The COVID-19 Pandemic put nearly everything major event on hold last year, including the 2020 Summer Olympics. Luckily the summer games are now set to continue this year in Tokyo from July 23- Aug. 8.
Las Vegas will see a handful of local athletes head to Tokyo this year, including several members of the Las Vegas Aces, as well as swimmers, a boxer, and a BMX rider.
Here’s a look at the Las Vegas athletes set to compete with Team USA this summer:
Bowe Becker is a graduate of Las Vegas’ Faith Lutheran High School and has previously swum for the University of Minnesota. Becker will compete in the 4X100-meter freestyle relay. Achievements include earning silver and the title of NCAA Runner Up in the 100 freestyle, breaking the B1G record in the event in 2019, as well placing 4th at the 2019 NCAA Championships 50-meter freestyle.
Women’s track and field
Vashti is competing as a high jumper and is the daughter of former Philadelphia Eagles and Runnin’ Rebels quarterback Randall Cunningham. Her father also serves as her coach. This is Vashti Cunningham’s second Olympics — placing 13th in the 2016 Olympics. The 23-year-old scored a personal best of 6 feet, 7 ½ inches earlier this year, currently, the number one mark in the world this year and she is a contender for a medal in Tokyo.
Connor Fields has competed in the Olympics twice in BMX, and became the first American to ever take gold in the sport at the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games. Connor will defend the gold medal he won in Brazil in 2016. Connor grew up in Las Vegas and began competing in BMX at age 7. The 28-year-old is a graduate of Green Valley High School and holds a Bachelor’s degree in business management from UNLV.
Las Vegas native Rahim Gonzales is a light heavyweight boxer seeking a gold medal in Tokyo this summer. The 23-year-old qualified for first in the 2019 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing, and will join
The Aces’ Chelsea Gray is competing with her fellow teammate A’ja Wilson on Team USA’s women’s basketball team. The 5’11 guard signed with the Aces in February 2021. Before joining Las Vegas, She was drafted by the Connecticut Sun in 2014 after playing her college ball at Duke. She won a WNBA championship in 2016 as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks and has obtained several other notable achievements including being named to the All-WNBA First Team in 2019.
15-year-old Katie Grimes is the youngest swimmer on the USA women’s swim team. Grimes is also the youngest American Olympic swimmer since Amanda Beard, who made competed with the 1996 team at 14. She has won the Under Junior Olympic Championship, bronze (200-yard backstroke, 500 freestyle, 1,650 freestyle, 400 individual medleys) She is affiliated with the locally based Sandpipers club team,
Women’s 3×3 Basketball
Kelsey Plum is a point guard for the Las Vegas Aces that’s played with the team since day one. In the past, she’s helped the US Women’s team win the gold medal at the 2018 FIBA World Cup. She’s also broken numerous records, including the 2017 NCAA record for points in a single season with 1,080 points. Plum will be competing in the Olympic’s first-ever women’s 3×3 basketball team.
Bella Sims is the second-youngest swimmer on the women’s Olympic swim team. The 16-year-old swims with the Sandpipers club team. Sims is competing in the 4×200-meter relay.
The 21-year-old Las Vegas native is competing in the 1500-meter-freestyle. She notably took 12th in the 800-meter freestyle in the 2016 Olympic Trials.
A’ja Wilson of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces is heading is competing with the Women’s USA Basketball Team. During the first round of the 2018 WNBA. The 6’4 forward was drafted by the Aces as the top overall pick t. She’s also was the league MVP in 2020, and has been named the WNBA Rookie of the Year.
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