [GuideLive]