The 2020 Summer Olympics are set to begin in about a month and so far four former Tigers will be competing in Tokyo as part of Team USA.
Sylvia Fowles will be representing the United States for the fourth time as the Americans look to continue their dominance in women’s basketball and win its seventh straight gold medal. In fact the United States hasn’t lost a game in Olympic competition since 1992.
Fowles and her 11 teammates will begin preparing for the Games in Las Vegas sometime in July. Team USA will play against a collection of the WNBA’s best and Australia and Nigeria before traveling to Tokyo. The veteran leadership of Fowles, Sue Bird, and Diana Taurasi will be relied upon as six of the 12 American players will be competing in their first ever games including Fowles’s Minnesota Lynx teammate Napheesa Collier.
Sha’Carri Richardson earned a spot on the United State’s track and field team, by winning the 100 meter dash at last week’s U.S. Track and Field trials with a time of 10.86.
Richardson only ran for one year at LSU before turning pro. In her one season as a Tiger, Richardson won the 2019 National Championship in the 100 meter dash with a 10.75, the ninth fastest time in world history. She was also SEC’s freshman track athlete of the year in 2019.
The U.S. hasn’t had a woman win gold in the 100 meter dash since Gail Devers did so in 1995, but Richardson has given the country newfound hope. Richardson will also compete for a spot in the 200 meter dash event on Thursday.
Michael Cherry, another former Tiger sprinter, punched his ticket to Tokyo and will compete in the 400 meter. Cherry will compete for Team USA for the fourth time in his career but this will be his first Olympics; Cherry ran in the 2017 and 2019 Outdoor World Championships and also the 2018 Indoor World Championships. He won a gold medal in the 4x400 relay and the mixed 4x400 relay.
There’s also some history for LSU as Brooks Curry became the first American in program history to qualify for the Olympics in swimming. Curry placed fourth in the 100 meter free, clocking in at 48.19.
LSU will also be represented on a global scale in Tokyo as well. Former Tiger Mondo Duplantis will compete for Sweden in pole vaulting, while current LSU diver Juan Celaya-Hernandez will compete for Mexico in three-meter synchronized diving.
The 2020 Summer Games will begin July 23 and run through August 8. We’ll keep a running tally of any other Tigers that will be competing in Tokyo.
Thanks to Studley, PK, and Jarrett for keeping track of newly minted Tiger Olympians
- Michael Venus: Tennis (New Zealand)
- Allysha Chapman: Women’s Soccer (Canada)
- Neal Skupski: Tennis (Great Britain)
- Vernon Norwood: 4x400 Meter Relay (United States)
- There’s also some controversy surrounding Mercy Abire, a Nigerian long jumper. Abire says the Athletics Federation of Nigeria recorded the wrong distance of her final jump from this past Sunday. She is appealing to the AFN.