10 Central Florida athletes to keep an eye on during the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes represent five different local counties

Volusia County’s Phil Dalhausser said there’s no way you can hold the Olympics this summer amid the spread of the coronavirus.
Volusia County’s Phil Dalhausser said there’s no way you can hold the Olympics this summer amid the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Olympic athletes train for years for the Games that only come around every four years. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, they got an extra year of training when the 2020 Games were postponed to 2021.

Ten Central Florida athletes will finally get their time to shine in Tokyo this summer as they compete in sports ranging from baseball, volleyball, to track and field and more. The Games kick off Friday, July 23.

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So, if you’re looking for a group of U.S. Olympic athletes to root for, look no further than this group that hails from cities in the Orlando area.

Perry Barker plays rugby for Team USA in the wing position. He was born in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and attended Spruce Creek High School as part of the Class of 2005. Barker’s hometown is Palm Coast, Florida. This will be Barker’s second Olympic appearance after competing in 2016 in Rio where he placed ninth. The first rugby match for the U.S. is on July 26 against Kenya.

Phil Dalhausser is a U.S. men’s beach volleyball player. He is from Ormond Beach, Florida and attended the University of Central Florida graduating with a degree in business in 2002. Dalhausser is no stranger to the Olympics as he won gold in the 2008 Games, tied for ninth in 2012 and tied for fifth in 2016. Men’s preliminary matches start on July 24.

Teahna Daniels of Orlando, Florida, is a member of Team USA Track and Field. Daniels was the 2016 NCAA champion in the 60 meter for the University of Texas at Austin. She’s also an American junior record holder in the 60 meter. Track and field events start on July 30.

Katelin Guregian hails from Orlando, Florida and is a rower for Team USA. She graduated from Winter Park High School in 2003. This will be Guregian’s second Olympic Games after competing in Rio in 2016. Rowing events get underway on the first day of the games on July 23.

Mark Kolozsvary is a catcher for Team USA Baseball. He is from Eustis, Florida and attends the University of Florida. The first game for the U.S. is on July 30 against Israel.

Noah Lyles of Clermont, Florida is a member of the USA Track and Field team. While this is Lyles’s first Olympic experience, he’s a gold medal winner in two world championship events, the 200 meter and the 4x100 meter relay. Track and field events start on July 30.

Caroline Marks will compete for Team USA in surfing. Marks hails from Melbourne Beach, Florida. This will be Marks’s first Olympics. Marks finished second in the 2019 WSL Olympic-qualifying season. The first round of surfing starts on July 25.

Alison Riske is from Orlando, Florida and will compete for Team USA Tennis. The first round of tennis matches start on July 24.

Mattie Rogers is a Team USA weightlifter and is from Orlando, Florida. She attends the University of Central Florida. This will be Rogers’s first Olympic Games. She was a silver medalist at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. Weightlifting events start on July 24.

Donald Scott competes for Team USA Track and Field in the triple jump and is from Apopka, Florida. Scott graduated from Apopka High School. He doesn’t have Olympic experience, but he placed sixth at the 2019 World Athletics Championship. Track and field events start on July 30.


About the Author:

Stacy is a Social Media Producer for ClickOrlando.com and has been with News 6 since 2018. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in advertising and a Masters in social media/mass communications.