Team USA: Olympic Athletes From Virginia

olympic athletes from virginia

The 2016 Summer Olympics opened in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, and all eyes are on Brazil. The Olympics are a time for countries to come together peacefully, but also a time for national pride as we see the best of what our country has to offer. It’s even more exciting to root for Team USA when the athletes hail from your hometown or home state. And Virginia has been home to its share of Olympians. This year, Virginia is the home or birthplace of 15 members of Team USA. These Olympic athletes from Virginia represent a wide variety of sports. Check out our guide so you can follow these Virginians as the games progress.

Gabrielle Douglas

Sport: Gymnastics

Gabby Douglas, born in Newport News, Virginia, was a breakout star of the 2012 Olympics in London. She helped lead her team to gold and also won the individual all around gold medal. She is poised for a second shot at Olympic glory in Rio.

Lauren Kieffer

Sport: Equestrian

Lauren Kieffer began riding at age 6 and began her elite training at the age of 18. She lives in Middleburg, Virginia and trains at High Acre Stables in The Plains, Virginia. Since the age of 18 she has trained under Olympians David and Karen O’Connor and has worked hard to advance in her sport as well as professionally. Lauren will compete in both team and individual events.

Stephanie Fee

Sport: Field Hockey

Stephanie Fee was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She played for Frank W. Cox High School before competing at the college level when she attended Duke University. These accomplishments led her to continue on and join Team USA. Stephanie plays defense and trains at Beach Premier Club.

Matt Miller

Sport: Rowing

Matt Miller began rowing in 2004 while in high school in his hometown of Springfield, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2011 with a degree in Systems and Information Engineering. He has been competing at the international level since 2013. He trains at the US Rowing Training Center in Princeton, New Jersey. He enjoys giving back to the community by coaching high school sculling.

Carmen Farmer

Sport: Rugby

Carmen Farmer was born in Richmond, Virginia. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech before continuing on to earn her law degree from the University of Maryland. Proving that it’s never too late to follow your dreams, Carmen only began playing rugby in 2012 at the age of 31. She will represent Team USA in the position of lock on the women’s rugby team in Rio.

Lucas Kozeniesky

Sport: Shooting

Lucas Kozeniesky was raised in Fairfax, Virginia and graduated from Robinson Secondary School, also in Fairfax, in 2013. He is currently attending North Carolina State University. He is the first shooter from NC State to qualify for the Olympics. He will compete in men’s air rifle shooting.

Ginny Thrasher

Sport: Shooting

Ginny Thrasher was born and raised in Springfield, Virginia and graduated from West Springfield High School in 2015. She is currently attending West Virginia University. She has set more than 20 rifle shooting records. She will compete in the 50m 3-position event.

Ali Krieger

Sport: Soccer

Ali Krieger was born in Alexandria, Virginia and graduated from Forest Park Senior High School in Dumfries, Virginia. She then attended Penn State University, earning her bachelor’s degree in 2007. She is a member of the record busting US Women’s National Soccer Team. The team won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and have played a stunning 14-0 season in 2016. The US is a powerhouse team, widely considered the ones to beat, having won Olympic gold four times.

Townley Haas

Sport: Swimming

One of the younger members of Team USA, Townley Haas is just 19 years old. He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia where he graduated from Benedictine High School. He currently attends the University of Texas where he has achieved success in NCAA swimming events. He will compete in two freestyle events in Rio.

Denis Kudla

Sport: Tennis

Denis Kudla was born in Kiev, Ukraine and moved to Arlington, Virginia in 1993 when he was just a year old. He has achieved success in both singles and doubles competition, distinguishing himself at the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open over the past three years. He will compete in singles in Rio.

Francena McCorory

Sport: Track and Field

Francena McCorory graduated from Hampton University in 2010 and called Hampton, Virginia home. She won two consecutive NCAA titles while competing for Hampton University. This is Francena’s second Olympics. She won gold in the 4×400 meter relay in London in 2012. She will compete in that event again in Rio.

LaShawn Merritt

Sport: Track and Field

LaShawn Merritt was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth. This will be his third Olympic games. He won gold in Beijing in 2008 for the 400 meter and 4×400 meter relay. He was injured during a qualifying round in London in 2012 and did not finish. He will have a chance for glory once again in Rio where he will compete in the 200 meter, 400 meter, and 4×400 meter events.

Byron Robinson

Sport: Track and Field

Byron Robinson was born in Richmond, Virginia and graduated from Western Brach High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. He is a rising senior at the University of Texas – Austin. He will compete in the 400 meter hurdles event at his first Olympic games in Rio.

David Verburg

Sport: Track and Field

David Verberg grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and graduated from E.C. Glass High School in 2009. He earned a degree in Sports Management from George Mason University in 2013 where he was an 11-time NCAA All-American. He will compete in the 400 meter and 4×400 meter events in Rio.

Reid Priddy

Sport: Volleyball

Reid Priddy is 38 years old and was born in Richmond, Virginia. 2016 will be his fourth Olympic games. He helped lead the US Men’s team to victory in Beijing in 2008 and is a consistent high scorer. In 2014 he suffered and ACL tear that could have been a career-ending injury, but trained hard to be able to return to competition. It is doubly impressive for an athlete to return for a fourth Olympics after such a severe injury. He will play as an outside hitter for Team USA in Rio.

Learn more about Team USA here.

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