30 Rio Olympic Hopefuls Hail From — or Have Ties to — North Carolina


Published:

Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, site of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Courtesy of Marchello74/Shutterstock.com

The 2016 Olympic Games will officially kick off during opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, and be televised from 7:30 p.m. to midnight on NBC. The ceremony will highlight Brazil's festive and welcoming nature with spectacular music and dance performances. 

The arenas, designed to blend sport and culture in a spectacular show of artistry, will welcome more than a few athletes who have ties to North Carolina. This list of 2016 Olympic athletes who hail from or have connections to North Carolina was provided by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. We would like to wish all of them the best of luck as competition begins this weekend!

Swimming

  • Abby Johnson: This swimmer from Duke University won a silver medal on the synchronized team in 2012 but is competing solo in the three-meter springboard in 2016.
  • Cullen Jones: In the 2012 games, this North Carolina State University graduate won a gold medal in the the 4-by-100-meter relay and silver medals 50-meter free and 400-meter free relay. He will be competing in Rio for his fourth Olympic games.
  • Kathleen Baker: This swimmer from Winston-Salem who trains at SwimMAC in Charlotte will compete in the 100-meter backstroke in her first Olympic games.
  • Anthony Irvin: A swimmer out of Charlotte, Irvin won two medals in 2000 and competes in the 400-meter freestyle relay and 50-meter individual freestyle in Rio.
  • Jimmy Feigen: Also of Charlotte, Feigen will compete in the 400-meter relay in his second Olympics.
  • Camille Adams: This Charlotte swimmer will compete in her second Olympics in the 200-meter butterfly.
  • Kate Meili: Yet another Charlotte swimmer makes her Olympic debut in the 100-meter breaststroke. 
  • Ryan Held: This NCSU sophomore makes his Olympic debut on the 400-meter relay swim team.

Track and Field

  • Paul Chelimo: This UNC-Greensboro graduate will compete in the 5000-meter race in Rio.
  • LaShawn Merritt: This East Carolina University graduate is seeking his third gold medal in as many Olympics, and will compete in the 200- and 400-meter race.
  • Tavis Bailey: This Kernersville native will debut in the discus throw.
  • Sean Furey: Greenville born Furey will compete in the javelin in his second Olympic games.
  • Shannon Rowbury: This Duke graduate will compete in the 1500-meters in her third Olympics.
  • Shalane Flanagan: This UNC-CH graduate will run in her fourth straight Olympic marathon.
  • Greg Billington: This Wake Forest University graduate will compete in the men's triathlon.
  • Burkheart Ellis, Jr. This Raleigh born sprinter will compete in the 200 meter for Barbados.

Other Sports

Field Hockey: The U.S. field hockey team will feature eight players with North Carolina ties: Michelle Kasold, Lauren Crandall, Stefanie Fee, Jackie Briggs, Rachel Dawson, Katelyn Falgowski, Kelsey Kolojejchick and Caitlin Van Sickle.

  • U.S. Men's Basketball: This Olympic's team features Duke's Kyrie Irvin and UNC's Harrison Barnes. Duke Head Basketball Coach Mike Kryzewski will coach his third Olympics team.
  • Fencing: Watch for Duke graduate Ibtihaj Muhammad on sabre, individual and team.
  • 10-Meter Air Rifle: NCSU graduate Lucas Kozeniesky will compete in this event.
  • Gymnastics: Ashton Locklear, of Lumberton, is an alternate on the U.S. women's gymnastics team.
  • Canoe Slalom: Casey Eichfield of Mount Holly is attending his third Olympic games.
  • Kayak Slalom: Michael Smolen of Gastonia makes his Olympic debut in this event.

Keep up with schedules and results on NBCGood luck to all of our North Carolina athletes! 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Join North Carolina State Parks' 100-Mile Challenge

Program highlights state's waterways and nearly 1,500 miles of hiking trails across the state.

The Home-School Balancing Act

Five North Carolina moms who home-school share how they make it work.

All Aboard NC By Train’s popular Santa Train Dec. 2

Update: Tickets are SOLD OUT for Raleigh; still available for Charlotte
Edit Module

About this Blog

From the Editor

 
Beth Shugg, Editor of Carolina Parent

About This Blog

Beth Shugg is editor of Carolina Parent magazine and mom to two sons in college and a daughter in high school. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and will share insight and information here about life as a busy mom in the Triangle.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Triad by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!

Subscribe

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The all-new 2015-2016 Education Guide is packed with everything parents need to know to navigate more than 500 education options and resources in the Triad, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

GPS [Go. Play. See]

It's your complete family guide to Triad living. Parents are busy and on the go. Use this guide to help you explore all this great area offers for families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and surrounding communities.

Exceptional Child

For parents of kids with special needs, finding help and support can be challenging. We've compiled valuable resources for Triad parents in our latest annual publication, Exceptional Child, which is also available as a digital guide.