Athletes with East TN ties competing in Rio Summer Olympics - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Athletes with East TN ties competing in Rio Summer Olympics

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A number of Olympians with East Tennessee connections are competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The Rio Olympics run from August 5-21 and will be shown on Channel 3 and NBC's different channels.

READ MORE | Rio Olympics schedule highlights, daily events to watch

Here’s what you need to know about the Olympians with East Tennessee ties (in alphabetical order by last name):

Tavis Bailey

  • Sport: Track and field, discus throw
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Bailey transferred to the University of Tennessee from Lenoir-Rhyne University to focus on his throwing career. He threw at UT from 2012-2015.
  • Age: 24
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Bailey threw the discus 202 feet on his first throw at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., on July 8. The distance held up as the second longest of the day (the top three advanced to Rio de Janeiro).
  • Bailey’s personal record in the discuss throw is 211 feet and 7 inches, or 64.51 meters. German track athlete Jürgen Schult set the world record for the discuss throw at 74.08 meters in 1986, and Lithuanian discus thrower Virgilijus Alekna set the Olympic record in 2004 at 69.89 meters.
  • TV/Date: The qualifying round for the men’s discus throw is scheduled for Aug. 12 at 8:30 a.m.
  • The men’s discus throw finals are scheduled for Aug. 13. Coverage of the men’s discus throw runs from 8 a.m. to noon on the NBC Sports Network, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on NBC.
  • Fun fact: Bailey played on the Lenoir-Ryne football team for the 2010 season before transferring to Tennessee.
  • Twitter: @VoLThrower215

Brian Baker

  • Sport: Tennis, singles
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Baker was born and raised in Nashville. He graduated from Hillwood High School in 2003, and graduated from Belmont University with a business degree in 2015.
  • Age: 31
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Competed in the Australia and French opens in 2016, along with Wimbledon.
  • Baker made it to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2012.
  • He’s ranked the No. 384 player in the world as of July 18.
  • TV/Date:
  • Fun fact: Baker underwent 11 surgeries from 1999-2014, including operations on his knees, hips, back and right elbow.
  • Twitter: @bbakestennis

Tianna Bartoletta (formerly Tianna Madison)

  • Sport: Track and field, women’s 100-meter dash and long jump
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Bartoletta attended the University of Tennessee from 2004-2007. She ran track and field at Tennessee before turning pro in January 2006.
  • Age: 30
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Bartoletta qualified for Rio de Janeiro by finishing second with a time of 10.78 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. She also finished second in the long jump at the trials with a distance of 23 feet, 0.5 inch.
  • At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, she finished fourth in the 100-meter dash, and won gold with a world record-setting 4x100-meter at 40.82 seconds.
  • Bartoletta was a two-time NCAA long jump champion for the 2005 indoor and outdoor seasons.
  • TV/Date: NBC is scheduled to broadcast the semifinals and finals of the women’s 100-meter sprints on Aug. 13 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • NBC is scheduled to broadcast the women’s long jump finals on Aug. 17 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • Fun fact: Bartoletta finished third in her first career World Cup bobsledding competition on Nov. 9, 2012.
  • Twitter: @hensleytianna

Tamika Catchings

  • Sport: Women’s basketball
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Catchings played for the Tennessee Lady Volunteers from 1997-2001.
  • Age: 37
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Catchings entered the season as the WNBA’s active leader in points, rebounds, steals and free throws. She is a 10-time All-star, five-time Defensive Player of the Year, she’s won three Olympic Gold medals, one MVP and one WNBA championship.
  • Catchings spent her 15-year professional career with the Indiana Fever, and is in her final season as a player.
  • The U.S. women’s basketball team has won five consecutive Olympic gold medals, and has a 41-game winning streak in Olympic competition dating back to 1992.
  • Catchings is the oldest U.S. player ever in Olympic women's basketball.
  • TV/Date: The U.S. opens Olympic play against Senegal. The NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game on Aug. 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Fun fact: Catchings got married in February to Parnell Smith, who played basketball at the University of Buffalo.
  • Twitter: @Catchin24

Christian Coleman

  • Sport: Track and field, 4x100-meter relay
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Coleman is coming off of his sophomore season in 2016 as a track and field athlete at the University of Tennessee.
  • Age: 20
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Coleman clocked the third-fastest time in the men’s 100-meter dash in the semifinals at the 2016 U.S. Trials at 9.95 seconds. The Atlanta native also won the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championship in the 200 meters with a time of 20.55 seconds.
  • TV/Date: The men are scheduled to run round one of the 4x100-meter relay on Aug. 18 around 8:30 a.m. The men’s 4x100-meter relay final is scheduled for Aug. 19 around 7:10 p.m.
  • Fun fact: Coleman played football at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School in Fayetteville, Ga., where he was an all-state defensive back and wide receiver.
  • Twitter: @__coleman

Kali Davis-White

  • Sport: Track and field, women’s 200-meter dash
  • Country: Jamaica
  • East Tennessee ties: Davis-White runs track and field at the University of Tennessee. She enters her senior season in 2017.
  • Age: 21
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Davis-White won gold in the women’s 200 meters at the IX NACAC U23 Championships with a time of 22.66 seconds.
  • Davis-White came in third in the 200 meters in the Jamaican Trials with a time of 22.94 seconds.
  • TV/Date: NBC has coverage of the women’s 200-meter finals on Aug. 17 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • Fun fact: Davis-White competed in track and field at Florida State University in 2014 and 2015 before transferring to Tennessee.
  • Twitter: @kaliboo876

Casey Eichfeld

  • Sport: Canoe Kayak, single canoe (C1), doubles canoe (C2)
  • Discipline: Canoe slalom
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Eichfeld trains at East Tennessee State University.
  • Age: 26
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Eichfeld placed in 14th in the single canoe event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He also placed 11th in the doubles canoe event with Rick Powell during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
  • TV/Date: There are multiple canoe and kayak events scheduled from Aug. 7-11.
  • The men’s canoe semifinals and finals are scheduled for Aug. 9 at 12:30 p.m.
  • The men’s doubles canoe semifinals and finals are scheduled for Aug. 11 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Fun fact: 2016 marks the third time Eichfeld has participated on the U.S. Olympic team. Eichfeld represented the U.S. in the Olympics in 2008 and 2012.
  • Twitter: @kckanu

Justin Gatlin

  • Sport: Track and field, men’s 100-meter dash
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Gatlin ran track and field at the University of Tennessee in 2001 and 2002.
  • Age: 34
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Gatlin’s best time in the 100-meter dash is 9.74 seconds. The Brooklyn-born runner won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. He also won a silver medal (4x100-meter relay) and a bronze medal (200-meter dash) at the 2004 Olympics.
  • Gatlin won a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • Gatlin received a four-year ban from track and field in 2006 for testing positive for a banned substance. He also received a two-year ban for testing positive for a banned substance in 2001, but it was later reduced to one year.
  • TV/Date: Coverage of the men’s 100-meter final airs on NBC on Aug. 14 from 7 p.m. to midnight.
  • Gatlin will attempt to prevent Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt from becoming the first man to win three Olympic titles in the 100-meter dash.
  • Bolt is the world record holder in the 100-meter dash with a time of 9.58 seconds in 2009 Berlin World Championships.
  • Fun fact: Gatlin ran a wind-aided 9.45 seconds in a 100-meter dash on a Japanese game show. Gatlin received about $25,000 for running with the help of special powered fans to boost his speed, and for appearing on the program.
  • Twitter: @justingatlin

Robert Griswold

  • Sport: Paralympic swimming, 100-meter backstroke
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Griswold attends Carson-Newman University on an athletic scholarship for the school's swim team. He enters his sophomore season in 2016-2017.
  • Age: 19
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Griswold, who has cerebral palsy, won a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships in 2015.
  • The 19-year-old also won a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke at the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championship.
  • The Carson-Newman Eagle won the 100-meter backstroke with a U.S. record for his class with a time of 1:04.69. Griswold was only one second away from the world record set by Konstantin Lisenkov.
  • TV/Date: Griswold will compete in the men’s 100-meter backstroke at the Paralympic games on Sept. 11.
  • Fun fact: Griswold started swimming at age 6.
  • Twitter: @roberttgriswold

Molly Hannis

  • Sport: Swimming, 200-meter breaststroke
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Hannis swam at the University of Tennessee from 2012-2015. The Santa Rose, Calif., native placed second in the 200-meter breaststroke finals at the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials.
  • Age: 24
  • Stats/Accomplishments: The four-time All-American won two NCAA Championships in 2013 in the 200-medley relay and the 400-medley relay.
  • Hannis won 14 All-American certificates during her career at UT.
  • TV/Date: The women’s 200-meter breaststroke semifinals are scheduled for Aug. 10. NBC’s coverage airs from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • Fun fact: Rio de Janeiro marks her first Olympic games.

Martina Moravcikova

  • Sport: Swimming, 200-meter breaststroke
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • East Tennessee ties: Moravcikova swam at the University of Tennessee from 2007-2011.
  • Age: Moravcikova turns 28 on Aug. 13.
  • Stats/ Accomplishments: Moravcikova finished 26th in the women's 200-meter breaststroke at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • TV/Date: NBC will broadcast the women’s 200-meter breaststroke semifinals on Aug. 10 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • NBC will broadcast the women’s 200-meter breaststroke finals on Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to midnight.
  • Fun fact: Moravcikova works as a sales and customer service representative for the clothing company Jolyn.
  • Instagram: @mmsurfer

Stephen Mozia

  • Sport: Track and field, shot put
  • Country: Nigeria
  • East Tennessee ties: Mozia graduated from Cornell University before moving to Knoxville to train with John Newell and Tavis Bailey.
  • Age: Mozia turns 23 on Aug. 16.
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Mozia threw the shot put 21.76 meters (71 feet, 5 inches), which is the second longest distance ever in African history.
  • Mozia won two bronze medals at the 2016 African Championships in shot put and discus throw. He also won a bronze medal at the 2014 African Championships in the discuss throw.
  • TV/Date: NBC will air its coverage of the men’s shot put finals on Aug. 18 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • Fun fact: Mozia serves as a volunteer throws coach for the track and field team at Knoxville Catholic High School, according to his LinkedIn profile.
  • Twitter: @cu_moz

Kelsey Robinson

  • Sport: Indoor Volleyball
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Played at the University of Tennessee from 2010-2012 before transferring to the University of Nebraska for her senior year.
  • Age: 24
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Robinson was named the second best outside spiker for the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix.
  • Robinson was named an AVCA first-team All-American as a senior at Nebraska in 2013.
  • TV/Date: NBC’s will broadcast the women’s volleyball game between the U.S. and Puerto Rico on Aug. 6 from 4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • NBC will broadcast the women’s volleyball game between the U.S. and Netherlands on Aug. 8 from 2-3:45 p.m.
  • NBC will broadcast the women’s volleyball game between the U.S. and Serbia on Aug. 10 from 2-3:45 p.m.
  • Fun fact: Robinson majored in broadcast journalism in college. Kelsey will write guest articles from Rio for the website SportTechie.
  • Twitter: @krobin32

Sean Ryan

  • Sport: Swimming, 10-kilometer open water
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Ryan was born in Augusta,GA and raised in Chattanooga. He graduated from McCallie High School in 2010.
  • Age: Ryan turns 24 on Aug. 13.
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Ryan finished in fourth place in the 10-kilometer open-water race at the FINA World Championships on July 27, 2015.
  • He also finished fifth in the five-kilometer team event.
  • Won gold in 1500m free at the 2013 World University Games
  • TV/Date: The NBC Sports Network will broadcast the men’s open water 10-kilometer final on Aug. 16 from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Fun fact: Ryan started swimming to help manage his asthma.
  • Twitter: @seanryan92 

Michal Smolen

  • Sport: Canoe and kayaking (single kayak or K1)
  • Country: United States
  • East Tennessee ties: Smolen trains at East Tennessee State University.
  • Age: 22
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Smolen finished third at the 2015 World Championships in London, and will attempt to give the U.S. its first-ever Olympic medal in the men’s K1 event.
  • TV/Date: There are multiple events scheduled from Aug. 7-11 for canoe and kayaking.
  • The men’s kayak single semifinals and finals are scheduled for Aug. 10. NBC is scheduled to broadcast the men's whitewater gold medal final from 3:45-5 p.m.
  • Fun fact: Smolen became a U.S. citizen in 2016, and is from Krakow, Poland.
  • Twitter: @MichalSmolen

Kira Toussaint

  • Sport: Swimming, 100-meter backstroke
  • Country: Netherlands
  • East Tennessee ties: Toussaint transferred to the University of Tennessee from Florida Gulf Coast University. She competed for the Vols during the 2015-2016 season.
  • Age: 22
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Toussaint qualified for 2016 Summer Olympics when she won the 100-meter backstroke at the Eindhoven Swim Cup with a time of 1 minute, 0.25 seconds.
  • She was named an All-American in 2015 while still at Florida Gulf Coast.
  • TV/Date: NBC is scheduled to broadcast the women’s 100-meter backstroke semifinals on Aug. 7 from 7 p.m. to midnight.
  • NBC is scheduled to broadcast the women’s 100-meter backstroke finals on Aug. 8 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • Fun fact: Toussaint is set to become the first Tennessee women’s swimmer or diver to compete in the Olympics while still being an active member of the team.
  • Toussaint’s mother, Jolanda de Rover, represented the Netherlands and won the gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
  • Twitter: @kiratoussaint

Hannah Wilkinson

  • Sport: Women’s soccer
  • Country: New Zealand
  • East Tennessee ties: Wilkinson has played as a forward on the University of Tennessee women’s soccer team from 2012-2015. Wilkinson missed the entire 2015 season after she ruptured her left anterior cruciate ligament in an exhibition game against Clemson.
  • Age: 24
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Wilkinson was named first team All-SEC in 2012. She was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List prior to the start of her senior season in 2015. The Hermann Trophy is considered college soccer’s most prestigious individual award.
  • TV/Date: The NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game between New Zealand and the U.S. on Aug. 3 from 6-9 p.m.
  • The Soccer Specialty Channel will broadcast the game between New Zealand and Colombia on Aug. 6 from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • The Soccer Specialty Channel will also broadcast the game between New Zealand and France on Aug. 9 from 8-9 p.m.
  • Fun fact: Wilkinson plays the guitar and drums.
  • Twitter: @HannahWilkinso1

Rhian Wilkinson

  • Sport: Women’s soccer
  • Country: Canada
  • East Tennessee ties: Played at the University of Tennessee from 2000-2003.
  • Age: 34
  • Stats/Accomplishments: Wilkinson was an All-SEC selection at forward in all four seasons she played at Tennessee. She ranks third in UT program history with 28 career goals.
  • Wilkinson last played for Portland Thorns FC in the National Women’s Soccer league in 2015. As a member of the Canadian national team, she won an Olympic bronze medal at the London Summer Olympics in 2012.
  • TV/Date: The NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game between Canada and Australia on Aug. 3 from 2-4 p.m.
  • The Soccer Specialty Channel will broadcast the game between Canada and Zimbabwe on Aug. 6 from 2-4 p.m.
  • The NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game between Canada and Germany on Aug. 9 from 3-6 p.m.
  • Fun fact: Wilkinson plays both cello and trumpet. She’s played as a member of the Suzuki Strings Orchestra.
  • Twitter: @rhirhi8


Editor’s Note: WBIR, UT Athletics, TeamUSA.org and NBCOlympics.com helped contribute to this story.

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