Olympic athletes with Iowa ties go for gold
The Tokyo Olympics start on Friday and there's a crew of athletes with Iowa ties to root for.
Why it matters: You can't help but feel some pride when you see athletes from your home state competing at their highest level.
- We'll never forget Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas' gold medal wins.
Here are just three of the many local athletes we'll be watching compete for Team USA:
A 25-year-old from Urbandale, Karissa Schweizer is competing in the women's track and field 5,000- and 10,000-meter races.
Her story: The running superstar, who graduated from Dowling High School and the University of Missouri, flew under the radar early in her career, the Register reports.
- She caught Mizzou's attention only after her father introduced himself to the college's track and field coach during a happenstance at a Subway restaurant.
- Once she joined the Tigers, she won multiple NCAA championship titles and was named the school's most-decorated female athlete.
Cedar Rapids native and University of Iowa graduate Thomas Gilman will compete in the men's wrestling 57kg (125 lb) category.
His story: Olympic dreams were always on the 27-year-old's mind, even when he was just 5 years old, KETV reports. While other kids were listing nurse or firefighter as their career aspirations, Gilman wanted Olympic gold — and wrestling was the way he was going to achieve it.
- Gilman wrestled in high school and went on to compete for the Hawkeyes — winning the Big Ten Championship and silver in the 2017 World Championship.
Hillary Bor, a 31-year-old runner who was born in Kenya and graduated from Iowa State, is competing in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase for the second time.
His story: Bor says steeplechase — a 3,000-meter run that involves barriers, hurdles and a water pit — caught his eye in high school, the Oregonian reports.
- Following his track dreams, he moved to the U.S. and attended Iowa State, where he competed on a scholarship.
- After graduating, he went on to pursue his master's degree and later joined the military, eventually earning U.S. citizenship.
Go deeper: Find a full list of Olympians with Iowa ties here. Check the schedule for all the info you need on how to watch your favorites.
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