Get to Know New England's Olympians

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·13 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Get to Know New England's Olympians originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

After being delayed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Olympics are back in action.

When you tune into the Tokyo Games to root for Team USA, you’ll be cheering on a lot of athletes you may not know have New England ties. The athletes below are all connected to our region.

Basketball

For sports fans in New England, one of the most familiar faces at the Tokyo Games will be Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum. Drafted third overall by the team in 2016, he burst onto the scene and has been named to the last two All-Star Games, averaging more than 26 points per game last season. He committed to Team USA on June 15. Jerry Colangelo, managing director of USA Basketball, called Tatum “very important to this team.”

Breanna Stewart had quite a college career at the University of Connecticut, winning four NCAA women’s basketball championships in four years. She won the Most Outstanding Player award in each of those years, the only person ever to win four. The power forward’s success has carried into the WNBA, where she led the Seattle Storm to championships in 2018 and 2020. She was named WNBA Finals MVP both times, and league MVP in 2018. She won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics and will compete for another with Team USA in Tokyo.

Diana Taurasi, who graduated from UConn in 2005 with three women’s basketball championships to her name, has played for Team USA in all four summer Olympics since 2004, winning four gold medals. She has played for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA since 2004, winning three championships, being named to 10 All-Star teams and receiving the league MVP award in 2009. The guard will be shooting for her fifth gold medal in Tokyo.

Sue Bird won two NCAA women’s basketball championships in 2000 and 2002 as a member of the UConn Huskies. She has gone on to win four WNBA championships, and has been named to 12 All-Star teams, as a point guard for the Seattle Storm. She will compete for her fifth gold medal in Tokyo after playing on victorious U.S. women’s basketball teams in every summer Olympics since 2004.

Minnesota Lynx power forward Napheesa Collier, named rookie of the year in 2019, won a women’s basketball championship with the UConn Huskies in 2016. She will play for Team USA in Tokyo, her first Olympic appearance.

After winning two NCAA women’s basketball championships with the UConn Huskies, Queens native Tina Charles stayed in Connecticut, winning rookie of the year in 2010 and WNBA MVP in 2012 as a member of the Sun. The eight-time All-Star center, now a member of the Washington Mystics, will compete for her third Olympic gold medal in Tokyo following Team USA victories in London and Rio.

Stefanie Dolson won back-to-back championships as a center for the UConn Huskies women’s basketball team in 2013 and 2014. In the WNBA, she’s a member of the Chicago Sky and a two-time All-Star. She’ll represent Team USA in the first-ever 3×3 competition at the Olympics.

Small forward Katie Lou Samuelson won the championship in 2016 with the UConn Huskies women’s basketball team. She currently plays for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA. She wears the number 33 on her jersey in honor of Celtics legend Larry Bird. Samuelson was selected to be a member of Team USA’s first 3×3 women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games, but was replaced on the roster by Jackie Young after testing positive for COVID-19.

Archery

Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez, 18, was born in Massachusetts and raised in Mexico City. She will be one of three women competing in archery for Team USA in Tokyo.

Artistic swimming

Born in Boston and raised in Andover, Massachusetts, Lindi Schroeder will compete in artistic swimming (formerly known as synchronized swimming) in Tokyo, making her Olympic debut for Team USA.

More from the Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Olympics

Let the Tokyo Games Begin! Sign Up for NBC10 Boston's Olympics Newsletter

Summer Games

Interactive: Which Countries Dominate the Summer Olympics?

Baseball

Red Sox infield prospect Triston Casas, currently playing for the Portland Sea Dogs, will be on the U.S. baseball team at the Tokyo Olympics. Boston picked Casas in the first round of the 2018 draft.

Jack Lopez of the Worcester Red Sox has bounced around the minor leagues since being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2012, but will be an Olympian for Team USA in Tokyo.

The Olympics are back! Sign up for our Olympics newsletter to get the latest news from the Tokyo games in your inbox.

Pitching prospect Simeon Woods Richardson, playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the Blue Jays’ system, was a second-round pick by the Mets in 2018, who later traded him to Toronto. Richardson will take some time off from his double-A team to play for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.

Boxing

Boxer Rashida Ellis was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, and grew up in Boston. The 25-year-old lightweight, named USA Boxing’s 2019 Elite Female Boxer of the Year, will compete in her first Olympics this year in Tokyo.

Diving

Diver Michael Hixon, born and raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, is competing in his second Olympics this year. The Indiana University graduate won silver in the synchronized 3-meter springboard in Rio.

Jessica Parratto, a native of Dover, New Hampshire, competed in the Rio Games in 2016. The daughter of renowned swimming coach Mike Parratto, she will return to the Olympics in Tokyo.

Fencing

Eli Dershwitz, ranked second worldwide in men’s sabre fencing, has strong Massachusetts ties. Born in Boston, he grew up in Sherborn, Massachusetts, before graduating from Harvard University, where he went undefeated in his senior year. He competed in Rio and will shoot for his first Olympic medal in Tokyo.

A native of Westwood, Massachusetts, Andrew Mackiewicz has been a fencer since the age of 8, when he got his start at Zeta Fencing in Natick. He will compete in sabre fencing in Tokyo, making his Olympic debut.

Gymnastics

Laura Zeng, born in Hartford, Connecticut, qualified on June 27 for the U.S. rhythmic gymnastics team. She also represented Team USA in 2016, placing 11th in her discipline in Rio. Zeng, who graduated high school in Illinois, has committed to Yale University, but took time off first to prepare for Tokyo.

Rowing

Rower Gevvie Stone, born in Boston and raised in Newton, Massachusetts,is gearing up for her third Olympics after competing in London in 2012 and receiving a silver medal in the single sculls in Rio in 2016. Stone left the Boston area to row for Princeton University, but returned for medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine and practices emergency medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In Tokyo, Stone will compete in the women’s double sculls.

Kristina Wagner, born and raised in Weston, Massachusetts, rowed for Yale University before graduating in 2015. She will make her Olympic debut in Tokyo, competing alongside Gevvie Stone in the women’s double sculls.

Olivia Coffey attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, before rowing for Harvard University. Tokyo will be her first Olympics, but her father, Calvin Coffey, won silver in the men’s pair in Montreal 1976. The younger Coffey has won gold medals in three World Rowing Championships and will compete in the women’s eight in the Tokyo Games.

Gia Doonan, a native of Rochester, Massachusetts, will make her Olympic debut as a member of Team USA in the women’s eight. She took home gold in that event at the 2018 World Rowing Championships.

Brooke Mooney, who grew up in Peru, Vermont, and attended Vermont Academy, will row for Team USA in the women’s eight this year, her first Olympic appearance.

Regina Salmons, who was born and raised in Methuen, Massachusetts, attended the Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire. Her selection to Team USA’s women’s eight squad marks the first time she will compete in the Olympics.

Katelin Guregian, who was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, will cox the women’s eight for Team USA in Tokyo. She won gold in that event in Rio in 2016, where her husband, Nareg Guregian, competed in the men’s coxless pair.

Cicely Madden was born in Newton, Massachusetts, and grew up in nearby Weston before rowing at Brown University. She will compete in the women’s quadruple sculls in Tokyo, her first Olympics.

Molly Reckford attended Phillips Exeter Academy before rowing for Dartmouth College. She has not yet competed in the Olympics, but she earned a spot on Team USA in the lightweight women’s double sculls in Tokyo.

Liam Corrigan is a native of Old Lyme, Connecticut, and a graduate of Harvard University. He’s a rower making his first Olympic appearance in the men’s eight in Tokyo.

Austin Hack, who also graduated from high school in Old Lyme, Connecticut, after being born in Springfield, Massachusetts, will join Corrigan in the men’s eight, an event in which he helped Team USA finish fourth in Rio 2016.

Connor Harrity grew up in Weston, Massachusetts, and attended Boston College High School and Harvard University, where he was captain of the rowing team. He will compete in the men’s eight this year, his Olympic debut.

Alexander Richards, another Harvard University graduate and native of Watertown, Massachusetts, was also selected to participate in the men’s eight in Tokyo. He is described as being an aspiring comedian.

Pittsburgh native Alex Miklasevich, who rowed for Brown University, will compete in the men’s eight in these Olympics. He was on a men’s four with coxswain that won gold in the 2018 World Rowing Under 23 Championships and is gearing up for his first Olympics.

Andrew Reed was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and grew up in Wayland before attending Harvard University. His first Olympic appearance will be on the men’s coxless four in Tokyo. In 2017, he was on the men’s eight that won silver in the World Rowing Championships.

Clark Dean, a native of Florida, also rowed for Harvard University in his freshman year in 2018-19, but stepped away before 2019-20 to make a push for Tokyo, according to the Crimson. He made the men’s coxless four, in what will be his Olympic debut.

Rhode Island native Anders Weiss, who grew up in Barrington and graduated from Brown University in 2016, competed in his first Olympics the same year in the men’s coxless pair. He’ll be on the coxless four this year in Tokyo.

Rugby

Cheta Emba, a Virginia native, played both rugby and soccer at Harvard University. In Tokyo, she will compete in women’s rugby, marking her Olympic debut.

Kristi Kirshe grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts, and graduated from Williams College. A soccer player in high school, she picked up rugby during college and will compete for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. In a video with fellow Olympian Ilona Maher, Kirshe said, “I only eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches on game day.”

Ilona Maher was born and raised in Burlington, Vermont, where she played field hockey, basketball and softball in high school. At Norwich University in her home state, then at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, she came to love rugby. She will compete in it at the Tokyo Olympics.

Ariana Ramsey, a Philadelphia native, is attending Dartmouth College, where she plays for the rugby team. A year before she’s expected to graduate, she is making her Olympic debut, competing for Team USA in women’s rugby in Tokyo.

Madison Hughes was born in the U.K., but considers his hometown to be Lancaster, Massachusetts. Through his youth, he spent time in both countries, beginning to play rugby at age 7, according to the Telegram & Gazette. He graduated from Dartmouth College and captained the U.S. men’s rugby team in the Rio Olympics. He will return to the Olympic stage in Tokyo.

Sailing

David Hughes grew up in Miami before graduating from the University of Southern Maine. He and partner Stu McNay — who was born in Boston, grew up in Providence and attended Yale University — placed fourth in the men’s 470 two-person dinghy in Rio 2016, an event in which the pair will also compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

Sailor Maggie Shea, a Chicago native who graduated from Connecticut College in 2011, is on her first Olympic team, representing the U.S. in Tokyo. She will compete in the women’s 49er FX.

Anna Weis, a sailor who was born in Atlanta and grew up in Florida before attending Boston University, will compete in her first Olympics in Tokyo, having qualified for the Nacra 17 mixed two-person multihull.

Skateboarding

MIT graduate Alexis Sablone, a native of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, is a member of the first U.S. Olympic skateboarding team. She has won gold at the X Games three time to go along with two silver and two bronze medals. “Skateboarding is about freedom and all that stuff,” she said, according to NBC Connecticut. “It’s not something I ever predicted, but it’s an incredible honor to be here doing this.”

Soccer

The Olympics are a family affair for Kristie Mewis and Sam Mewis, two sisters and standout soccer players from Hanson, Massachusetts. Born in Weymouth, Kristie went to Boston College and Sam, less than two years younger, went to UCLA. The duo will play midfield for the U.S. Women’s National Team, the first appearance for each at the Games. The Mewis sisters also collaborated with Boston-based Harpoon Brewery to put out “Team Mew-S-A,” a session IPA, with some of the proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, made her first Olympic appearance in Rio and will be back in action for the U.S. Women’s National Team in Tokyo.

Swimming

Swimmer Kieran Smith of Ridgefield, Connecticut, will be competing in the men’s 400-meter and 200-meter freestyles in Tokyo, making his Olympic debut.

Track and Field

Wadeline Jonathas, born in Haiti, graduated from Doherty High School in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 2016, where she placed second in the 400-meter in Massachusetts’ state track and field championships in her senior year, according to the Telegram & Gazette. She went on to win the 400 at the NCAA Division I championships while attending the University of South Carolina, and in Tokyo, she will compete in the 400 in her first Olympics.

First-time Olympian Heather MacLean grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts before graduating from UMass Amherst. She placed third in the 1,500-meter run in the trials, finishing in a personal record 4 minutes and 2.09 seconds.

Elle Purrier St. Pierre, who grew up on a dairy farm in Montgomery, Vermont, and graduated from the University of New Hampshire, will compete in her first Olympics, running the women’s 1,500-meter in Tokyo.

Rachel Schneider, a native of Sanford, Maine, who went to high school in Dover, New Hampshire, will be running the women’s 5,000-meter in Tokyo, her Olympic debut.

Molly Seidel, who lives in the Boston area, will compete in her first Olympics in Tokyo, running in the women’s marathon.

Providence College graduate Emily Sisson made her first Olympic team and will run the women’s 5,000-meter in Tokyo.

Gabby Thomas, born in Atlanta, grew up in Florence, Massachusetts, and went to Harvard University. She won the 200-meter in the Olympic trials and will run in the event in Tokyo, her first appearance at the Games.