Should the already-delayed Tokyo summer Olympics and Paralympics have been further delayed, or canceled all together? Um, probably. With cases of the coronavirus Delta variant spreading in Tokyo, Japan has, as a precaution, banned spectators as it declared a state of emergency. So this will be an event, but a strange one.
Still, over 15,000 athletes, both Olympians and Paralympians, are set to compete in Tokyo, and among them are many from or affiliated with Washington state. So if you want your national pride with a side of regionalism, here’s a list of locals in the games. We’ll update it with accolades as they come in.
Olympians from Washington State
Hometown: Vancouver | Age: 20 | Olympic appearance: First | 2021 medal: Silver in artistic team all-around final
She nearly quit gymnastics in 2017—a sport she’s competed in since age six. Then she learned to have fun with it.
Hometown: North Syracuse, New York | Age: 26 | Olympic appearance: Second, with one gold medal | 2021 medal: Gold in basketball
The Seattle Storm player has been a USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year three times.
Hometown: Lincolnwood, Illinois | Age: 27 | Olympic appearance: First | 2021 medal: Gold in basketball
She was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2015, and has since won two WNBA championships with the Seattle Storm.
Hometown: Syosset, New York | Age: 40 | Olympic appearance: Fifth, with four gold medals | 2021 medal: Gold in basketball
Come on. You know who this is.
Hometown: Renton | Age: 26 | Olympic appearance: First | 2021 medal: Gold in basketball
The Chicago Bulls guard-forward became the fourth player to ever win consecutive NBA Slam Dunk Contests in 2015 and 2016.
Hometown: Seattle | Age: 19 | Olympic appearance: First | 2021 medal: Gold in the 200 meter canoe sprint
The canoe sprint racer intended to start college this year, but since the games were postponed, she headed to Georgia to train.
Hometown: Seattle | Age: 37 | Olympic appearance: First
The track cyclist started racing seriously while getting a BA in Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington.
Hometown: Seattle | Age: 29 | Olympic appearance: Second
The 10-meter diver just snagged a spot at the games in an impressive diving upset.
Hometown: Redding, California | Age: 36 | Olympic appearance: Third, with one gold medal | 2021 medal: Bronze in women's soccer
Again, you know who this is.
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio | Age: 26 | Olympic appearance: First | 2021 medal: Bronze in women's soccer
She just joined the OL Reign this May, with the team’s CEO saying she “has the ability to be the best player in the world.”
Track and Field
Hometown: Bellingham |Age: 32 | Olympic appearance: First
The marathon runner nabbed his place in the games in the last 10 meters of a race.
Hometown: Vancouver | Age: 34 | Olympic appearance: Fourth
Each time the javelin thrower has made it to the Olympics, in 2008, 2012, and 2016, she’s leapt up the rankings, finishing 41st, then 31st, then 13th. Bodes well for her return.
Hometown: Auburn | Age: 21 | Olympic appearance: First
At age 17, this 81-kilogram weight-class lifter broke the youth world record in the clean and jerk.
Paralympians from Washington State
Hometown: Woodinville | Age: 50 | Paralympic appearance: First
This is the para-cyclist’s first time competing for the U.S. in the Paralympics, but he has two World Championship gold medals to his name, most recently in 2019.
Hometown: Arlington | Age: 25 | Paralympic appearance: Second, with one bronze medal.
In 2016, Geer was the first American woman to medal in shooting at the Paralympics.
Hometown: Lake Stevens | Age: 35 | Paralympic appearance: Fourth, with one gold medal and two silver.
Since taking gold at the 2016 Paralympics, the athlete has also co-hosted the podcast Inside ParaSport.
Track and Field
Hometown: Benton City | Age: 27 | Paralympic appearance: Third, with two silvers and a bronze.
Yes, she took the silver, not the gold in a 400-meter final in 2016. But her surge at the end was the most thrilling bit of the race.
Hometown: Liberty Lake | Age: 18 | Paralympic appearance: First
This might be her first Olympics, but Dederick comes to it with a slew of gold medals (eight) from junior world championships, earned in races ranging from 100 meter to 5,000 meter.
Hometown: Cheney | Age: 22 | Paralympics appearance: First
Rigo is another young wheelchair sprinter to watch: He took gold in the T52 400-meter final at the 2019 Parapan American Games.
Hometown: Kent | Age: 22 | Paralympic appearance: First
The track athlete, born with cerebral palsy, competes in swift events: 100- and 200-meter runs and the long jump.
Hometown: Tekoa | Age: 30 | Paralympic appearance: Third
While many of her fellow track athletes excel at shorter races, Scaroni’s experience is in the wheelchair marathon. In 2016 she came within two seconds of the podium.
Hometown: Vancouver | Age: 24 | Paralympic appearance: First
In addition to racing track, Hoang has played junior national level wheelchair basketball.