x
Breaking News
More () »

Medals, heartbreaks and more: Keep up with the Olympic athletes from Arizona

Keep up with Arizona's Olympic competitors!

TOKYO, Japan — There are 16 athletes from Arizona competing in the Tokyo Olympics this year in a variety of sports including beach volleyball, skateboarding and baseball. 

Meet the Arizona athletes below and follow their journey through the Olympic Games.

>> Bookmark 12news.com/olympics to stay up-to-date on all things Tokyo Olympics

RELATED: US gets 1st win of Tokyo Olympics, beats Italy in softball opener

RELATED: 1 year later and 150 miles from Tokyo, Olympics set to get underway

Brady Ellison, Archery

Credit: AP
Olympic archer Brady Ellison poses for photos at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Birthplace: Globe, AZ
Hometown: Globe, AZ
Olympic Teams: 2008, 2012, 2016
Olympic Medals: 2 Silver, 1 Bronze
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing 

In his first Tokyo Olympics appearance, Ellison was eliminated in an upset 5-4 loss to Indonesia at the Yumenoshima Archery Field in Koto City, Tokyo on Friday.

Ellison is a full-time Archer who competes internationally and in the United States. He overcame complications from Perthes Disease, which stems from his childhood, and put off surgery for nine months to compete in the Beijing Olympics, according to his official website

Follow Ellison on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

You can visit his personal website here.

RELATED: Arizona native and No. 1 ranked Brady Ellison finds success in individual archery in Tokyo

Jamie Westbrook, Baseball

Credit: AP
Arizona Diamondbacks' Jamie Westbrook, left, is tagged out by Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Jake Hager, right, after getting caught between second and third base in the eighth inning of a spring training baseball game Friday, March 8, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Birthplace: Gilbert, AZ
Hometown: Chandler, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics:  

Westbrook is a part of the Milwaukee Brewers organization, but he was drafted in 2013 by the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth round. He committed to play collegiate baseball at Pepperdine University before signing with the Diamondbacks, according to Team USA.

Follow Westbrook on Twitter and Instagram.

Sarah Sponcil, Beach Volleyball

Credit: AP
Kelly Claes, left, and Sarah Sponcil during a match at the AVP Champions Cup in Long Beach, Calif. The Americans are part of the first generation of college beach volleyball players to reach the Olympics. At 24 and 25, they are the youngest U.S. beach team ever to qualify for the Summer Games. (Mpu Dinani/AVP via AP)

Birthplace: Phoenix, AZ
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing 

Sponcil is a professional beach volleyball player. She won back-to-back national championships in beach volleyball (2018-2019) and enjoys riding her unicycle around Hermosa Beach, according to her personal website.

Follow Sponcil on Twitter and Instagram.

You can visit her personal website here.

RELATED: Phoenix-native Olympian Sarah Sponcil makes Olympic history as family, friends watch from home

RELATED: Phoenix native Sarah Sponcil, Kelly Claes take match in Olympic beach volleyball debut

Brandon McNulty, Cycling

Credit: AP
United States' Brandon McNulty pedals during the men's elite event, at the road cycling World Championships, in Imola, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Birthplace: Phoenix, AZ
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing

McNulty finished sixth in the men's cycling road race on Saturday.

McNulty gained a love for cycling as a child; his dad would take him out to ride on dirt roads near his house. At the age of 8, he competed in his first mountain bike race. Then four years later, he transitioned to the road, according to USA Cycling.

Follow McNulty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Corben Sharrah, Cycling BMX Racing

Credit: AP
File-This Aug.19, 2016, file photo shows Connor Fields of the United States celebrating after crossing the finish line to win gold in the men's BMX cycling final during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The cycling team that the U.S. is taking to the Tokyo Olympics is a little bit different than the one it would have taken a year ago, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to postpone the Summer Games by an entire year. In many ways, the team announced Thursday, June 10, 2021, is a whole lot stronger. Fields will try to defend his Olympic title while Corben Sharrah — the 2017 world champ — gives the Americans another medal contender. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

Birthplace: Tucson, AZ
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Olympic Teams: 2016
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished

Sharrah enjoys racecar driving, fishing, hunting and building jumping in is spare time, according to Team USA.

Follow Sharrah on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Delaney Schnell, Diving

Credit: AP
Delaney Schnell of the United States dives during the women's 10-meter platform event at the Pan Am Games Saturday, July 11, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Birthplace: Iron Mountain, MI
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished

Schnell made Team USA history when she took home the team's first-ever medal in Women's Synchronized Platform Diving with a silver medal with Jessica Parratto! The Americans scored 78.72, earning marks from 8.0 to 8.5 for synchronization.

RELATED: Tucson's Delaney Schnell makes history for Team USA, takes Olympic silver in women's synchronized diving

Schnell began diving at 10 years old. Her favorite dive is a back 3 ½ tuck (207C) on 10-meter. When she isn’t training, she is involved with Southern Arizona Roadrunners, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging fitness and health in Tucson and Southern Arizona through running and walking, according to Team USA.

Follow Schnell on Facebook and Instagram.

Jade Carey, Gymnastics

Credit: AP
Jade Carey competes in the floor exercise during the women's U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials Friday, June 25, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Birthplace: Phoenix, AZ
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing

Carey became interested in gymnastics through her parent's gym, where she would spend ample time playing. She loves that gymnastics has allowed her to travel around the world and meet fantastic gymnasts, according to USA Gymnastics.

Carey will continue on to not just the team competition, but also the all-around final as a replacement for Simone Biles after she dropped out due to mental health issues.

Jade Carey won a gold medal in floor exercise on August 1. She finished with a 14.366.

Follow Carey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Phoenix gymnast Jade Carey brings home gold after stunning Tokyo Olympics floor performance

RELATED: Phoenix gymnast Jade Carey replacing Simone Biles in individual all-around final

RELATED: Who is Jade Carey? Everything you need to know about the Phoenix Olympian

MyKayla Skinner, Gymnastics

Credit: AP
MyKayla Skinner warms up before the start of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sunday, June 6, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Birthplace: Mesa, AZ
Hometown: Gilbert, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing

Skinner will step in to compete in the women's individual vault finals after Simone Biles pulled out citing mental health. 

RELATED: ‘It’s go time baby!’: Gilbert’s MyKayla Skinner replacing Simone Biles for Olympic vault finals

Skinner has three older sisters that participated in gymnastics. She admired them so much she signed up to participate in gymnastics, as well. She loves Taylor Swift and reading the Twilight book series, according to USA Gymnastics.

Skinner earned a silver medal after hitting both vaults in the August 1 competition in Tokyo.

RELATED: 'All dreams come true' Social media reacts to Arizona Olympian MyKayla Skinner's silver medal win

RELATED: Arizona native MyKayla Skinner 'heartbroken' after gymnastics Olympics run ends

RELATED: 2 Arizona gymnasts were victims of the Olympics' 2-per-country rule

Follow Skinner on Facebook and Instagram.

RELATED: Meet the six women gymnasts representing the US in Tokyo

Maceo Brown, Rugby

Credit: AP
Fiji's Vilimoni Botitu, center, is tackled by Maceo Brown of the United States during the semifinal match at the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament in Hong Kong, Sunday, April 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Birthplace: Tempe, AZ
Hometown: Tempe, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing

Brown started playing rugby at 16 years old; he also played football and basketball. He participated in Division II college football for two years at Grand Canyon University before he excelled in playing rugby, according to USA Rugby.

Follow Brown on Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Rules of the Game: Rugby

Brett Thompson, Rugby

Credit: AP
In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, Brett Thompson of the U.S. makes a break as Nanyak Dala of Canada closes for a tackle in the Pool C match during the first day of the Sevens World Series rugby tournaments in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Stephen Hindley)

Birthplace: Tempe, AZ
Hometown: Tempe, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing

Thompson grew up around rugby and began playing at 14. He also played Division I football at the University of Arizona. according to USA Rugby.

Follow Thompson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Alana Smith, Skateboarding

Credit: AP
U.S. Olympic skateboarding team members from left to right Alana Smith, Mariah Duran, Alexis Sablone, Bryce Wettstein, and Brighton Zeuner, with Zion Wright, right, wait to be introduced prior to a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, June 21, 2021. The first U.S. Olympic skateboarding team was introduced in Southern California today where the sport was invented roughly 70 years ago. Skateboarding is an Olympic sport for the first time in Tokyo, and the Americans are expected to be a strong team. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Birthplace: Mesa, AZ
Hometown: Mesa, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing

Smith earned a silver medal at 12-years-old at X Games Barcelona 2013 Women’s Park Contest, which made them the youngest medalist in X Game history. Smith, who identifies as non-binary, said they don't want to be known as a good female skateboarder, just a good skater, according to X Games and USA Skateboarding.

Smith, unfortunately, will not advance in the Olympics after coming in last during the women's skateboarding preliminary round after not being able to land four of their five best trick attempts.

Follow Smith on Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Meet America's 1st Olympic skateboarding team

RELATED: Ready or not, skateboarding takes its show to the Olympics

RELATED: Tokyo Olympics: Skateboarder from Mesa comes in last during preliminary round

Jagger Eaton, Skateboarding

Credit: AP
Jagger Eaton, of the United States, competes in the men's Park Final during an Olympic qualifying skateboard event at Lauridsen Skatepark, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Birthplace: Mesa, AZ
Hometown: Mesa, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished competing

Eaton's hobbies consist of snowboarding, off-roading, golf, wakeboarding and bowling, according to Team USA.

On July 24, Eaton won the bronze medal in the men's street skateboarding competition.

Follow Eaton on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Olympic medalist Jagger Eaton returns home after winning bronze

RELATED: Rules of the Game: Skateboarding

RELATED: Want to listen like an Olympian? Team USA skateboarder Jagger Eaton shares his performance music playlist

Julie Ertz, Soccer

Credit: AP
United States midfielder Julie Ertz (8) celebrates after scoring a goal during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup soccer match against Spain Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Harrison, N.J. The United States won 1-0. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

Birthplace: Mesa, AZ
Hometown: Mesa, AZ
Olympic Teams: 2016
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: 

RELATED: US advances to quarterfinals after 0-0 draw with Australia

Ertz admits that sports helped her grow and without them, she wouldn’t have been able to attend college because of how expensive it is. So she and her husband created the Ertz Family Foundation, a charity that creates opportunities for children in sports and education, according to USA Soccer.

Follow Ertz on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Tennis

Credit: AP
Bethanie Mattek-Sands, of the United States, against Carla Suárez Navarro, of Spain, during the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic tennis tournament in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Birthplace: Rochester, MN
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished

Sands began playing tennis at the tender age of 5 and her debut as a pro was at 14. Besides playing tennis, she enjoys outdoor activities, shopping, cooking, and relaxing by the pool, according to Team USA.

Follow Sands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Phoenix tennis Olympian Bethanie Mattek-Sands out of Games after upset loss in first round of mixed doubles

Aliphine Tuliamuk, Track and Field (Marathon)

Credit: AP
Dartmouth's Abbey D'Angostino, middle, leads Oregon's Jordan Hasay, right, and Wichita State's Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton on her way to winning the women's 5,000 meters during the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Friday, June 7, 2013. D'Angostino won, Hasay took second and Tuliamuk-Bolton finished fourth. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Birthplace: Tapach, Kenya
Hometown: Flagstaff, AZ
Olympic Teams: 2020
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished


Tuliamuk has 32 siblings. She became a U.S. citizen in 2016, according to Team USA.

Follow Tuliamuk on Instagram.

Will Claye, Track and Field (Long and Triple Jump)

Credit: AP
Will Claye, of the United States, competes in the men's triple jump final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Birthplace: Tucson, AZ
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Olympic Teams: 2012, 2016
Olympic Medals: 2 Silver, 1 Bronze
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished

Claye was the first Arizona high school athlete to triple jump more than 50 feet and set the Arizona triple jump record. He skipped his final semester of high school to enroll at Oklahoma early, according to Team USA.

Follow Claye on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can visit his personal website here.

RELATED: Mountain Pointe alum Will Claye chats with Snoop Dogg ahead of Tokyo Olympics

RELATED: Arizona native Will Claye jumping for gold: Here are the AZ Olympians competing in Tokyo and how to watch them live from Aug. 2-3

 

Athletes with ties to Arizona

Devin Booker, USA Men's Basketball

Credit: AP
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) directs teammates during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals in Milwaukee, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


Arizona Connection: Phoenix Suns Guard
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, MI
Hometown: Moss Point, MS
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Vs. Australia on August 6 @ 7:30 p.m. PT

Booker helped lead his team to become 2021 Western Conference champions. He also was a member of the USA Basketball 2018-20 Men's National Team and was named the 2020 NBA All-Star.

RELATED: Devin Booker second-highest scorer in Team USA Olympic win against Iran

Diana Taurasi, USA Women's Basketball

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (3) celebrates after making a basket while being fouled by the Chicago Sky in the fourth quarter in game three of the 2014 WNBA Finals at UIC Pavilion.

Arizona Connection: Phoenix Mercury Guard
Hometown: Chino, CA
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: on August 7 @ 6:30 p.m. PT

Taurasi is a three-time WNBA Champion (2014, 2009, 2007) and a four-time Olympic gold medalist (2016, 2012, 2008, 2004). She is one of only five athletes in history with four Olympic gold medals in basketball. No basketball athlete has five medals. 

Brittney Griner, USA Women's Basketball

Credit: AP
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner pauses on the court during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Phoenix. The Storm defeated the Mercury 82-70. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Connection: Phoenix Mercury Center
Hometown: Houston, TX
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: on August 7 @ 6:30 p.m. PT 

Griner helped lead the Phoenix Mercury to win the 2014 WNBA Champion. She was a member of Team USA’s 2016 gold medal team during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Griner is a two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2015, 2014), becoming the first player in Mercury franchise history to win the award.

Skylar Diggins-Smith, USA Women's Basketball

Credit: AP
FILE - In this July 28, 2018, file photo, Team Candace Parker's Skylar Diggins-Smith, center, goes to the basket past Team Delle Donne's A'ja Wilson (22) during the first half of the WNBA All-Star basketball game in Minneapolis. Diggins-Smith was excited to be back on the court and playing for USA Basketball after missing all of this past WNBA season because she gave birth to a son last spring. The Wings guard is part of the U.S. women’s national team that will play four exhibition games against college teams--starting with No. 3 Stanford on Saturday--before heading to Argentina to play in a FIBA tournament. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs, File)

Arizona Connection: Phoenix Mercury Guard
Hometown: South Bend, IN
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: August 7 @ 6:30 p.m. PT 

Diggins-Smith is a four-time WNBA All-Star (2018, 2017, 2015, 2014) and two-Time All-WNBA First Team member (2017, 2014). 

Danielle O'Toole, Mexico Softball

Credit: AP
Mexico's Danielle O'Toole pitches during a softball game against Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Arizona Connection: U of A
Birthplace: Fontana, CA
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished

O'Toole nicknamed Tooky was named Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2017.

Check out her full bio here.

Sashel Palacios, Mexico Softball

Credit: AP
Mexico's Sashel Palacios puts on a sombrero ahead of a softball game against Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Arizona Connection: ASU
Birthplace: Chula Vista, CA
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished

Palacios position is a catcher and her father Fanciso Palacios also was a catcher, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1992 by the MLB. 

Check out her full bio here.

Dallas Escobedo, Mexico Softball

Credit: AP
Mexico's Dallas Escobedo pitches during the first inning a softball game against Australia at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Arizona Connection: St Mary's High School and ASU
Birthplace: USA
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished

Escobedo was among the 10 finalists for the 2014 Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award by the Amatur Softball Association of America. She was named Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year.

Check out her full bio here.  

Chelsea Gonzalez, Mexico Softball

Credit: AP
Mexico's Chelsea Gonzales runs to first base after hitting a double during a softball game against Italy at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Arizona Connection: ASU
Birthplace: La Habra, CA
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished

Gonzalez played for the Cleveland Comets, a National Pro Fastpitch team in 2019. While attending ASU she was named to the All-Pac 12 Conference First Team in 2017.

Check out her full bio here

Giulia Koutsoyanopulos, Italy Softball

Credit: AP
Italy's Giulia Koutsoyanopulos takes a catch during the softball game between Italy and the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Fukushima, Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Arizona Connection: U of A
Birthplace: Mission Viejo, CA
Next Competition in Tokyo Olympics: Finished


Koutsoyanopulos enjoys going to the beach and playing tennis. Although she plays softball she wanted to play baseball like her older brothers. 

Check out her full bio here.


 

12 News on YouTube