Stanford was well represented with 39 athletes competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Among the contingent: 25 former, seven current and five incoming student-athletes, along with two former club sports competitors, in addition to five other delegates. Stanford's Olympians hailed from 10 countries and span 17 varsity sports. The Cardinal's 29 Team USA selections represented the most of any NCAA institution.
|Brickelle Bro '19
||Women's Swimming (Paralympian)
|Matt Fuerbringer '97
||Men's Volleyball (Coach)
||Women's Swimming (Coach)
|Akash Modi '17
||Men's Gymnastics (Alternate)
|Leroy Sims '01
||Track and Field (Team Physician)
Foluke Akinradewo '09 is a 6-foot-3 middle blocker playing in her second Olympics for the U.S., having won a silver in London. Akinradewo was born in Canada of Nigerian parents and grew up in Fresno and Plantation, Florida. She never played club volleyball as a youth, starring in volleyball, basketball, and track and field in high school. Her athletic ability is almost unparalleled. At Stanford, the human biology major was a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year, Honda Award winner and AVCA Player of the Year. She led the Cardinal to three NCAA finals while becoming a four-time AVCA All-American.
Men's Water Polo • Tony Azevedo • USA
How important is Tony Azevedo '04 to the U.S. team? His nickname is "The Savior." Azevedo is playing in his fifth Olympics – winning silver in 2008 -- and second as captain. Azevedo was born in Rio to a father who played on the Brazilian national team, and an American mother, and moved to Long Beach at one month old. At age 4, he severed his trachea and esophagus in a fall and his heart stopped for four minutes before doctors revived him. He majored in international relations at Stanford and won two NCAA titles while scoring 332 career goals, a school record that would stand until 2015.
Men's Water Polo • Bret Bonanni • USA
Bret Bonnani '16 is competing in his first Olympics after completing the most prolific scoring career in Stanford history. On Oct. 31, 2015, Bonanni scored six goals against Long Beach State to break Tony Azevedo's all-time career standard of 332, and finished with 360. Bonanni owns three of the highest-scoring seasons in school history, including a 97-goal 2013 campaign. Bonanni scored at least one goal in 51 consecutive games from 2013-15 and had multiple goals in 17 of his final 21 collegiate contests. Bonanni grew up in Huntington Beach before being named an All-American four times, with three first-team honors.
Men's Water Polo • Alex Bowen • USA
With Alex Bowen '15, the U.S. team includes the top three career scorers in Stanford history. Bowen is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound attacker who scored 253 goals at Stanford, behind only Bret Bonanni and Tony Azevedo. At Santana High in Santee, Bowen scored an incredible 547 goals to set a San Diego County record. Growing up, he was inspired by the late baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. At Stanford, he earned four first-team All-America honors and led the Cardinal to the 2014 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title. Still only 22, this is his first Olympic Games.
Men's Swimming • Geoffrey Cheah • Hong Kong
Geoffrey Cheah '13 will swim the 50-meter freestyle for Hong Kong. Cheah may be best known at Stanford for winning the 2010 dual against Cal. Stanford's 'B' team needed third in the final event – the 400-yard freestyle relay – to win the meet. On the anchor, Cheah pulled away from Cal in the final 50 to give Stanford the victory. Cheah holds 10 Hong Kong records, becoming the first to break 50 seconds in the 100-meter free. As a child, Cheah had asthma so severe he required a machine to help him breathe at night. He began swimming to alleviate his asthma.
Women's Diving • Kassidy Cook • USA
Kassidy Cook '17 completed a remarkable comeback to win the U.S. Trials in 3-meter springboard diving and qualify for her first Olympic team. Cook is a two-time All-American at Stanford and will be a junior after deferring a year to prepare for Rio. She missed a 2012 Olympic qualifying spot by 0.42 points in 3-meter synchronized and shortly after tore the labrum in her shoulder, triggering an injury cycle that knocked her out of competition for two years. Cook is a native of The Woodlands, Texas, and the fifth of six siblings whose first names all begin with 'K.'
Equestrian • Lucy Davis • USA
Lucy Davis '15 will compete in individual and team jumping events in Rio. Her grandfather was a jockey agent and her mother grew up around horses, which helped create her interest. Davis, a Los Angeles native now based in Germany, majored in architecture at Stanford while also riding professionally since her freshman year. She rode horses at the Red Barn every morning before classes. Davis began competing on her horse, Barron, in 2012 and broke on to the world stage with a victory at the 2013 Grand Prix in Lausanne. She calls Barron, named after Lucy's grandfather, a 'once-in-a-lifetime horse.'
Women's Swimming • Maya DiRado • USA
Maya DiRado '14 swims in the 200-meter backstroke, 200 individual medley, and her specialty, the 400 IM, in Rio. The Santa Rosa native and 21-time Stanford All-American is competing in her first Olympics, and last. DiRado, a management science and engineering graduate, will retire and begin a career as a business analyst. DiRado considered giving up swimming after graduation, but head coach Greg Meehan convinced her to give the Olympics a shot. DiRado won all three events at the Olympic Trials and now is considered a medal favorite. DiRado's parents met at Stanford and husband Rob Andrews swam for the Cardinal.
Women's Track & Field • Justine Fedronic • France
Justine Fedronic '13 runs the 800 meters for France. At Stanford, Fedronic was third at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships and anchored the Cardinal distance medley relay to second at the 2014 NCAA Indoors. The multicultural Fedronic was born in Germany to a French-Caribbean father and Hungarian mother and lived in France until age 6 when the family moved to Belmont, just up the Peninsula from Stanford. Fedronic, a French citizen living in Seattle, was selected for Rio by breaking the French Olympic standard of 2:00.00 at the American Track League event in Atlanta, and finishing second at the French championships.
Women's Water Polo • Makenzie Fischer • USA
Makenzie Fischer '20 is an incoming freshman from Laguna Beach playing in her first Olympics. Makenzie, 19, and sister Aria, 17, are among the youngest on the U.S. team, but Makenzie already has proven to be impactful, helping the U.S. to the 2015 world championship title in Russia. Though she can score, Fischer will take on a more defensive role in Rio to fully take advantage of her size and explosiveness. Fischer's father, Erich, was a two-time All-America at Stanford and is No. 7 on the school all-time goals list, with 197, and uncle, Martin, played goalie for the Cardinal.
Women's Rugby • Vix Folayan • USA
Vix Folayan '06 plays wing and flanker on the U.S. Sevens rugby team. This is women's rugby's Olympic debut and the first Olympic rugby at all since 1924. In high school in Kissimmee, Florida, Folayan played seven sports, including one season as a football running back. She found her calling at Stanford's Admit Weekend when she happened upon a women's rugby practice and was asked to join in, and loved the combination of speed and contact. She competed on the track team as a freshman and joined the rugby team as a junior, leading it to back-to-back national championships.
Men's Rowing • Austin Hack • USA
Austin Hack '14 competes in the men's eights at his first Olympics. Hack, from Old Lyme, Connecticut, was introduced to competitive rowing by Scott Belford, whom Hack describes as the most influential person in his sporting career. That led to a career at Stanford, where Hack was a two-time Pac-12 Rower of the Year. Hack embodied the scholar-athlete ideal, scoring 2,200 out of 2,400 on the SAT and earning first chair of the wind ensemble's percussion section. At Stanford, he earned the Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year while majoring in political science and minoring in modern languages.
Men's Water Polo • Ben Hallock • USA
Ben Hallock '20 is an incoming freshman from Studio City who is competing in his first Olympics. Hallock, 18, is the youngest member of the 13-player U.S. water polo team. Hallock listed his favorite quote as: "Age Is No Barrier. It's A Limitation You Put On Your Mind." Hallock loves the physicality of the sport, perhaps stemming from his father's football background. Hallock is not only regarded as the nation's top recruit, but Stanford coach John Vargas said of the 6-foot-6 Hallock: "Players like Ben come around once every 10 to 15 years.
Men's Diving • Kristian Ipsen • USA
Kristian Ipsen '15 dives in his second Olympic Games, this time in the 3-meter springboard. At the 2012 London Games, 19-year-old Ipsen and partner Troy Dumais captured bronze in the 3-meter synchronized event. Ipsen grew up in the East Bay town of Clayton and worked at his father's pizza parlor before coming to Stanford and winning three NCAA championships – becoming the first Stanford winner in 82 years. Ipsen, who also captured five Pac-12 titles, gave up the sport for six months in 2014, but now is back at his best. He won the U.S. Olympic Trials for his fourth U.S. championship.
Men's Gymnastics • David Jessen • Czech Republic
David Jessen '20 is an incoming freshman who will compete in the men's gymnastics all-around for the Czech Republic. Jessen, 19, is the son of 1988 Czechoslovakian Olympic gymnast Hana Ricna and an American gymnastics coach, Lorin Jessen. David was born in Brno, Czech Republic, and is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Czech Republic. Jessen spent five years with the U.S. junior national team before choosing to represent the Czech Republic at the 2015 World Championships. Jessen is based in South Florida and coached by Vasili Vinogradov, a former USSR national team gymnast.
Women's Basketball • Sebnem Kimyacioglu • Turkey
Former Cardinal sharpshooter Sebnem Kimyacioglu '05 plays basketball for Turkey. The daughter of Turkish immigrants, Kimyacioglu grew up near Stanford in Mountain View, starred at Pinewood School, and helped the Cardinal to four Pac-10 regular-season titles and a 118-18 record. She totaled 205 three-point baskets – the third-most in school history at the time of her graduation – and started 65 games as a 5-foot-11 wing. Kimyacioglu played three professional seasons in Turkey before retiring to earn a law degree. After three years away from the game, she returned to Turkish pro ball, won the Euroleague title and was named to her first Olympic team.
Women's Fencing • Vivian Kong • Hong Kong
Stanford fencer Vivian Kong Man-wei '17 is competing in the women's epee for Hong Kong. Heading into Rio, no fencer from Hong Kong had ever won an Olympic bout, but Kong was aiming to make history for the former British colony. Kong was a two-time Asian junior champion and won bronze in the World Cup Series in Italy in May. At Stanford, Kong is an international studies major and has gone 143-24, with two first-team All-America honors. In 2014, she became the second from Stanford to win an NCAA epee title, beating teammate Francesca Bassa in the final.
Synchronized Swimming • Mariya Koroleva • USA
Mariya Koroleva '12 competes in the women's duet. This is her second Olympics, but first with partner Anita Alvarez. They comprise the entire U.S. synchro team in Rio. Koroleva was born in Russia and moved to the U.S. at 9, settling in the East Bay, in Concord. Speaking no English, Koroleva had a hard time assimilating. Her parents, looking for an after-school activity to keep Mariya busy, found a flyer for a free synchronized swimming class. She gave it a try and has been hooked ever since. Koroleva won two collegiate team titles and a duet championship while at Stanford.
Women's Swimming • Katie Ledecky • USA
Katie Ledecky '20 is an incoming freshman and one of the most dominant athletes in the world. She holds three world records – in the 400-meter freestyle, 800 free, and 1,500 free. She will swim the 200, 400, and 800 free events in Rio. Making her Olympic debut in 2012 at 15, Ledecky won gold in the 800 free by four seconds and dominated the distance events over the next few years, becoming the first to win the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 free titles at a single world championship, in 2015. The feat became known as the "Ledecky Slam."
Women's Sailing • Marion Lepert • USA
Marion Lepert '17 competes in the RS:X women's windsurfing division. Lepert was born in France and grew up in Belmont, and attended Castilleja School in Palo Alto. She was introduced to windsurfing at age 8 by her father, Arnaud, in the Foster City Lagoon. By 11, she regularly windsurfed alongside veterans in the rough wind and currents near the Golden Gate Bridge. Lepert, a mechanical engineering major, competed on sailing team at Stanford before taking a year off to train for Rio. Her training consisted of mornings windsurfing on the San Francisco Bay and afternoons running on area trails.
Women's Rowing • Elle Logan • USA
Elle Logan '11 is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion who will row in her third Olympics, in the women's coxed eight. Her boat has won every major international race since 2006. Logan, from Boothbay Harbor, Maine, became fascinated with a visit to the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston while in seventh grade. Logan won 2008 gold as a last-minute selection while a Stanford undergraduate, and helped the Cardinal to its first NCAA crew title, in 2009, winning NCAA and Pac-10 titles in the eight. She was named Pac-12 Rower of the Century.
Women's Rowing • Grace Luczak • USA
Grace Luczak '11 is rowing in the women's pair with Felice Mueller. Luczak is a two-time world championships winner in the women's eight and was on the team broke the world record over 2,000 meters (5:54.16 in 2013). Luczak was introduced to rowing by her twin sister, Claire, in high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a volleyball star twice invited to the U.S. High Performance Camp, Grace tried rowing for conditioning and eventually dropped volleyball. Luczak, a human biology major, transferred from Michigan to Stanford as a sophomore and immediately helped the Cardinal capture the 2009 NCAA championship.
Women's Swimming • Simone Manuel • USA
Simone Manuel '18 will race in the women's 50- and 100-meter freestyle races, plus the 4x100 free relay. At 16, Manuel became the first U.S. junior to break 25 seconds in the 100m free and, in one collegiate season, established herself as the greatest sprinter in Stanford history, setting school records in the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard free and winning NCAA titles in the 50 and 100. Manuel set two American records at NCAA's -- 46.09 to win the 100 free in an unprecedented sweep by African Americans, and anchoring the 400 medley relay with a blazing 45.45 split.
Men's Fencing • Alex Massialas • USA
Alex Massialas '16 will complete in his second Olympics, in the foil and team foil competitions. Born and raised in San Francisco, Massialas was taught and continues to be coached by his father, Greg, a two-time Olympic fencer. At 18, Alex was the youngest member of the 2012 U.S. men's Olympic team and placed fourth in team foil and 13th individually. This year, he is ranked No. 1 in the world. The two-time NCAA foil champ is a mechanical engineering major at Stanford with one more year of eligibility. His mother, Chwan-Hui, is Taiwanese and Alex speaks a fluent Mandarin.
Women's Swimming • Andi Murez • Israel
Andi Murez '13 competes in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle for Israel. Murez is from Venice, California, and was a two-time NCAA relay champion at Stanford, majoring in human biology. Murez, who is Jewish, chose to compete internationally for Israel, though she has no direct descendants from there. In WWII, her grandfather escaped the Nazis by hiding in a closet and never saw his family again. A grandmother survived a German U-boat attack. Andi lived in Israel for a year before being able to compete internationally, and has since become the first Israeli woman to break 2:00 in the 200 free.
Women's Swimming • Lia Neal • USA
Lia Neal '17 is competing in her second Olympics, and is seeking her second consecutive medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay. Neal teamed with Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy and Allison Schmitt to earn bronze in 2012. She grew up in Brooklyn of parents of African American and Chinese descent, and speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. She was named after the second principle of Kwanzaa, self-determination (Kujichagulia), and shortened to Lia. Neal is a 19-time All-America at Stanford with six NCAA titles, all on relays. She is the second-fastest sprinter in Stanford history behind teammate and fellow Olympian Simone Manuel.
Women's Water Polo • Kiley Neushul • USA
Kiley Neushul '15 is a driver for the U.S. water polo team. She earned three national player of the year honors and helped Stanford to three NCAA titles -- two with her younger sister Jamie. Kiley was introduced to water polo at 7 by her mother, Cathy, a club coach, but hated it at first. Though not a great golfer, Kiley played two years in high school, continuing because her parents wanted her to know what failing at something felt like. She learned levelheadedness from the experience and says it was good preparation for the future.
Women's Soccer • Kelley O'Hara • USA
Kelley O'Hara '10 is an outside back on the U.S. team, with 81 international caps, and is seeking her second Olympic gold to join a 2015 World Cup trophy. O'Hara scored 57 goals and won the 2009 Hermann Trophy as the nation's top player. She also was NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year while leading Stanford to its first NCAA final. In 2008, her breakaway tying goal late against North Carolina signified Stanford's emergence among the nation's elite. O'Hara was a competitive triathlete growing up in Peachtree City, Georgia, and remains among the fittest athletes in any match she plays.
Women's Soccer • Christen Press • USA
Christen Press '11, who won a World Cup last year, makes her Olympics debut. Press is the greatest scorer in Stanford history, holding records for points (183), goals (71) and assists (41). During her career, Stanford went 67-0-1 when Press had a goal or an assist. Press won the 2010 Hermann Trophy while leading the nation in goals (26), and was the Pac-10's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Press never was invited to a U.S. camp at any age and gave up hope. In Sweden in 2012, the call finally came, and she's since scored 34 goals in 70 appearances.
Women's Soccer • Ali Riley • New Zealand
Ali Riley '10 is a Southern California native playing in her third Olympics. Riley, whose father is from New Zealand, has competed for the Football Ferns since age 19. She was a forward at Stanford until shifting to outside back as a junior and developed into one of the most valuable players on two College Cup teams. Riley created a prototype for the position still in place under coach Paul Ratcliffe by using her speed to attack up the wing and quickly retreat into defense. The two-time Oceania Player of the Year was the 2009 Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Women's Sailing • Helena Scutt • USA
Helena Scutt '14 and teammate Paris Henken are the first Americans to compete in the 49er FX, a division of high-performance sailboats making its Olympic debut. Born in England, Scutt moved to the Seattle area at age 2 and learned to sail at Lake Washington. She was named Stanford captain after her freshman year and was an All-America. At the 2013 world championships, Scutt broke her spine, two ribs and lacerated a kidney in a collision with another boat, but returned to action three months later. Scutt returns to Stanford this fall to begin work on a master's in mechanical engineering.
Women's Water Polo • Melissa Seidemann • USA
Melissa Seidemann '13 is playing in her second Olympics, following a gold-medal performance in 2012. Seidemann scored seven goals in London, the second-highest on the team. At Stanford, Seidemann majored in psychology and was known for bringing a stuffed duck with her everywhere she went. It was a gift from her sister and reminds her of her family. Seidemann earned four All-America honors, captured the NCAA championship in 2011, and won the Cutino Award as the nation's best player in 2013. She totaled 239 career goals at Stanford, which tied Lauren Silver for the most in history at that time.
Men's Volleyball • Erik Shoji • USA
Erik Shoji '12 is making his first Olympic appearance, but it won't be the last. Shoji has redefined the libero position with his defense, ability to read the game, and passing. Erik, a Honolulu native, is the brother of U.S. teammate Kawika Shoji and the son of Dave Shoji, entering his 42nd season as head women's coach at Hawaii. At Stanford, Shoji won an NCAA championship and was the first to be named AVCA first-team All-America all four years. One of his digs, a kick assist to Brad Lawson against UCSD, was No. 2 on SportCenter's Plays of the Day.
Men's Volleyball • Kawika Shoji • USA
Kawika Shoji '10 is playing in his first Olympics. At Stanford, he is remembered as the player most responsible for turning Stanford into a power. As a freshman, Shoji took over as starting setter on a team that went 3-25. By his senior year, the Cardinal won the NCAA championship before a huge home crowd. Shoji, a two-time first-team All-America, was named AVCA Player of the Year. Kawika, whose father Dave Shoji coached the Hawaii women's team to four NCAA titles, has played with his younger brother Erik at Stanford, in the pros in Berlin, and with the national team.
Women's Track & Field • Katerina Stefanidi • Greece
Katerina Stefanidi '12 is a pole vaulter who competes for Greece. A two-time NCAA champion at Stanford, Stefanidi is in the midst of a career year, winning the European outdoor title, earning bronze at the World Indoor Championships, and producing three first-places on the Golden League circuit. Her World Indoor medal was the first for a Stanford women's pole vaulter at a World Championships or Olympics. She may give Stanford its first Olympic track and field medal since pole vaulter Toby Stevenson in 2004. Stefanidi grew up in Greece and lives in Ohio, with her coach and husband, Mitchell Krier.
Women's Water Polo • Maggie Steffens • USA
Maggie Steffens '17 is competing in her second Olympics and seeks another gold medal. Steffens is a two-time FINA World Player of the Year and was the Olympic tournament MVP in London, where she joined sister Jessica on the team. Their father, Puerto Rican native Carlos, was an All-America at Cal and instrumental in their development. Maggie first joined the national team in 2010 and made an immediate impact, scoring the winner in the FINA World League Super Final, and now is the captain. At Stanford, she has won two NCAA titles and has one more year of eligibility remaining.
Women's Rowing • Chierika Ukogu • Nigeria
Chierika Ukogu '14 is the first woman rower to represent Nigeria at the Olympics, competing in the single sculls. "Coco" grew up in Philadelphia as the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. She was inspired by Hamadou Djibo Issaka, a Nigerian who learned to row months before the London Games and finished last in the men's single sculls. Ukogu, a more experienced rower, felt a calling to continue Issaka's legacy. At Stanford, the human biology major rowed on the novice and second varsity eight boats and was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic second team. She will next attend medical school.
Women's Golf • Albane Valenzuela • Switzerland
Incoming freshman Albane Valenzuela '20 is one of three amateurs to qualify for the Olympic women's golf tournament. She clinched a spot by making the cut at the U.S. Women's Open in San Martin, California. Born in New York, Valenzuela moved to Mexico City at a young age and took up golf at age 3. Her father Alberto, is Mexican and played at UCLA, and her mother, Diane, is French. The family moved to Switzerland in 2003. Albane speaks four languages. After Rio, Valenzuela will compete in her third major of 2016, the Evian Championship, which extended a sponsor invitation.
Women's Beach Volleyball • Kerri Walsh Jennings • USA
The most recognizable volleyball player on the planet is Kerri Walsh Jennings '00. A three-time Olympic beach gold medalist with Misty May-Treanor, Walsh Jennings is seeking to win her first gold with new partner April Ross. Now 38 and a mother of three, Walsh Jennings is competing in her fifth Olympics, including as a member of the 2000 U.S. indoor team. Kerri Walsh starred at San Jose's Archbishop Mitty High School before helping Stanford to four Pac-10 titles, three final fours and two NCAA championships. She was the second player in collegiate history to win four first-team All-America honors.