Lifestyle

Meet the Texans Competing in the 2016 Olympics

Photos: Team USA

Excitement is in the air because it’s time once more for the Olympic games! The opening ceremony for the 2016 Rio games is this Friday (Aug. 5), and the United States has sent a large consortium of very talented athletes. There are over 500 athletes representing the U.S.A. in the Olympics this year, and 37 of those just happen to come from right here in Texas. Here’s an infographic we created for a concise look at the Texans competing in the 2016 Olympics.

Infographic by Elizabeth Abrahamsen
Infographic by Elizabeth Abrahamsen

The athletes come from all over the state, representing large cities, suburbs and small towns. Some cities represented include San Antonio, Dallas, Carrollton, Colleyville, Wylie, Houston, Sugar Land, LaPorte, and The Woodlands. And there are some Olympians from small towns like Flint, Idalou, Ovilla and Granbury.

By now you’ve probably read about Simone Biles, a gymnast from Spring, who was covered by Texas Monthly. Although this is Biles’ first Olympics, she’s no newcomer. The 19-year-old has multiple World Championship gold medals, and was the first female gymnast to win three consecutive World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Biles is originally from Ohio, but has been living in Spring, Texas since the tender age of six. There are two more Texan gymnasts on Team USA: Chris Brooks, from Houston, and Maddison Kocian, from Dallas.

Simone Biles. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Simone Biles. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Texas is also offering up three basketball players. Olympian basketball players are selected from the NBA, so you’ve probably heard these names if you’re an NBA fan. Brittney Griner of Phoenix Mercury, Jimmy Buttler of the Chicago Bulls, and DeAndre Jordan of the L.A. Clippers are participating in the Rio games. All three are from Houston.

DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan

There are also two golfers, an archer, a diver, a soccer player, a table tennis player, and two fencers who happen to be related. Kelley and Courtney Hurley are a pair of fencing sisters from San Antonio. Both have been to the Olympics in the past, but this is the first time they will face off against one another.

Kelley and Courtney Hurley. Photos: USA Fencing
Kelley and Courtney Hurley. Photos: USA Fencing

Of course, this being Texas, we’re also sending an equestrian eventer and a sport shooter. Clark Montgomery is a horseman from Mineral Wells. Joining Montgomery in representing traditional Texan sports is Keith Sanderson. Sanderson is a marksman from San Antonio.

Not all Texans competing in the Olympics are native to the Lone Star State. Clark Smith was born in Atlanta. He trained in Denver, but he is now a swimmer with Longhorn Aquatics at the University of Texas. Smith’s parents were also Longhorn swimmers, and his mother was an Olympian.

Another Longhorn athlete went viral recently for her clairvoyant tweet from five years ago. Morolake Akinosun is a track star who predicted her future in 2011 when she was still a high school student in Aurora, Illinois. We’re happy this talented and insightful runner chose UT. Swimmers and runners make up a bulk of the Texan delegation. There are six swimmers and 10 track and field athletes, equalling nearly half of the Texan Olympians.

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One truly awesome thing to note: the entire taekwondo team is from Texas. Jackie Galloway is from Wylie, Stephen Lambdin is from Colleyville, and Steven Lopez is from Sugar Land. Paige McPherson was raised in Sturgis, South Dakota, but she was born in Abilene, so we’re gonna say she still counts. For a complete list of all American Olympians and where they’re from, visit teamusa.org.

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Meet the Texans Competing in the 2016 Olympics