Home team: Baton Rouge-connected athletes you can catch in Tokyo
Their names are part of Baton Rouge and Olympic lore: Willie Davenport. Carly Patterson. Warren Morris. Seimone Augustus. These are just a few of the local athletes who have not only competed in the Olympic Games but have brought home the gleaming hardware that meant they were among the best in the world. And this summer, a handful of new names is being added to the list of Baton Rouge-connected talents who have made their countries’ Olympic teams, in the hopes of turning their own dreams of medals into reality. Here are the local athletes who had punched their tickets to Tokyo as of press time:
Along with big-name stars and returning Olympians like Caeleb Dressel, this little-known 20-year-old stunned the swimming world when he secured a spot on the 100-meter freestyle roster for Tokyo, becoming the first LSU swimmer ever to make the U.S. Olympic team.
The 400-meter dash is definitely a grueling race—try sprinting a full lap around the track and see what we mean—but this former LSU runner made it look easy as he ran a personal best time of 44.35 seconds in the U.S. Olympic trials.
This former LSU basketball star and All-American already knows the taste of gold, but she’s headed back to sports’ biggest stage this month as part of her fourth American women’s hoops Olympics team.
Her LSU kinesiology degree will no doubt help this flyweight boxer get her body in fighting shape as she leads the U.S. women’s boxing team in Tokyo. Fuchs, who didn’t even get into the ring until her sophomore year in college, is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.
Wearing the colors of Team Mexico will be this LSU diver, who holds the university’s record for the 3-meter springboard. He’ll compete alongside a partner as part of the 3-meter synchronized event in Tokyo.
Former Tiger pole vaulter Duplantis is known for soaring high above the competition, currently holding the world indoor record at 6.18 meters. Born in Lafayette to an American father and Swedish mother, he will compete for the Scandinavian country as a dual citizen.
Once a programming and production employee for ESPN, ’03 Episcopal High School graduate Megan O’Leary has once again landed on the Olympics rowing team, having competed in the women’s double sculls category at the 2016 games in Rio. This year, catch her in Tokyo competing in the women’s quadruple sculls category.
After only beginning his track and field practice as a junior in high school, this New Orleans native and former LSU runner will represent Team USA in the 4×400-meter relay pool.
Another Tiger alum with a talent for the track, Harrison secured a slot on the Olympic team on the last day of the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in both the high jump and the long jump events. He will be the first athlete to have competed in both events for the U.S. since the legendary Jim Thorpe in 1912.
Once an LSU Lady Tiger, this three-time NCAA champion will represent Team USA in the 4×100 meter relay pool.
A native of Stavanger, Norway, this current Tiger came to Louisiana as a decorated diver, has qualified three times for the NCAA Championships, and will compete in the women’s platform diving event—the first Norwegian female diver to do so since 1988.
Fresh off her first season as an LSU student athlete, Ofili will compete individually in the 200 meters, and will represent her native Nigeria in the 4×100 meter relay and 4×400 meter relay.
After winning bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, this LSU alum and defender for the Houston Dash will play for Canada’s women’s national soccer team in Tokyo.
With softball on the program for the first time since 2008, former LSU softball infielder Sanchez will play for Mexico’s first Olympic softball team.
An LSU alum and 4×100 meter relay gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics, Thompson will run in Tokyo for Trinidad & Tobago’s relay team.
Making her fourth appearance at the Olympics alongside Thompson, Baptiste will also run for Trinidad & Tobago’s 4×100 meter relay, and will also compete individually in the 100 meter dash.
T&T keeps going strong with another Louisiana link in Semony Hackett, also running the 4×100 meter relay.
The last and most recent LSU alum in T&T’s 4×100 meter relay, this is Hislop’s first time being selected for the senior national team.
This former LSU sprinter will represent Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics in the 4×100 meter relay, and will compete individually in the 200 meters—his second career trip to the Olympics since Rio in 2016.
LSU hurdler Damion Thomas secured his first-ever spot on the Jamaican National Team this year.
In the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Venus became the first LSU men’s tennis player to compete in the Olympics. Now, he will be representing New Zealand for the second time, playing doubles with his 2016 Olympic partner, Marcus Daniell.
For his Olympic debut, LSU alum Skupski will represent Great Britain in tennis doubles with partner Daniel Evans.
After playing for LSU for four seasons, this All-American golfer and former Tiger will be the first LSU golfer to represent the school in the Olympics when she competes for her home country of Sweden at the Kasumigaseki Country Club from August 4-7.
Before he was selected to play basketball for Team Australia in Tokyo, Reap played as a Tiger from 2016-2018 and appeared in 64 total games, averaging 12.3 points per game.