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Here’s A Look At Arizona Athletes Competing In The Tokyo Summer Olympics

By Christina Estes
Published: Saturday, July 24, 2021 - 5:05pm
Updated: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - 1:40pm

Arizona has 18 athletes competing in the summer Olympics, hailing from Flagstaff to Tucson and Phoenix to Globe.

Arizona athletes will compete in a dozen sports. In most sports, Arizona will have a single representative, but track and field will feature three Arizonans. Cycling, rugby, skateboarding and gymnastics will each include two Arizonans. 

In gymnastics, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner are among six women that make up Team USA. They were chosen to compete in individual apparatus events and not the team event. The four-member team structure and two specialists competing in individual events is new for the Tokyo Games, created by the International Gymnastics Federation to allow smaller countries that could not send an entire team to be able to send two individuals. 

Carey and Skinner are the first women gymnasts from Arizona since Kerri Strug landed a vault on an injured ankle to help Team USA win its first Olympic gold in the team gymnastics competition in 1996.

Several popular names in Phoenix basketball are not on the official roster of Arizona athletes because they listed other home states. They include: Devin Booker of the Suns, and Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith from the Mercury. 

Team USA is sending 613 athletes from 46 states. California, the most populous state, is sending the most at 126. Florida has 51, Colorado has 34 and Texas has 31 athletes. States sending one athlete are: Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and South Dakota.

Arizona Athletes

Abdi Abdirahman Track and Field Tucson
Alana Smith Skateboarding Mesa
Aliphine Tuliamuk Track and Field Flagstaff
Bethanie Mattek-Sands Tennis Phoenix
Brady Ellison Archery Globe
Brandon McNulty Cycling Phoenix
Brett Thompson Rugby Tempe
Corben Sharrah Cycling Tucson
Delaney Schnell Diving Tucson
Jade Carey Gymnastic (Artistic) Phoenix
Jagger Eaton Skateboarding Mesa
Jamie Westbrook Baseball Chandler
Julie Ertz Soccer Mesa
Kayla Miracle Wrestling Phoenix
Maceo Brown Rugby Tempe
Mykayla Skinner Gymnastic (Artistic) Gilbert
Sarah Sponcil Beach Volleyball Phoenix
Will Claye Track and Field Phoenix

Highlights From Team USA

  • The 2020 roster includes 329 women and 284 men, marking the third straight Olympic Games with more women on the U.S. roster. The Rio 2016 team included 294 women and 264 men, while London 2012 had 268 women and 262 men. 
  • Swimmer Katie Grimes is the youngest athlete at age 15, while equestrian Phillip Dutton will be competing at age 57. 
  • The 2020 team features 193 returning Olympians and 104 Olympic medalists, including 56 Olympic champions. 
  • The 2020 team is nearly 10% larger than the Rio 2016 Olympic Team, growing from 558 to 613 qualified athletes. 
  • The United States will be represented in 44 sports in Japan. Of the 338 medal events contested in Tokyo, Team USA will have at least one entry (athlete/team) in 268 of those events.
  • Eighteen athletes on the roster self-identify ties to the military, including 16 with the Army, one with the Coast Guard and one with the Marines. 
  • Of the 613 U.S. athletes competing in Tokyo, more than 75% (463 athletes) competed collegiately at 169 schools.
  • There are at least six sets of siblings on the team, including Jessica and Nelly Korda (golf), Henry Leverett and Jack Leverett III (shooting), Phillip and Ryan Chew (badminton), Kristen and Samantha Mewis (soccer), Erik and Kawika Shoji (volleyball), and Aria and Makenzie Fischer (water polo). 
  • The 613 athletes named to the U.S. roster mark the largest delegation by a non-host nation, and the second-largest delegation for Team USA, following the 648 athletes at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
  • Four athletes on the roster have competed at the Olympics previously for other nations. Phillip Dutton will be making his seventh Olympic appearance, his fourth on Team USA, as he competed for Australia in 1996, 2000 and 2004. Amro El-Geziry competed in pentathlon for Egypt in 2008, 2012 and 2016; Ildar Hafizov wrestled for Uzbekistan in 2008; and Sally Kipyego ran track for Kenya in 2012.
  • Dutton leads all returning Olympians and will make his seventh appearance at the Olympic Games. The six five-time Olympians include equestrian Steffen Peters, basketball players Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, track athletes Abdi Abdirahman and Allyson Felix, and fencer Mariel Zagunis.
  • Basketball players Bird and Taurasi are in pursuit of their fifth straight Olympic gold medal.
  • Shot putter Ryan Crouser crushed a 31-year-old world record at trials and eyes to defend his 2016 Olympic title.
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