In addition to cheering for the red, white, and blue (or country of your choice), Longhorn fans can also find pride in rooting for the burnt orange in this Summer’s Olympic games. Twenty current or former Texas athletes as well as five coaches will be participating in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, which will take place August 5-21 and be broadcasted on NBC.
Eleven of Texas’ athletes are for track and field, while seven will represent swimming. However, the Longhorns have athletes in a total of 10 sports, including men’s tennis, women’s rowing, and men’s and women’s volleyball.
Several prominent Texas Ex’s will be striving for gold, such as NBA all-star Kevin Durant, who will lead the U.S. men’s basketball team, and Michelle Carter, the record-setting shot-putter.
Unfortunately, some of Texas’ most famous alumni missed the cut. Former gold medal winner Sanya Richards-Ross suffered a hamstring injury during her 400 meter qualifying race and pulled up from the competition . The 31-year old subsequently retired from racing, but will be in the press box in Rio to provide track and field commentary.
As for current student-athletes, Texas is tied for the 6th most of any school with 12 representatives. The list of current Texas students participating is highlighted by members of Texas’ NCAA championship swim team and its dominant track and field squad.
The 4x200 men’s freestyle swim relay will be a must watch for Longhorn fans, as current Texas students Townley Haas, Jack Conger, and Clark Smith will all be competing on the same team for the United States. In women’s track and field, keep an eye out for the 4x400 relay, where NCAA champion Courtney Okolo will face off against her Texas teammate Chrisann Gordon — Okolo will be running for America, while Gordon will compete for Jamaica.
To learn more about the Longhorn athletes participating in Rio, checkout Burnt Orange’s two installments of “Longhorns in Rio”.