The 2020 Tokyo Olympics get underway today, July 23. There will be several current and former Cavaliers participating in the COVID-delayed games, so we’re trying to round them all up in one spot. There are a few sports — namely rowing and soccer — that have already started group play.
The Opening Ceremonies aired live this morning on NBC, but will be re-aired in prime time at 7:30pm on NBC.
Becky Sauerbrunn, Emily Sonnet — United States
The ladies got off to a brutal start with a 3-0 loss to Sweden in the first game in group play, but there’s still time to turn it around. They play New Zealand on Saturday morning at 7:30am ET on NBC Sports Network.
Joe Bell - New Zealand
Bell, a finalist for the Mac Hermann Trophy in his final season with the Hoos, is hoping to help New Zealand make some noise in Tokyo. The squad got a surprise 1-0 victory over South Korea in their first game on Thursday. It was New Zealand’s first ever Olympic win in soccer, and they’ll look to move on as they play Sunday against Honduras at 4:00am.
Swimming and Diving
Kate Douglass, Alex Walsh, Paige Madden, Todd DeSorbo (coach) — United States
Three talented Virginia swimmers are making their Olympic debuts after helping lead the Cavaliers to the program’s (and conference’s) first National Championship back in March. Douglass and Walsh will each participate in the 200-meter Individual Medley, while Madden will race in the 4x200 freestyle relay. Future Hoo Emma Weyant will also participate, racing in the 400 Individual Medley. Swimming starts Saturday, July 24, and runs through August 1.
Mike Tobey — Slovenia
Former Cavalier big man Mike Tobey has been huge for the Slovenian squad, pairing up well with superstar Luka Doncic. Tobey became the first Virginia men’s basketball player to qualify for the Olympics, with three-time gold medalist Dawn Staley being the only other UVA basketball player to make the Olympic games. Slovenia faces Argentina at 12:40am on Monday, July 26.
Francisco Caffaro — Argentina
Virginia’s current center will be suiting up for the Argentinian National Team, who will square off with Mike Tobey in game one as they take on Slovenia on July 26 at 12:40am. Caffaro battled injuries last season with the Hoos, but it’s a good sign (and great experience) for the 7-footer that he’s made the roster and has a chance to play in the Olympics.
Dawn Staley (coach) — United States
Staley is one of the most legendary players — if not the most legendary — to have played at Virginia. She was a two-time national Player of the Year and led the Hoos to three Final Fours during her playing career. Staley already has three gold medals, and she’ll be at the helm of the US squad in Tokyo. Their first game is Tuesday, July 27 at 12:40am.
Aisha Mohammed Balarabe — Nigeria
Balarabe was with the Hoos 2008-2009 and will be playing in her second Olympic games as she went in 2004 before coming to Virginia. Nigeria and the USA will square off on July 27.
Meghan O’Leary, Kristine O’Brien — United States
Christine Roper, Susanne Grainger, Morgan Rosts — Canada
Hannah Osborne — New Zealand
Inge Janssen — Netherlands
Women’s rowing has seven former athletes participating in the games across four different countries. The rowing events have already gotten started and will continue through July 30.
Track and Field
Filip Mihaljević — Croatia
Mihaljević, a three-time NCAA champion, is participating in the shot put. The qualification rounds don’t start til August 3, so there’s some time for him to wait.
Michaela Meyer (alternate) — USA
The NCAA champion is an alternate for the 800m. Meyer finished fourth in the event in the Olympic Trials.