5.3 Million Miles to Gold; U.S. Olympic Team Travels to the 2021 Tokyo Games

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams have more than 800 athletes competing in the Tokyo games in events from American Canoe to Wrestling. At the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, we thought it would be interesting to dive in and explore how far the Team USA is willing to go to bring home Olympic gold. 
Using the athlete list for TeamUSA and gathering hometowns or current locations we calculated the distance to Tokyo measured as the bird (or in this case arrow) flies. 

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams are traveling a combined distance of 5.3 million miles to Tokyo!

Add up the individual lines in the map above, and you’ll discover that your 846 U.S. athletes are traveling a total of 5,259,366 miles!
And, to give you an idea of just how far that is:

Team USA is competing in 45 sports this summer!

The Olympics classifies these sports with each sport having several events. For example, cycling is a “sport,” but “events” include road biking, mountain biking, and BMX. We’ve taken the 45 sports and grouped them into categories for a better visual display in the chart below:
Combat Sports: boxing, fencing, judo, karate, taekwondo, wheelchair fencing, wrestling
Large Team Sports: baseball, basketball, goalball, rugby, soccer, softball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby
Racket Sports: badminton, table tennis, tennis, wheelchair tennis
Track and Field: biathlon, modern pentathlon, paratriathlon, track and field, triathlon Water: American canoe, artistic swimming, diving, outrigger canoe, rowing, sailing, surfing, swimming, water polo
Other: archery, climbing, cycling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, shooting, sitting volleyball, skateboarding, volleyball, weightlifting
NOTE: these are not official Olympic categories, just what we came up with to improve your experience with the visualizations.

U.S. Olympians are traveling to Tokyo from as far as Puerto Rico and as near as Hawaii and Alaska.

U.S. baseball player Jack Lopez is traveling from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. His flight is more than 8,000 miles; that’s the equivalent of 305 Olympic marathons! And, the shortest distance traveled is by Alev Kelter, a rugby player from Eagle River, Alaska, which is a short 3,472 miles from Tokyo or 75,286 times the world-record for the discus throw!

Here’s hoping Team USA’s flights aren't delayed or canceled!

BTS collects and analyzes on-time data for U.S. flights by airport, city, and state. The chart below shows data from January through May 2021 to see which states have the fewest delays and how long those delays are, on average.
If you’re an American Olympian flying out of Vermont, you’ve got the best chance for an on-time departure.

Planning summer travel?

If you’re planning a trip --even if you’re not an Olympian-- check out our pages on tarmac wait times and chronically delayed flights; then head over to Transtats for a more complete look at airlines, passengers, prices and more.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.