GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — The Olympics are now 100 days away. And once again, Minnesota will send a strong contingent of athletes to the summer games in Tokyo, which are slated to be held in July after a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are still a lot of trials to be held, so only a small number of Minnesota athletes have their Tokyo tickets punched.
Two-time Olympic BMX rider Alise Willoughby, of St. Cloud, figures to once again be a favorite to medal in BMX. After finishing 12th in London, she had a spectacular Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio, where she took home a silver medal. Most recently she was ranked number two in the world in women’s BMX racing.
Sport climbing makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020 and University of Minnesota alum and Shoreview, Minnesota native Kyra Condie will represent Team USA. She qualified for the games at the 2019 IFSC Combined Qualifier in Toulouse. An amazing story, Kyra was diagnosed with severe idiopathic scoliosis as a child and underwent spinal fusion surgery in March of 2010.
Apple Valley, Minnesota native and NCAA champion wrestler Gable Steveson will represent Team USA in wrestling. In 2021, the University of Minnesota heavyweight has won a Big Ten title, an NCAA title, and the Hodge Trophy, given to the nation’s top wrestler and qualified for the Olympic Games. He’s yet to lose a match this year, as well. Naturally, he is drawing a lot of attention as a potential medal winner in Tokyo.
Lakeville, Minnesota’s Regan Smith has a great shot of making the Olympic team. Currently taking a year off to train for the games before she goes to swim at Stanford next fall, in March she broke the U.S. record in the 100 backstroke. Smith currently has the second fastest time in the 200 butterfly as well.
There are still a number of other Minnesotans with a good shot at the Olympics as well, as the rescheduled Olympic trials season begins to heat up.