Fifteen Tigers to Represent Seven Countries in Rio
Fifteen current, former and incoming LSU student-athletes representing seven different countries will begin competition this week in quest of a medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Río de Janiero.
As early as Wednesday, former LSU soccer player Allysha Chapman makes her Olympic debut for the Canadian Women’s National Team as she faces Australia at 1 p.m. CT. Chapman is the first LSU soccer Olympian and was named to Canada’s 18-player squad by head coach John Herdman.
The first Olympic gold medalists in the history of LSU women’s basketball, Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles are searching for their third consecutive gold medal for the United States. Both hold medals from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London. LSU women’s basketball has been associated with six Olympic medals, including a silver medal by former coach Sue Gunter in 1976 and coach Van Chancellor‘s gold medal in 2004.
Senior track and field All-American Chanice Chase qualified for the Olympics after winning the bronze medal in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the Canadian Championships. Junior Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake will compete for Great Britain and run the 200-meter dash and join the 4×100-meter relay pool in his Olympic debut.
Five track and field competitors will compete in their inaugural games, including current student-athletes Canadian Chanice Chase, Jamaican Fitzroy Dunkley and Great Britain’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake. Former Tiger Kelly-Ann Baptiste will compete in her fourth Olympic Games for Trinidad & Tobago.
Rounding out LSU’s Olympians this summer from track and field are a host of NCAA Champions and All-Americans, including Damar Forbes, Natoya Goule and Nickiesha Wilson of Jamaica; Richard Thompson of Trinidad & Tobago; and Gabriel Mvumvure of Zimbabwe.
Sophomore Lizzie Cui becomes the second diver in school history and the 14th swimmer or diver to make an Olympic team as the New Zealand representative will compete on the three-meter springboard. She becomes the first LSU diver since 1992 that will compete for New Zealand and is just the fourth female diver in her country’s history and sixth overall.
Former men’s tennis player Michael Venus was selected to compete in the doubles competition with Marcus Daniell for New Zealand. They qualified by being the highest-ranked New Zealand players and are the second pair to compete for New Zealand in the Olympics. The former All-American and SEC Player of the Year has won four ATP doubles titles this year with partner Mate Pavic of Croatia.
Incoming gymnast Ruby Harrold was selected to the Great Britain Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Olympic Team. She is a two-time member of the Great Britain Olympic squad, as she served as an alternate in the 2012 Summer Games in London. She was also a member of the team that captured the silver medal at the 2016 European Championships.
The opening ceremony is slated for Friday at 6 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on NBC.
For up-to-date information on the Tigers in the Olympics go to www.LSUsports.net/olympics and follow @LSUsports on Twitter.