After being delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will finally begin this summer. Athletes from around the world are seeking to leave a mark in the history books, including several with ties to Maryland.
Here is a list of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians from the state who have punched a ticket to Tokyo:
Olympics (July 23-Aug. 8)
Jerami Grant (Bowie) — The former DeMatha Catholic standout is coming off a career season with the Detroit Pistons, averaging 22.3 points and 4.6 rebounds on 42.9% shooting from the field. Grant was a runner-up for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.
Kevin Durant (Washington, D.C.) — The 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player and Brooklyn Nets superstar is perhaps the best player to come out of Prince George’s County. Durant, who will be playing in his third Olympics, averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 32 games for the Nets this season, leading the team to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals despite a slew of Brooklyn injuries.
Abby Gustaitis (White Hall) — Gustaitis, who played rugby for the University of Maryland club team, will be the co-captain for Team USA.
Farrah Hall (Annapolis) — Hall, a Broadneck graduate, qualified for a spot in Tokyo when she was the only American woman to compete in the RS:X World Championships in February. This will be Hall’s second Olympic appearance. She raced for Team USA in the London Games in 2012.
Chase Kalisz (Bel Air) — After a roller coaster five years marked by career-best performances and subsequent disappointments, Kalisz will get his chance in Tokyo. He’ll swim the 400-meter individual medley, which he won June 13 at the U.S. trials, and the 200 IM, in which he qualified second. He will project as a medal contender in both races.
Andrew Wilson (Bethesda) — Wilson will be making his Olympic debut after finishing second in the men’s 100 and 200 breaststroke.
Phoebe Bacon (Chevy Chase) — Bacon is coming off a strong freshman season at the University of Wisconsin, as she was named the 2021 NCAA 200-yard backstroke champion. Bacon beat out world-record holder Regan Smith during the Olympic trials of the women’s 200-meter backstroke in June.
Katie Ledecky (Bethesda) — Ledecky, who will be making her third Olympic appearance, has won five gold medals and a silver. During the U.S. trials on June 21, Ledecky placed first in the women’s 200 freestyle, 1,500 freestyle and 800 freestyle.
TRACK AND FIELD
Matthew Centrowitz Jr. (Arnold) — The 2016 Olympic champion in the 1,500 meters qualified for this summer’s games by finishing second at the U.S. trials in 3:35.34. This is the third Olympics for Centrowitz, who attended Broadneck.
Christina Clemons (Waldorf) — While styling in her Doritos earrings, Clemons finished third in the women’s 100-meter hurdles during the U.S. trials June 21 to qualify for her first Olympics.
Katie Zaferes (Hampstead) — Zaferes, the 2019 world champion, was named to the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team and will participate in her second Games. Zaferes, then Katie Hursey, ran cross country and track at North Carroll High School and was a six-time Carroll County Times Player of the Year and the 2005 All-Metro Player of the Year. She attended Syracuse from 2007 to 2012 and ran both cross country and track for the Orange. Zaferes placed 18th in the 2016 Rio Olympics in 2:00:55.
Kyle Snyder (Woodbine) — During the 2016 Rio Games, Snyder became the youngest U.S. wrestler to win a gold medal. The former three-time national champion at Ohio State dominated at 97 kilograms to earn a spot on Team USA after defeating Kollin Moore during the Olympic trials in April. When Snyder attended Good Counsel in Olney, he compiled a remarkable 179-0 record.
Helen Maroulis (Rockville) — Maroulis, who in 2016 became the first American woman to win gold in the Olympics, pinned Jenna Burkert in 23 seconds in the 57-kilogram final in April to qualify for her second Games. The Rockville native had a difficult road to qualify. After winning world titles in 2015 and 2017, Maroulis had two concussions in 2018 and the effects lingered for months. She was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but said she has fully recovered.
John Stefanowicz (Bel Air) — Stefanowicz, who grew up in Bel Air before attending Kennard-Dale High School in Pennsylvania and joining the U.S. Marines Corps, will be part of U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team after qualifying at 87 kilograms.
Frances Tiafoe (Riverdale) — The Prince George’s County native and product of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park qualified for his first Olympics on the heels of his biggest win. The 23-year-old, ranked No. 57 in the world in men’s singles, beat No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the French Open runner-up, in the first round at Wimbledon.
*Kayla DiCello (Boyds) — The Montgomery County native trains at Hill’s Gymnastics, which has produced several Olympic medalists. The 2019 junior national champion finished sixth at the U.S. trials and was named one of four alternates, who will be ready to replace one of the four main qualifiers in the event of an injury, illness or other extenuating circumstances.
Paralympics (Aug. 24- Sept. 5)
Jessica Long (Baltimore) — Long, who will be making her fifth appearance in the Paralympics, is the second-most decorated U.S. Paralympian in history, collecting 23 medals (13 gold, six silver and four bronze).
McKenzie Coan (Clarkesville, Georgia) — Coan, a Loyola Maryland graduate, has won four medals, including three golds. A three-time Paralympian, she swam her best time (5 minutes, 4.88 seconds) in the S7 400-meter freestyle during trials.
Lawrence Sapp (Waldorf) — The 19-year-old swimmer will be making his Paralympic debut. Sapp excelled during the trials, setting American records in the S14 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle.
Zachary Shattuck (Mount Airy) — Shattuck, a first-time Paralympian, set a U.S. record in the SM6 men’s 200 individual medley during the swimming trials with a time of 2:50.96.
TRACK AND FIELD
Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville) — McFadden, a six-time Paralympian, has a collection of 17 Paralympic medals — seven gold, seven silver and three bronze.
Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy) — Romanchuk will be making his second appearance in the Paralympics after finishing first in five T54 races during trials.
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