The 2021 Tokyo Olympics are officially here. Starting today, the Tokyo Olympics will run until August 8, with preliminary games already underway. There are a projected 11,360 athletes scheduled to compete in over 41 different sports. Four of those — karate, skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing — are new, while softball and baseball are sports that have been added back into competition. Of the over 11-thousand athletes, 621 are representing the United States and not surprisingly, many of those on Team USA are of Latin descent. Many know of Simone Biles and her quest to add more gold to her collection. Simone has dual citizenship in America and Belize. With the games now underway, here are a few more Latinx Olympians competing for Team USA to keep your eye on as they compete for the gold.
Devin Booker (Basketball)
The Phoenix Suns basketball player may be nursing a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2021 NBA Championship Game, but his focus is now turning to the Team USA Basketball team. The NBA guard will hit the court for the gold medal on Sunday, July 25th, against France.
Richard Torrez, Jr. (Super Heavyweight Boxer)
Richard is a third-generation boxer. The Mexican-American Super Heavyweight Boxer is coached by his father, Richard Torrez, Sr, who himself competed in the 1984 Olympic Trials in Boxing. The Super Heavyweight boxers will compete on Saturday, July 24.
Ariel Torres (Karate)
Aerial is competing in the newly added sport of karate—specifically, modality kata. Born in Cuba, Torres represents Team USA and credits his parents for getting him into the sport but is sad they can’t be there in person to support him. He told People, “I would love to see them there. But when I get back, I make blogs. I make video blogs on my travel and my experiences. And I started [making videos] for my mom and for my dad. I did it in English so other people can see it.” You can see that blog on YouTube.
Torres will begin his Olympic competition on Wednesday, August 4.
Sarah Robles (Weightlifting)
This year’s event will be Robles’ third Olympics. Dubbed “The Strongest Woman in America,” Robles took home the Bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. That win broke a long dry spell for the United States. Not since 2000 had Americans won a medal in the sport of weightlifting. Sarah will compete on Friday, July 23.
Rachel Garcia (Softball)
Rachel Garcia will represent America as a pitcher and infielder on Team USA’s softball team. Among her many accomplishments, she was 2019’s USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Rachel pitches for UCLA and is on her way to team gold. The women have two wins already in Tokyo. Game 1 was a win against Italy with a score of 2-0, and Game 2 was against Canada. Mexico is up next on Friday, July 23.
Other notable Latino athletes are boxer Yarisel Ramirez, Swimmer Anita Alvarez, and wrestler Alejandro Sancho. To see all the American athletes competing, click here. Be sure to check your local listings for Olympic competition times. The Opening Ceremony for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games is Friday, July 23, starting at 6:55 am EST.