The Houston area was well represented at the Tokyo Olympics. Star athletes competed in a wide range of events, from swimming to track & field, shooting, gymnastics, wrestling, weightlifting and more!
Overall, during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, USA Swimming earned a total of 30 medals, while USA Track and Field brought home 26 medals. That was followed by nine U.S. medals in wrestling. And then in the shooting and gymnastics events, USA scored a total of six medals in each, according to NBC Olympics.
USA athletes are recognized as the “best-in-class,” according to their organization. Here are the Houstonians and those with ties to Texas colleges that brought home medals to back up their title.
“It means more than all the golds because I’ve pushed through so much the last five years and the last week while I’ve even been here,” Simone Biles said in an interview. During these Olympic games, Spring’s pride and joy scored a silver medal in Women’s Team and a bronze medal in Women’s Balance Beam.
Born in Oregon, Jordan Chiles lives in the Houston area now and trains with Simone Biles at the same gym. After these Olympics, they can now also say they won an Olympic silver together with the medal won in women’s gymnastics team.
Sugar Land native Simone Manuel is a two-time Olympian. At 25 years old she brought home a bronze medal in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay.
21-year-old Erica Sullivan graduated from the University of Texas in 2005. As a first-time Olympian, she won a silver medal in Women’s 1500m Freestyle.
At 17 years old, Lydia Jacoby brought home a gold and silver medal from the Olympic games. Not only was it Jacoby’s first time competing in the games, she is also the first swimmer from Alaska to qualify for an Olympics, according to her Team USA profile. In the future, Jacoby currently has plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin.
First-time Olympian Athing Mu was born in Trenton, New Jersey, but she just finished her first year at Texas A&M University. Mu took home two gold medals in Women’s 800m and the historic 4X400 relay where Allyson Felix became the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete of all time.
Fred Kerley calls Taylor, Texas his home and attended Texas A&M University. Kerley was a first-time Olympian in Tokyo and won a silver medal in Men’s 100m.
First-time Olympian Gabrielle Thomas resides in Austin, Texas. Thomas has a twin sister and is a Harvard graduate. During the 2020 Olympic games she scored a bronze medal in Women’s 200m.
Houston native and Kinkaid School graduate Raevyn Rogers earned a bronze medal during her first Olympic game. The 24-year-old earned her bronze medal on her mom’s birthday!
Valarie Allman graduated from Stanford but trains in Austin and also is a volunteer assistant coach for University of Texas track and field. Her gold medal in discus was the first Olympic gold in track and field for Team USA in Tokyo. It was also the first Olympic medal in discus won by an American woman since 2008.
Teahna Daniels grew up in Orlando before attending and starring at the University of Texas. In fact, during her freshman year at UT, she set the American Junior record by running the 60m in a time of 7.11. Daniels is experienced running the 4X100 on the world stage, so it should come as no surprise for her accomplishments in Tokyo and being part of the U.S. squad winning silver in the women’s 4X100 relay.
Bryce Deadmon played football and ran track while at Ridge Point High School in Missouri City. He then starred and just finished up his career at Texas A&M before the Olympics. It’s safe to say he took his career to the next level by winning a gold in the men’s 4X400 relay and a bronze in the mixed 4X100 relay.
Keni Harrison calls Austin, Texas her home. At 28-years-old, Harrison was able to bring a silver medal home. Harrison won her medal in the Women’s 100m Hurdles.
UT Longhorn Ryan Crouser grew up in Portland, Oregon. Crouser is a two-time Olympian and two-time gold medalist. During the Tokyo Olympics, Crouser won a gold medal in Men’s Shot Put for the second straight Olympics.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock calls Katy, Texas her home and attended Morton Ranch High School. The 28-year-old earned a gold medal in Women’s Freestyle 68kg/149 lbs, during the Tokyo games, becoming the first black woman in American history to earn Olympic wrestling gold.
- Watch Tamyra Mensah-Stock dance during interview with KPRC 2′s Rose-Ann Aragon
33-year-old Sarah Robles was born in San Diego, California, but now calls Houston, Texas her home. Robles earned her bronze Tokyo medal in Women’s +87kg/+191 lbs., becoming the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic weightlifting medals.
Considered a softball legend, Osterman starred at Cy Springs High School and then afterwards at the University of Texas. Osterman actually retired in 2015 but unretired to take part in her third Olympics. She had a starring role in Team USA’s silver-medal-winning performance in Tokyo.
A teammate of Osterman’s, Monica Abbott was also similarly successful on the mound during this OIympiad. A Houston-area resident, Abbott grew up near the Bay Area in northern California. When she returned from Tokyo with her silver medal, she actually threw out the ceremonial first pitch in a game combining the two areas in a matchup of the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants.
Scott Kazmir, a Cy Falls High School graduate, was one of a handful of former Major Leaguers on this year’s Team USA baseball team. Kazmir was a former first-round pick who has spent 13 years in the big leagues, including earlier this season with the San Francisco Giants and also in 2015 with the Houston Astros. The southpaw is a three-time MLB All-Star and now can say he is also an Olympic silver medalist.
Shane Baz graduated from Concordia Lutheran and, in the process, became a top baseball prospect. Currently, Baz is listed as the fourth best prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization and has been having a strong season, fashioning a 2.26 ERA in 12 starts across two minor-league levels. Like Kazmir and Simeon Woods Richardson, Baz is coming back stateside with Olympic silver.
Simeon Woods Richardson
A graduate of Kempner High School, Richardson has the distinction of starting the Olympics as a part of the Toronto Blue Jays organization but ending it in the Minnesota Twins system. The pitcher was traded at the MLB trade deadline as part of the Jose Berrios deal. The righthander instantly became the third best prospect in the Twins organization after the trade. And, like Kazmir and Baz, Woods Richardson comes home with Olympic silver.
A midfielder with the Houston Dash, these Olympics were a chance for Mewis to reunite and be teammates with her sister Sam, who plays in England with Manchester City. Mewis was traded to the Dash in the middle of the 2017 season and has been with Houston ever since. She’ll be coming back with a bronze won with Team USA from this Olympiad.
A teammate of Mewis’ with the Houston Dash, Campbell was named an alternate to the American women’s soccer squad. The goalkeeper was an All-American at Stanford before joining the Dash in 2017. Her National Team debut actually came here in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium.
There is no doubt that Brittney Griner will forever be considered a legend in women’s basketball. Her dunking videos from her Nimitz High School days have millions of YouTube views. In 2012, Griner helped lead Baylor to a perfect 40-0 record and the national championship. And for the second straight Olympics, Griner has helped Team USA win gold. In fact, in the gold medal game in Tokyo, Griner was unstoppable, scoring 30 points on 14-18 shooting.
These were the first Olympics for Ariel Atkins, who joined Griner on the Team USA women’s basketball squad. Atkins starred collegiately at the University of Texas after playing her high school ball in the Dallas area. For three straight seasons 2018-2020, the guard has been named to the WNBA’s All-Defensive Second Team. In these Olympics, Atkins joins the group of former Longhorns coming back with Olympic hardware in the form of Olympic gold.
These Olympics may have cemented Kevin Durant as the current top player in the basketball. A former Texas Longhorn star, Durant was picked second overall in the NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics. He’s a four-time NBA scoring champ, won a league MVP award and also two Finals MVP’s to go with two NBA Championships. It was clear in these Olympics that Durant was the go-to player on a team of stars. Not only does he come back with his third straight Olympic basketball gold, Durant also passed Carmelo Anthony to become the all-time leading scorer for USA Basketball in the Olympics.
Also on Team USA men’s basketball and a teammate of Durant’s, Khris Middleton made his own history this season. A collegiate star at Texas A&M, Middleton was one of the main reasons the Milwaukee Bucks were able to win this season’s NBA title, making countless clutch playoff shots. The forward joined Bucks teammate Jrue Holiday as the first teammates since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1992 to win an NBA championship and Olympic gold in the same year. Overall, only six players, including Middleton and Holiday, have pulled off the feat.
The gold medal won by the USA volleyball squad will forever go down in history as the gold that vaulted America to the top of the gold medal count from the Tokyo Olympics, and Chiaka Ogbogu was a part of this group. A star at the University of Texas, Ogbogu finished her collegiate career as the Longhorns’ all-time leader in blocks. Since then, she has played internationally in such countries as Italy, Poland, and Turkey.
Check out all the Olympic medals USA won by visiting NBC Olympics.