TOKYO 2020

Utah Olympians Heading To Tokyo For 2020 Games

Jul 16, 2021, 8:27 PM | Updated: 9:13 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Whether they’re born and bred, or brought to Utah to play as a pro, this year, we’ll see more locals in the Summer Olympics than ever before.

On Friday, the KSL Tokyo Team introduced us to the athletes who’ve called Utah home and hope Utah will cheer them on in Tokyo.

“I miss the mountains,” said swimmer Rhyan White.

White grew up gazing at the Wasatch Mountains from her home in Herriman.

She stunned the field at the U.S. Team trials and is ready to race in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke.

“I feel connected to my community here and I know they’ll support me,” said Nathaniel Coleman.

Coleman will be one of the very first Olympians to compete in Sport Climbing.

The Salt Lake native will be joined by Kyra Condie, who along with Team USA Climbing, now calls Utah home.

“I can’t wait for more people to be introduced to climbing as it’s on this world stage,” said Condie.

“No doubt in my mind, I think growing up in Park City and in Utah was such a huge opportunity for me,” said Haley Batten.

Batten first learned to navigate Utah’s mountain trails. Now, she’ll take on the mountains of Japan at the Tokyo games.

“That’s just what we’d do, run around the neighborhood,” said Jake Gibb.

Gibb spent summers as a kid playing backyard volleyball in Bountiful. This summer, he’ll play in his fourth Olympic games.

“It’s an honor to be considered one of the top guys in the U.S.,” said Brenden Sander.

Brothers Taylor and Brenden Sander both played four years for BYU. Now, they get to play side-by-side on Team USA.

“It’s been cool having him there by my side,” said Taylor.

Utah’s colleges and universities have been home to more than a dozen Tokyo Olympians.

“My BYU experience really allowed me to grow in ways that I didn’t expect,” said Jordan Matyas.

Team USA rugby’s Jordan Matyas was a six-time All-American while she played for BYU.

NBA star Damien Lillard played his collegiate years at Weber State University.

This will be his first time playing for Team USA.

The U’s Hannah Flippen will travel to Tokyo as a replacement player for the U.S. women’s softball team.

Pistol shooter Alexis Lagan first picked up the sport while in school at the University of Utah.

“I never thought about going to the Olympics in any discipline, let alone in shooting, and the University of Utah was kind of my gateway to that,” she said.

Baseball player Eddy Alvarez has been to the Olympics before, but not to play ball. The former Salt Lake Community College Bruin won a silver medical in speedskating at the 2014 Winter Games in Russia.

Back then, he compared taking the ice at the Olympic level to a feeling he knew all too well on the baseball field.

“I’m gonna compare it to the 9th inning, bases loaded, you’re down by two, tying run is on second and you know, there’s two outs and it’s a three-two count. You gotta let that bat fly,” said Alvarez.

The Utes can claim three members of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team headed to Tokyo.

After being an alternate for Team USA in Rio in 2016, MyKayla Skinner represented the Red Rocks at three NCAA Championships, finishing first on floor her first year and scoring three perfect 10s.

“I’m really glad I never gave up on my dream and kept going,” she said.

MyKayla’s Team USA teammates Grace McCallum and Kara Eaker are both signed on to attend and compete for the U this fall.

Former University of Utah teammates Leilani Mitchell and Kim Gaucher will both be playing basketball in Tokyo, but not together. Goucher will represent her home country of Canada, while Mitchell plays for the Australian women’s team.

A handful of Utah’s professional athletes will also be playing for their home countries in Japan. Jazz man Rudy Gobert will play for France, Joe Ingles will represent Australia, and Miye Oni will play on the Nigerian team. Real Salt Lake’s Douglas Martinez is also headed to the games for his home country of Honduras.

A love for Skeleton brought Nathan Crumpton to Utah years ago. Now he’s back, training to test his running skills off the ice. He’s qualified in the men’s 100 meter dash for American Samoa.

Ugandan rower Kathleen Noble came to Utah for a job but found much more.

“When it’s flat, you can just go and go and go and go,” she said.

She rekindled her college love for crew and will now be the first Ugandan to row in the Olympics.

“I think it is inspiring to them to see somebody from Uganda who is representing them at the Olympics, and I hope that inspires that dream in them to be able to compete,” said Noble.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Tokyo 2020

(KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Former BYU student becomes volunteer for Tokyo Olympics, Paralympics

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games couldn't happen without the help of volunteers. T. Christopher Okano, who attended BYU in Utah, is a volunteer for both Games, and he can't believe how lucky he is. 
11 months ago
The KSL Olympic crew in Tokyo — Jeremiah Jensen (L), Shara Park (center), and Alex Cabrero (R). (...
Alex Cabrero and Shara Park, KSL TV & Jeremiah Jensen, KSL Sports

KSL Olympic Crew Shares Their ‘Gold Medal Moments’ From Tokyo

After a year of postponement, the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo have come to an end. Our KSL Team has provided coverage of the intense international competition for the last three weeks, but before they go, they wanted to share a few gold medal moments of their own. 
11 months ago
(KSL TV)...
Shara Park, KSL TV

KSL’s Shara Park Visits Tokyo Japan Temple, Speaks With Local Church Members

As the Tokyo Olympics wrap up, our KSL team has been able to visit several important religious and cultural sites in Japan, including one that is important to member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the Tokyo Japan Temple.
11 months ago
Dr. James Parker with Parker Muscle and Sports Clinic in Kaysville helps a patient at his office. (...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Kaysville Chiropractor Helps Athletes On US Track And Field Team In Tokyo

We have had possibly more athletes with Utah ties represented in Tokyo than during any other Summer Olympics before, but it's not just athletes going to the Games. KSL's Alex Cabrero spoke with a Kaysville chiropractor who is on the medical crew for the U.S. Track and Field team.
11 months ago
(KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero & Keira Farrimond, KSL TV

SLC Woman, Utah-Based Company Participate In Olympics In Special Way

Many Utahns work in some capacity with the Olympics, beyond just athletes. A woman from Salt Lake City has been working with NBC since 2002, doing makeup for athletes and on-air hosts, while Utah-based company, OC Tanner, has spent more than 20 years creating customized rings for every American Olympian.
11 months ago
(KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Utah Museum Showcases Small Item That Brings Hope, Peace To Humanity

An airplane based in Wendover, Utah carried and dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. That moment, and another bomb later in Nagasaki, essentially ended World War II. Today, Japan and the United States are close friends, and inside a Wendover museum, there's an example of how things can change over time.
11 months ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Utah Olympians Heading To Tokyo For 2020 Games