SAN DIEGO — With mild weather and a 155-acre US Olympic Training Center, San Diego County is a base for many amazing athletes to live and train. Here's a list of every athlete on Team USA with ties to the San Diego area in Tokyo for the Olympics that began on July 23.
Brazil native Catarina Macario moved to San Diego at 12 years old with her brother and dad to pursue her dream of playing soccer, she wrote in a piece for The Players' Tribune. The midfielder attended Stanford University and became a U.S. citizen in 2020.
Macario now calls Los Angeles home.
Track and Field
Bougard was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, but has moved to San Diego to train. Bougard wore rainbow-colored spikes while competing in the heptathlon high jump at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. She is one of several publicly “out” athletes in the sport and is an active LGBTQ+ advocate.
Claye was born in Tucson, Arizona, and moved to Chula Vista to train at the Olympic Training Center. The two-time Arizona state champion in the triple jump was also the first Arizona high school athlete to triple jump more than 50 feet. He won multiple medals at the 2012 Olympic Games and became the first man since 1936 and the first American since 1904 to win Olympic medals in both the long and triple jumps.
Michael Norman was born in San Diego and moved to Murrieta, California to attend Vista Murrieta High School. He graduated in 2016. led his team to the California state title his junior and senior seasons. He was named the 2016 National Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year. He has bests of 10.27 in the 100m, 20.14 in the 200m and 45.19 in the 400m. Norman placed fifth at the Olympic Trials and first at the Junior Outdoor Championships for the 200m in 2016. He also finished first in the World Junior Championships for the 200m and 4x100m relay.
Brittney Reese was born in Inglewood, California and trains in San Diego. The long jumper is a four-time Olympian and has a gold and silver medal. Only two women have jumped farther in American history in the long jump, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Raven Saunders was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina and trains in San Diego. The shot-putter is a two-time Olympian. She broke the women’s NCAA indoor record in February 2015, recording the longest throw by a female collegian ever, indoor or outdoor. Saunders has been open about her mental health, battling depression and suicidal thoughts since the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Nick Christie was born and raised in San Diego. He graduated from Grossmont High School before attending college at Missouri Baptist University. Some of his career highlights include first-place finishes in the two-mile race walk in the 2015 USATF Indoor Championships and a first-place finish in the 3,000-meter race walk at the 2015 NAIA Indoor National Championships.
The women’s team has quite a few members who were born or train in San Diego. Players with ties to the region include: Kayla Canett-Oca, Lauren Doyle, Jordan Matyas, Abby Gustaitis, Nicole Heavirland, Leyla Kelter and Kristi Kirshe. The women’s rugby tournament begins on July 28.
Similar to the women’s rugby team, the men's team also has a number of players who live or train in America’s Finest City. The men with ties to the region include: Perry Baker, Martin losefo and Stephen Tomasin. The men begin their tournament on July 25.
Perris got her start in freestyle BMX while growing up in Reno, Nevada. In 2018, Perris won the gold medal in BMX freestyle park at the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships in Chengdu, China, with two other American women, Angie Marino and Hannah Roberts, taking second and third.
Felicia Stancil lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, but spends some time training in San Diego. Felicia’s father was a professional BMX racer in his youth and showed Felicia the sport at the age of 4. With only focusing on BMX, 2019 has been her best year racing Elite Women. In 2019, she finished both USABMX and World Cup series overall 2nd in the World. She also became the 2019 US Elite Women’s National title and Pro of the year.
UPDATE 8/8/21: San Diego cyclist Jennifer Valente has become the first American woman to win a track cycling Olympic gold medal. She captured the four-event omnium on Sunday, despite being involved in a late crash. Valente finished the omnium with 124 points, taking the lead from Australian Annette Edmonson on the final lap
UPDATE 8/3/21: San Diegan Jennifer Valente won an Olympic bronze medal Tuesday in women's team pursuit cycling, as the United States was 2.512 seconds faster than Canada in the 4-kilometer race.
Jennifer Valente was born and raised in San Diego. She graduated from San Diego’s Fusion Academy in 2013 and is a two-time Olympian with a silver medal. She began cycling when she was fifteen years old and has won nine World Championship medals.
Alise Willoughby is a three-time Olympian who has brought home one silver medal. She trains in San Diego and has multiple World Championship medals. In 2006, Willoughby became the first woman ever voted Rookie Pro of the Year by BMXer Magazine, as well as the youngest to win the American Bicycle Association national title, at age 15. Oh, and she is a former state champion gymnast!
Jordyn Barratt was born in Hawaii but has spent some time living in Oceanside. The 22-year-old is participating in her first Olympic Games after competing in World Championships twice. She was also the first female to compete as a pro in both US Open skate and surf in the same year.
Wettstein is as Encinitas as they come. The 17-year-old attends San Dieguito Academy and is participating in her first Olympic games. Wettstein started her skateboarding career at the YMCA Encinitas at the age of five. She was the 2019 USA National Champion for Women's Park format. News 8 sat down with her to talk about her Olympic aspirations and her love for the ukulele.
Juneau was born in San Diego in 1999 and has been shredding ever since. Cory has quickly become a fan favorite at the Vans Park Series, winning over skaters and spectators with his sarcastic wit, fluid style, and lofty frontside flips in the deep end. When he's not nose-grinding 10 blocks of pool coping, you can find Cory adding to his collection of gold chains, or building custom motorcycles with his father in North County, San Diego.
Brighton Zeuner was born in Scottsdale. Arizona in 2004, but now lives in Encinitas. The 17-year-old is competing in her first Olympic games. Brighton qualified for Team USA ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, when she was just a year older than the minimum required age to compete. Zeuner won back-to-back X Games Gold medals in 2017-2018.
Alex Bowen was born in Santee and attended Santana High School in 2010. According to his bio, he is considered one of the best shooters on Team USA, he scored over 200 goals while at Stanford and was named a 1stTeam All-American all four years. He currently plays professionally in Croatia.
Jesse Smith was born in Hawaii but moved to Coronado and graduated from Coronado High School in 2000. The 2021 games will be the fifth he has participated in. Smith brought home a silver medal from the 2008 games in Beijing. The All-American played professionally for several teams in Europe and for seven years competing in the European Champions League. Attempting to tie the USA Water Polo record for most Olympic Games played at 5.
Jack Turner was born in Mountain View, California, but currently plays goalkeeper for UC San Diego where he was named 2018 Division II Player of the Year. He made his Senior Team debut at the 2018 FINA World Cup.
Zach Garrett currently lives and trains in Chula Vista after growing up in Missouri. The two-time Olympian is looking to bring more hardware home after earning a silver medal in the 2016 games. He said he has been shooting archery since his grandpa made him a bow when he was four years old.
Jack Williams has been a Southern California kid his entire life. He grew up in Irvine, but in 2016 moved to Chula Vista to train. Williams is a two-time medalist at World Championship tournaments and is currently ranked number 11 in the world.
Nicole Ahsinger began gymnastics at just 3 years old! The San Diego native graduated from Scripps Ranch High School in 2016. According to USA Gymnastics, she is the USA's sole female trampolinist Nicole said her favorite thing about her sport is meeting people and traveling the world.
Kelsey Plum was born and lived in Poway and started making a name for herself on the court at La Jolla Country Day. She was taken number one overall in the 2017 WNBA Draft by the San Antonio Stars. She has numerous career awards including WNBA All-Rookie team, John Wooden Award, Naismith College Player of the Year and AP Player of the Year Award. Plum will be taking the court in Tokyo as part of a 3 vs. 3 basketball format.
Quinones was raised in the South Bay and now is competing for the Puerto Rico Women's basketball team in Tokyo. She started playing basketball at the ripe age of 5 years old at the South Bay YMCA. As a four-year starter for Otay Ranch girls Varsity basketball team, Quiñones recorded 1,289 total points before attending Dartmouth College.
Karsta Lowe is a two-time Olympian who was born in Rancho Santa Fe. Lowe played for La Costa Canyon High School and UCLA before joining the national team in 2015. Lowe’s major national team accomplishments include winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and being selected most valuable player of the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix.
Garrett Muagututia is an outside hitter for Team USA's volleyball team. Born in Oceanside, Garrett comes from a family of athletes. His mother played volleyball at UC Riverside and his younger brother competed in the sport at Stanford. Garrett's father Faauuga Muagututia also played volleyball on the Navy team and competed in the 1994 Winter Olympics as a bobsledder for American Samoa.
Garrett attended Francis Parker High School in San Diego and still resides in Oceanside with his wife Keisha and their daughter Teahi.
Xander Schauffele is San Diego through and through. He was born in La Jolla and attended Scripps Ranch High School before attending San Diego State. The 2021 games will be Xander’s first. Some of his career accomplishments include: 2019 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions Winner, 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions Winner, 2017 The Greenbrier Classic Winner and 2017 TOUR Championship Winner.
Michael Andrew was born in Minnesota, but currently lives in Encinitas. He has multiple medals from different World Championships tournaments. Andrew is a five-time selection for the U.S.A. National Swim Team.
Hannah Flippen was born in San Diego and attended Bonita Vista High School. Flippen led her high school team to the CIF title in her last season and they were finalists in 2011 and 2013. She was a career .441 hitter with 181 hits, 143 runs and 68 RBI at Bonita Vista. During her senior season, she hit .532 with 50 hits (including 11 doubles, four triples and three home runs) for 26 RBI and 38 runs scored.
Taylor Fritz was born in Rancho Santa Fe and has been playing tennis since he was two! He became the number one American in 2021 less than two years after becoming the youngest American in the top 25 at age 21.
Sarah Robles is a three-time Olympian who has one medal from the 2016 games. She was born in San Diego, but now lives in Texas. She holds two American records, two Pan American records and was the 2017 IWF World Champion.
Matt McElroy was born in Huntington Beach and currently lives in Poway. McElroy earned his first ITU Triathlon World Cup medal in 2016, and has remained one of the top U.S. men on the ITU circuit ever since. In June 2019, he made history by becoming the first U.S. man to medal in an ITU World Triathlon Series race since 2009 — and the second ever to do so — by winning silver in Leeds, England.
Peters, who was born in Germany moved to San Diego and competes on the United States Equestrian team. According to his bio, he has been one of the country’s top international dressage competitors, having represented the U.S. at four Olympic Games, four FEI World Equestrian Games, and two Pan American games. He has competed in the 1996, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympic games.
Did we miss any Olympians with ties to San Diego? Let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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