Arizonans compete in Tokyo Olympics, bring home medals

Team USA topped both the overall medal count and gold medal count in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which concluded Sunday. 

After initially lagging China in the gold medal count, Team USA edged out China on the last day of the Olympics by one gold medal, topping both the overall and gold medal counts for the third Summer Olympics in a row. At the conclusion of the games, Team USA earned 113 medals, of which 39 were gold medals. Runner-up China earned 88 medals, of which 38 were gold medals.

Team USA would not have finished first without the contributions of Arizona athletes, who brought home three gold medals, four silver medals, and six bronze medals. 

Additionally, Arizonans earned one bronze medal for the Dominican Republic, one bronze medal for Australia, one bronze medal and one silver medal for Canada and one silver medal for Slovakia.

Suns’ Devin Booker plays on U.S. Men’s National Basketball Team

After initially losing to France 83-76 in the preliminary round, the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team won its fourth consecutive gold medal on Saturday, beating France 87-82 in the men’s basketball final.

After playing in the NBA Finals, Suns’ shooting guard Devin Booker flew to Tokyo just hours after game six of the NBA Finals.

MyKayla Skinner wins silver gymnastics medal after Simone Biles’ withdrawal, Jade Carey wins gold floor exercise medal

After Simone Biles, who is considered one of the greatest gymnasts in the world and was predicted to win up to six medals, withdrew from the competition citing mental health concerns and “the twisties,”a dangerous condition for gymnasts, Team USA was expected to suffer greatly in the medal count.

Glibert’s MyKayla Skinner was chosen to substitute Biles on the vault and would go on to win a silver medal. Skinner had previously been a member of the University of Utah’s Red Rocks gymnastics team.

Phoenix’s Jade Carey won the floor exercise final, earning a 14.366 and winning a gold medal, her first ever Olympic medal. Carey is the third consecutive American to win a gold medal in the floor exercise routine. Carey will compete for the Oregon State Beavers next year.

Diamondbacks’ players help earn first baseball medal for Dominican Republic

Diamondbacks’ pitchers Luis Castillo and Junior Garcia, who were both born in the Dominican Republic, played on the Dominican Republic national baseball team, which won its first Olympic medal in Tokyo, after beating South Korea 10-6 in the bronze medal game.

UArizona, ASU athletes win medals

Dozens of athletes from Arizona’s three public universities competed in the games, with seven winning medals.

Two UArizona athletes won silver medals at the games. Dejah Mulipola played for Team USA’s softball team and Delaney Schnell placed second in women’s synchronized 10-meter dive.

Josh Green won a bronze medal competing for Australia in men’s basketball. Green, who was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2020 NBA Draft, had played for the UArizona Wildcats in 2019 before declaring for the NBA draft.

Sun Devil Swimming’s Allison Schmitt earned a silver medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, as well as a bronze medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. 

Hali Flickinger, also a member of Sun Devil Swimming, earned two bronze medals in the 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley.

NAU student Luis Grijalva’s dream comes true

NAU student Luis Grijalva qualified to represent Guatemala in the 5,000-meter race, but was initially unable to compete in the Tokyo Olympics due to his status as a DACA recipient. Without being granted advance parole, Grijalva could have potentially not been allowed to re-enter the United States after competing in the Tokyo games.

Just a few days before the race, Grijalva was granted advance parole and was able to compete in the games. Grijalva advanced to the finals and finished 12th, setting a record for Guatemala.

Arjun Rondla

Arjun Rondla is an undergraduate studying political science and international trade at Arizona State University and an intern at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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