Where Olympians Are Made: UA athletes head to the Summer Olympics


CW / Victoria Buckley

Photos courtesy of UA Athletics.

Javon Williams, Contributing Writer

With one month left until the opening ceremonies on July 23, 13 current and former UA student-athletes have punched their tickets to the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.  

Rhyan White: Swimming, United States

Two-time All-American and rising senior Rhyan White will represent the United States in two events: the 100 and 200 backstroke. 

White qualified for the 100 backstroke with a second-place finish at the U.S. Olympic trials. 

The Utah native used a personal best of 2:05.73 to win and qualify for the 200 backstroke race. Her time in the 200 backstroke broke the UA school record she set last year.

White is the first female UA student to make the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, and the first to win an event at the U.S. Swimming Olympic Team Trials.

Shallon Olsen: Gymnastics, Canada

Rising senior and 2021 First-Team Vault Champion Shallon Olsen will represent her home country of Canada in the Olympic Games for the second time. 

In the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Olsen finished in eighth place on the vault.

In 2019, Olsen helped Team Canada qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games due to a fifth place finish at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Olsen was named to the Canadian Olympic Team, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Gymnastics Canada on Thursday, June 17. 


Along with White and Olsen, 11 UA alumni will compete in Tokyo.  

  • Abbas Qali: Swimming, Kuwait
  • Anton McKee: Swimming, Iceland
  • Daniel Haugh: Track and Field, United States
  • David Robertson: Baseball, United States
  • Diana Petkova: Swimming, Bulgaria 
  • Haylie McCleney: Softball, United States
  • Jereem Richards: Track and Field, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Justin Thomas: Golf, United States
  • Kirani James: Track and Field, Grenada
  • Kristian Gkolomeev: Swimming, Greece
  • Merel van Dongen: Soccer, Netherlands

The Summer Games will begin Friday, July 23. Swimming events will run from July 24 to Aug. 1. Gymnastics will last from July 25 to Aug. 3. Track and field will begin July 30 and end on the final day of the Olympics on Aug. 8.