JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) –
Four athletes competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics are Mississippians while 10 others have strong connections to Mississippi.
Here is an introduction to each Olympian with a little bit of background information for you as you cheer them on.
- Brittney Reese: Reese attended the University of Mississippi and is five-time world champion. She made history by winning the gold medal in long jump and was the first American woman to do that in more than 20 years. This will be her 3rd Olympics, having finished 5th in the long jump at the 2008 Beijing Games.
- Tori Bowie: Bowie is a Sandhill native who went to University of Southern Mississippi. She will be competing in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and the 4×100-meter track and field events. She won a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash at last year’s world championships in Beijing.
- Sam Kendricks: Kendricks is an Army reservist from Oxford and will compete in the pole vault. Kendricks became a two-time NCAA champion while at Ole Miss and set the pole vault record at the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier this year.
- Ricky Robertson: Robertson, from Hernando, also earned accolades as a track and field star at Ole Miss, and will be competing in high jump. He will attend his first Olympics following an impressive performance at the 2016 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships, where he placed fourth.
Other athletes from Ole Miss, Southern Miss, William Carey, Mississippi State, and Jackson State will be among more than 11,000 Olympians representing 207 nations in Rio.
As part of the 31st Olympiad, they will be participating in a tradition of international goodwill and sportsmanship that traces back to ancient Greece. These athletes include Ole Miss assistant coach Gwen Berry, hammer throw (USA); William Carey’s Mateo Edward, 100 meters (Panama); Mississippi State’s Marta Freitas, 1,500 meters (Portugal); Ole Miss’s Antwon Hicks, 110-meter hurdles (Nigeria); Jackson State’s Anaso Jobodwana, 200 meters (South Africa); Southern Miss’s Mariam Kromah, 400 meters (Liberia); Mississippi State’s Brandon McBride, 800 meters (Canada); Ole Miss’s Raven Saunders, shot put (USA); Ole Miss’s Khadijah Suleman, 4×100-meter relay (Nigeria); and Jackson State’s Michael Tinsley, 400-meter hurdles (USA).
Three Mississippians will also be competing in the Paralympics. Here is an introduction to these athletes.
- Shaquille Vance: Vance is from Houseton Mississippi. He won a silver medal for the 200 meters in the 2012 London Paralympics.
- Charlie Swearingen: Swearingen is a Gulfport Native who went to Millsaps. He will compete in sitting volleyball.
- Anthony McDaniel: McDaniel will be competing in wheelchair rugby.