With the 2021 Olympics set to take place in Tokyo from July 23 to Aug. 8, and the Paralympics to follow immediately after, here are athletes with ties to the Triangle area.
Hannah Aspden, swimming
A two-time Paralympic medalist, Aspden will participate in the Tokyo Paralympics. In the Paralympic trials in Minnesota, she placed first in the 50-meter free, 100-meter free, and 100-meter backstroke. Aspden graduated from Leesville Road High School in 2018 and attends Queens in Charlotte as a journalism and digital media major.
Andrew Capobianco, diving
A graduate of Holly Springs High School who competes for Indiana University, Capobianco is a two-time NCAA champion in 3-meter diving. In Tokyo, he’ll compete in individual and synchronized diving at the 3-meter height.
Claire Curzan, swimming
Curzan, who’s from Cary and is a rising senior at Cardinal Gibbons, will be 17 at the start of the Olympics. She placed sixth in 2018 in the 100-meter butterfly. She earned qualification this year in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 56.43 seconds.
Lex Gillette, track and field
A two-time Paralympics silver medalist in 2004 and 2008, the Raleigh native has long been one of the world’s best blind long-jumpers. He trains in California now.
Chelsea Gray, basketball
Gray played college basketball at Duke from 2010-2014 before entering the WNBA . She was announced as one of 12 WNBA players to represent the United States in Tokyo. Gray, 28, has played in the WNBA since 2015. She holds career averages of 11.7 points per game and 4.4 assists per game with a 38% 3-point percentage.
Keni Harrison, track and field
Harrison will participate in the 100-meter hurdles in Tokyo. Harrison set a world record for the 100-meter hurdles in 2016, running 12.20 seconds. She graduated from Clayton High School before running track at Clemson and later transferring to Kentucky.
Desmond Jackson, track and field
Jackson, an above-knee amputee from Durham who went to Hillside High, was one of the youngest athletes at the Rio Paralympics at 16 years old and will compete in the 100-meter dash and long jump in Tokyo.
Lucas Kozeniesky, rifle
N.C. State’s first rifle Olympian in Rio in 2016, Kozeniesky, 26, will be looking to build on a gold medal in the 10-meter air rifle at the the 2019 Pan American Games.
Randolph Ross, track and field
A graduate of Garner High, Ross qualified for the 400-meter race in Tokyo, running a 44.74. Currently a student at North Carolina A&T, Ross recently won two national championships in track and field: one for the open 400m and the other for the 4x400m. His father, Duane, coaches Ross at N.C. A&T and represented the U.S. in Athens in 2004.
Morgan Stickney, swimming
Stickney, who trains at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, was once an Olympic contender in the 1500-meter freestyle before complications from a broken foot led to the amputation of both of her lower legs. She’ll compete in the 400-meter freestyle in the Tokyo Paralympics.
Ashley Twitchell, swimming
A Duke graduate who trains at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, Twitchell clinched a spot last summer to represent the United States in the 10-kilometer open water swim. She’ll be 32 when she swims in Tokyo, making her the oldest first-time American swimmer at an Olympics since 1908.
Know of a Triangle Olympian or Paralympian who isn’t on this list? Email email@example.com to let us know.