Texas Living

Meet the 11 Texas Olympians Heading to Tokyo

By Peter Simek 1.1.21

We had to wait an extra year for the Tokyo Olympic Games, but when athletes finally gather for the summer games, there will be plenty to root for — including many Texas athletes who will represent Team USA in a number of sports.

In 2016, 125 Texas athletes competed in 20 sports at the Rio de Janeiro Games, and they won a combined 45 medals. This year will once again see many native Texans, as well as athletes who attend Texas universities, competing. When you tune in this summer, keep an eye out for these Olympians from Texas.

Simone Biles an olympian from Texas
Simone Biles. Photo by Xinhua

Simone Biles, Gymnastics

A resident of Spring, Simone Biles will be looking to repeat her success at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, where she won four gold medals and one bronze medal in both team and individual gymnastic events. After the last Olympics, Biles stepped away from the sport before mounting a comeback that saw her dominate world championships in both 2018 and 2019.

Sloane Blakely Texas Olympian
Sloane Blakely. Photo by ZUMA Press

Sloane Blakely, Gymnastics

Eighteen-year-old Sloane Blakely is a rising star in the world of gymnastics. The Frisco High School senior has already committed to the University of Florida, and she hopes to join Team USA in Tokyo. In 2019, Blakely won in vault and balance beam at the WOGA Classic and was named to the national team.

Matthew Boling, Track and Field

Houston’s Matthew Boling has been dominating the SEC during his time competing for the University of Georgia. He was named the SEC’s Men’s Freshman Runner of the Year thanks to his success in the springs and long jumps. He has won gold medals at the Pan American U20 Athletics Championships and silver at the World U20 Championships. Now, he wants to add an Olympic medal to those honors.

texas olympian
Michelle Carter. Photo by DPA Picture Alliance

Michelle Carter, Track and Field

In Rio, Red Oak’s Michelle Carter made history by becoming the first U.S. woman to win Olympic gold in the shot put. The medal capped a dominating career, which has also seen Carter named a seven-time All-American in college and win gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in 2016. Winning runs in Carter’s family: Her father, Michael Carter, was also an Olympic athlete, winning silver in the shot put at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

texas olympian
Connor Fields. Photo by ZUMA Press

Connor Fields, Cycling

Plano-born Connor Fields became the first U.S. athlete to medal at the Olympics in Men’s BMX when he picked up gold in Rio de Janeiro. Tokyo will be his third Olympics, and he’s hoping to repeat the performance he gave in 2016.

Vincent Hancock, Skeet Shooting

Fort Worth’s Vincent Hancock is a three-time Olympian who honed his skills as a sergeant in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. While in the service, Hancock earned a National Defense Service Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Distinguished International Shooter Badge. Hancock will be hoping for something of a comeback this summer: After winning gold at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, he came up short in Rio in 2016.

Stephen Lambdin, Taekwondo

Tokyo will be Lambdin’s second Olympics. Although the taekwondo heavyweight from Colleyville didn’t medal in Rio in 2016, he fought his way to the quarterfinals at the World Championship in 2017 and was ranked 10th in the world in 2019. This may be his year.

Olympians from Texas
Simone Manuel. Photo by Aflo Co. Ltd

Simone Manuel, Swimming

Sugar Land’s Simone Manuel made history at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 when she became the first African-American woman to win an individual gold medal in swimming, setting a new Olympic record in the 100-meter freestyle. Manuel won two silvers and another gold in other swimming events at Rio, and she’s looking to repeat that success in Tokyo.

Jasmine Moore, Track and Field

Moore was one of the best triple jumpers in U.S. high school track and field history. She also competes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the long jump. A nine-time state champion in high school, Moore now competes with the University of Georgia and is looking to take her talent to the 2020 Olympiad.

Cat Osterman, Softball

Softball hurler Cat Osterman is no stranger to the Olympics. The Houston-born star of the USA softball team won gold at the 2004 Athens Games and silver in Beijing in 2008. Considered one of the greatest collegiate softball players in the history of the NCAA, the University of Texas grad will lead the USA back to the Olympics this summer with hopes of adding another medal to her historic career.

Colin Van Wicklen, Gymnastics

While Team USA has dominated women’s gymnastics for generations, the men’s team has struggled to achieve the same level of success. Magnolia native Colin Van Wicklen hopes to change that. The Oklahoma University star is a 12-time NCAA All-American and helped lead Team USA to a fourth-place finish at the 2018 World Championship, where he also medaled in vault and high bar. Watch for his arrival in Tokyo this summer.

While you’re cheering on our Texas Olympians, get to know some of our other Texas heroes.

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