Auburn boasts 18 representatives at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Published: July 22, 2021
Font Size

Article body

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will officially commence Friday with Opening Ceremonies. It will be a year to the day of when they were supposed to take place, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the start date a full year.

Auburn will once again be well-represented at this year's Olympics with 15 current and former Tigers set to compete in Tokyo, along with three coaches who have Auburn ties. A total of 14 different countries will be represented among the contingent going.

Of the 15 athletes, seven will be making their first Olympic appearance while the other eight have already competed in at least one previous Olympic Games.

This will be the fourth Olympics for high jumper Donald Thomas (Bahamas) who will become the sixth former Tiger to compete in four or more Olympic Games. Swimmer Marcelo Chierighini (Brazil) and sprinter Kai Selvon (Trinidad and Tobago) will each become three-time Olympians when they take the stage in Tokyo.

Chierighini is one of eight Auburn swimmers in attendance, the most of any sport. The only current swimmer is Adriel Sanes, a graduate transfer from the University of Denver who will swim the 100 and 200 breaststroke for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Gideon Louw, a current assistant coach and former Olympian himself, will serve as an assistant coach with Guatemala where he'll work with Luis Martinez, a three-time All-American at Auburn.

Martinez, Santiago Grassi (Argentina) and Julie Meynen (Luxembourg) all trained together in Auburn for the 2020 Olympics.  The trio will each be making their second Olympic appearance along with Peter Holoda of Hungary while former Tigers Zach Apple and Annie Lazor will be making their Olympic debuts swimming for the United States.

Auburn will have four former track & field athletes competing with Thomas, Selvon, Nathon Allen (Jamaica) and Rachel Dincoff (USA). Dincoff, who qualified for the discus throw, is Auburn's first female ever to represent the United States at the Olympics in track & field.

Dincoff isn't the only former Tiger to make history at the Tokyo 2020 Games. For the first time ever, Auburn will have an Olympian in gymnastics, softball and men's tennis.

In gymnastics, it will be incoming freshman Sunisa Lee looking to win gold with Team USA. Lee clinched her spot with a second-place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June. Emily Carosone, a former All-American at Auburn who is now an assistant coach with softball, qualified with the Italy softball team. And former Tiger Tim Puetz, a two-time All-American, will become Auburn's first Olympian in men's tennis playing doubles for Germany.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will run from July 23, the day of Opening Ceremonies, through August 8, though some sports have already begun. For full coverage of the Olympics, including streaming links, visit nbcolympics.com.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.