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American Olympians board flight to Rio de Janeiro

2016 Summer Games will open in Rio in few days

HOUSTON – Gate E7 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport was a sea of red, white and blue Sunday as dozens of American Olympians boarded a red-eye flight to Rio de Janeiro.

Not far behind stood the KPRC crew, camera gear in tow, preparing to begin three weeks of Olympic coverage.

Channel 2 anchor Andy Cerota is making his third trip to Rio, but said this will be his most exciting trip yet.

"I am most excited about feeling the vibes of Rio, the entire experience of the Olympics," Cerota said.

KPRC2 Sara Donchey caught up with KPRC2 Andy Cerota and KPRC2 Rachel McNeill at the airport before they head out for #Rio2016. Help us in wishing them safe travels, and make sure you are following their Olympics updates. #RoadToRio

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Sunday, July 31, 2016

In just a few days, the 2016 Summer Games will open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Eighty-five athletes boarded a United flight out of IAH Sunday evening, each of them already envisioning their return flight with Olympic gold in tow.

Ibtihaj Muhammad is making Olympic history as the first American athlete to wear a hijab during competition, a traditional Muslim headscarf. She is considered to be one of the best fencers in the world.

"I can't believe it's finally here. We worked so long for this moment and we're finally departing -- for me for my first Olympic Games," Muhammad said.

Brothers Kawika and Erik Shoji play on the USA men's indoor volleyball team.

"To be able to go through this whole experience together, we are really close," Kawika Shoji said. "I think we're the only brothers in the Olympics and we're just excited to go represent our family and our country."