Olympians with KC connections to watch for at the 2021 Tokyo games

After an additional year of training after the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, athletes are back at it, with the U.S. Olympic trials in full swing. The trials will continue through this weekend, concluding with men’s and women’s gymnastics in St. Louis. Hosted in Tokyo, the Olympics will be from July 23 to August 8.

There are a healthy number of Olympians with KC connections on the U.S. team—here are a few to watch for.


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Kelsey Stewart
The Wichita-born utility infielder, who is an elite batter, won back-to-back National Championships with the University of Florida’s softball team.

Leanne Wong and Kara Eaker
These gymnasts from KC suburbs will be competing in trials after our press deadline, but they could be breakout stars on a team anchored by Simon Biles, the most successful American gymnast ever. Wong, 17, is from Overland Park. Eaker, 18, is from Grain Valley.



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Jacarra Winchester
Born in Marshall, the 28-year-old freestyle wrestler won a world championship in 2019. She’s from the town of Marshall, Missouri, and is an alum of Missouri Valley College.


Aliphine Tuliamuk
The Kenyan track star attended Wichita State and made national headlines after petitioning Olympics organizers to allow her to bring her four-month-old baby to the games.

Derrick Mein
Derrick Mein grew up on a farm in Girard, Kansas, where he started shooting sports at an early age by quail and deer hunting with his dad. He studied animal science at Kansas State.



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Bryce Hoppel
800 meters
Former KU track star finished third in the 800m finals clocking 1:44.14 for the final Team USA spot.

Chris Nilsen
Pole Vault
Park Hill graduate earned first place with a 5.9-meter winning jump in the pole vault trials.



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A post shared by KC Lightfoot (@kc_lightfoot)

KC Lightfoot
Pole Vault
KC Lightfoot, a Lee’s Summit native holding the NCAA title in indoor pole vault, tied in second earning his spot to Tokyo.

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