Tokyo 2020 News: Seven Team USA Athletes Announced - By Elizabeth Jeneault
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Seven Team USA Athletes Announced

By Elizabeth Jeneault for The J-Pop Exchange

We now know the names of some of the first United States athletes who have qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo!

While most of the qualifiers in the major sports like swimming and gymnastics won’t be determined until a couple of weeks before the 2020 Games, some athletes in lesser-watched sports qualify earlier. So, here’s a look at the first seven members of Team USA!

Sport Climbing

Sport Climbing is one of the five new sports that have been added to the 2020 Games. The first U.S. athlete to qualify in the event is Brooke Raboutou. Raboutou qualified after reaching the combined final at the recent world championships in Hachioji, Japan.

Raboutou is a native of Boulder, Colordo and will be a sophomore this year at the University of San Diego. Climbing runs in her family, as her parents also competed in the sport.


Swimming is a popular sport to watch and three U.S. athletes have already qualified to compete. While some of the most well-known swimmers like Katie Ledecky won’t have their chance to qualify until next summer, some of the open water swimmers already have.

Haley Anderson, Ashley Twichell, and Jordan Wilimovsky are all headed to the 2020 Games. They qualified in July, making them the first three Americans to qualify for the Summer Olympics.

This will be Anderson’s third Olympics. Anderson was the first American to win an Olympic medal in open water swimming! The California native won silver in the 10 kilometers in 2016.

Unlike Anderson, this is Twichell’s first Olympics. Twichell was born in Mt. Kisco, New York. Over the years, she has won multiple medals at world championships.

Wilimovsky was born and raised in Malibu, California and has been passionate about swimming since he was young. In fact, Team USA says Wilimovsky started swimming seriously at age nine when he was denied admission to a summer camp because he couldn’t swim the 100-yard freestyle in just under two minutes. This will be his second Olympics. He finished 5th in the 2016 race where Anderson claimed silver.


While shorter than the well-known Ironman Triathlon, Olympic triathlons are still grueling! There’s also a mixed team event that’s new for 2020, giving athletes the opportunity to earn yet another medal.

Summer Rappaport from Colorado has already qualified. Rappaport finished eighth overall at the recent Tokyo ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event.

Modern Pentathlon

Two Americans have qualified for this sport, Samantha Achterberg and Amro ElGeziry.

ElGeziry is headed to his fourth Olympic Games, but it’s ElGeziry’s first for the U.S. He previously competed for his native country of Egypt. He is a U.S. Army sergeant and lives in Colorado. He became a U.S. citizen in 2017.

Achterberg is the other American to qualify in the complex event, which combines fencing, swimming, equestrian, shooting, and running. Achterberg is another Colorado resident. She’s an athlete at heart, having participated in five sports while in high school.

The Team USA roster will eventually consist of more than 500 athletes! Make sure to keep checking our website for more Tokyo 2020 news!

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