Hope Solo (2002 UW graduate)
The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will attempt to defend its 2012 gold medal this summer at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. A major part of the team’s success four years ago was the effort from veteran goalkeeper and Husky alumna, Hope Solo. Solo shut out opposing teams three times during the London Games and made numerous saves late in the gold medal match against Japan, as the United States held on to win 2-1.
This is the third time Solo has made the U.S. Olympic team, seeking the third gold medal of her decorated international career. Solo also played a crucial role for the Americans at the 2008 Beijing games, holding Brazil scoreless in the final match to give the United States a 1-0 extra time victory to take home gold.
The Richland native and two-time Olympic gold medalist played at the UW from 1999-2002. Solo dominated at the collegiate level for the Huskies, earning All-American honors three consecutive years and All-Pac-10 honors each of the four years of her career. During a standout season her sophomore year, Solo was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and would go on to graduate as the top goalkeeper in Pac-10 history. She remains the all-time UW leader in saves (325) to this day.
Solo will begin her 2016 Olympic campaign with the U.S. Women’s National Team on Wednesday against New Zealand in Group G. The match begins at 3 p.m. PST at Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Courtney Thompson (2006 UW graduate)
As one of the most successful players in UW volleyball history, setter Courtney Thompson will be remembered on Montlake for years to come. The 31-year-old Kent native is already a decorated Olympian, helping the United States win the silver medal at the 2012 London games.
Thompson was a three time All-American for the Huskies, playing at the UW from 2003-2006. The veteran setter holds the Pac-10 record for career assists at a staggering 6,531, and her 14.56 career assists per game stands as the best in NCAA history. Thompson became the first female athlete in school history to have her number retired, as her No. 3 remains the lone jersey hanging in the rafters of Alaska Airlines Arena.
The United States went 5-0 in pool play in 2012 and continued to coast past the Dominican Republic and South Korea all the way to a final match against Brazil with a gold medal on the line. The United States lost the final, three sets to one, and will seek revenge against Brazil this summer in Rio.
As the oldest player on a very young U.S. Olympic team, Thompson will play a huge role in Rio if the Americans want to earn their first Olympic gold. USA opens Pool B play with a match against Puerto Rico on Saturday.
Track and field — Decathlon
Jeremy Taiwo (2013 UW graduate)
Taiwo has already made history as both a Husky and an Olympian, becoming the first UW athlete to qualify for the Olympics in the decathlon. Taiwo’s 8,239 point personal record at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., was the eighth highest decathlon score in NCAA history, as he finished second in the nation that season. Taiwo became the first UW decathlete to win a conference title since 1986, claiming the Pac-12 championship title during his sophomore season at the UW.
The Renton native earned a second place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials in July, earning one of three decathlon spots on the Olympic team headed to Rio. Taiwo’s father, Joseph Taiwo, competed at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Games as a triple jumper for Nigeria. Taiwo hopes to carry on his family’s legacy at his first Olympic Games in Rio.
Men’s eight rowing
Rob Munn (2012 UW graduate)
Competing on a varsity level for three years at the UW, Rob Munn’s leadership during his collegiate rowing experience carried into his international career. As co-captain of the 2012 UW men’s team, Munn led the Huskies’ eight man boat to a Windermere Cup victory and a gold medal at the Pac-12 championships.
Munn’s dominant senior year concluded with being named the Pac-12 Men’s Rowing Athlete of the Year. The Redmond native was also dedicated in the classroom, earning First Team Pac-12 All-Academic honors in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
The 26-year-old UW alumnus hopes to add an Olympic medal to his already impressive list of international accomplishments. Most recently, Munn won the men’s eight at the 2016 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Switzerland. He also claimed bronze at both the 2015 and 2016 World Rowing Cup II in the men’s eight.
Sam Ojserkis (2012 UW graduate)
The coxswain for the U.S. Olympic men’s eight team will be UW alumnus Sam Ojserkis. Before becoming a part of the Americans’ Olympic efforts in Rio, Ojserkis rowed at the UW from 2010-2012 and made his case as one of the most successful men’s collegiate rowers during that time.
Ojserkis was named the 2012 Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year. Highlighting Ojserkis’ collegiate career was his performance at the 2012 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships, steering the men’s eight varsity boat to a gold medal and breaking the course record in the process. The Linwood, N.J., native also coxed his boat to the conference championship title in both 2011 and 2012.
Ojserkis won the men’s eight at the 2016 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta to gear up for competition in Rio. He began his successful international career by guiding the U.S. men’s eight boat to a gold medal at the 2012 U-23 World Championships in Lithuania.
Hans Struzyna (2011 UW graduate)
Hans Struzyna, a four-year varsity rower at the UW from 2008-2011, will be the veteran Husky on the U.S. Olympic men’s eight team. During his senior season, Struzyna helped the UW men’s eight boat to a national championship title at the IRA championships, as well as a Pac-10 championship gold medal. He was also a member of the 2010 Pac-10 champion Huskies’ team, which went undefeated in the regular season, and as a sophomore won the 2009 IRA championships in the varsity eight.
The Kirkland native will play a critical role for the U.S. Olympic rowing team in Rio, bringing seven years of international experience to the boat. Struzyna’s most recent international success came at the 2016 World Rowing Cup II, earning a bronze medal.
Sam Dommer (2014 UW graduate)
Sam Dommer was a member of four national champion boats during his career at the UW, capped with a gold medal at the 2014 IRA National Championships. Dommer also rowed to the Pac-12 Championship title that same season, earning a First Team All-Pac-12 selection. Dommer was equally as praised as a student at the UW, being named to both the 2013 and 2014 First Team Pac-12 All-Academic teams on his way to earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
Recently, Dommer earned bronze medals at the 2016 and 2015 World Rowing Cup II. Dommer also placed fourth this year in the pair at the National Selection Regatta in Chula Vista, Calif., alongside his former UW and current U.S. teammate, Struzyna.
Adrienne Martelli (2010 UW graduate)
Two of the four rowers representing the United States in the women’s quadruple sculls in Rio will be UW alumni. Adrienne Martelli, former captain of the UW women’s rowing team, will be making her second appearance in the Olympics at 28 years old. In the 2012 London games, Martelli earned a bronze medal in the quadruple sculls.
The University Place native has made a number of international appearances gearing up for the Rio games, her most recent being a gold medal finish in the four at the 2015 World Rowing Championships.
Martelli was a decorated collegiate rower, and was named to the 2009 First Team All-American. Martelli was also a member of the 2008 UW varsity four boat that claimed first place at the NCAA championships. She also earned Pac-10 All-Academic Team honors in both 2009 and 2010.
Megan Kalmoe (2006 UW graduate)
One of Martelli’s teammates in the quadruple sculls boat will be veteran Megan Kalmoe. As one of the most experienced current U.S. women’s rowers, Kalmoe will be competing in her third Olympics when she heads to Rio this summer. In the 2008 games, Kalmoe earned fifth place in the double sculls. She improved to a bronze medal finish at the 2012 Games in the quadruple sculls. Kalmoe also earned gold at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in the U.S. quadruple sculls boat.
The Minneapolis native rowed for the Huskies beginning in 2003. Her junior season in 2005 was capped off with a fourth place finish in the varsity eight at the Pac-10 championships.
Women’s eight rowing
Katelin Snyder (2009 UW graduate)
Two former UW rowers also earned spots on the U.S. women’s eight team. The boat’s coxswain in Rio will be 2009 UW graduate Katelin Snyder. Snyder coxed the UW varsity eight to two consecutive undefeated seasons in 2007 and 2008, earning the conference title at the Pac-10 championships both years. She also won gold at the 2007 IRA championships followed by a silver medal finish in 2008.
Snyder has added to her gold medal performances since beginning her international career, including top finishes at the 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2015 World Rowing Championships. The 28-year-old began her illustrious international career with a gold medal finish at the 2006 U-23 World Rowing Championships.
Kerry Simmonds (2011 UW graduate)
Making her first Olympic appearance alongside Snyder will be UW alumna Kerry Simmonds. The team captain of the 2011 UW women’s team was extremely successful in her collegiate rowing career. Simmonds helped the UW earn Windermere Cup victories three consecutive years, from 2009 to 2011. During her junior season, Simmonds traveled to Belarus with USRowing to earn a gold medal at the U-23 world championships.
The San Diego native earned gold in the women’s eight at both the 2013 and 2015 World Rowing Championships. In the finals of the 2013 World Rowing Cup III, Simmonds was a member of the U.S. women’s eight team that set a world record on its way to a gold medal finish.
Rob Gibson (2009 UW grad)
UW alumnus Rob Gibson will be making his third Olympics appearance this summer, rowing in the quadruple sculls for Canada. His Olympic career began in the 2008 Beijing games, where he was an alternate on the Canadian men’s eight team that won gold. Four years later in London, Gibson helped Canada row to a silver medal in the same event. He earned medals in the World Cup each of the past two years, bronze in 2014 and silver in 2015.
The highlight of Gibson’s UW rowing career came during his junior season, when the Huskies went undefeated in the men’s eight. The 2007-08 season concluded with victories at both the Pac-10 championships and the IRA championships. In 2006, Gibson was honored with the Rowing Canada Aviron International Achievement Award for his rowing efforts.
Will Crothers (2009 UW graduate)
One of Gibson’s teammates during Canada’s silver medal run at the 2012 Olympics was former Husky, Will Crothers. This summer in Rio will be the second Olympic appearance of Crothers’ career. He has continued his international success in the 2015 World Cup in Italy, as part of the Canadian four team that earned a bronze medal. Crothers also earned bronze the previous year at the same event.
Crothers helped the Huskies to two undefeated seasons in 2007 and 2008. Each season was capped off with victories at both the Pac-10 championships, as well as a gold-medal finish at the IRA championships in 2007. Crothers’ impressive junior season in Seattle led him to a spot on the 2008 All-Pac-10 First Team.
Conlin McCabe (2011 UW graduate)
Twenty-five-year-old Conlin McCabe will also be making his second Olympics appearance for Canada after earning a silver medal four years ago in London. He also won a bronze medal in the four at the World Cup in both 2014 and 2015.
While rowing at the UW, McCabe was a member of three NCAA championship varsity eight boats. McCabe played a huge role in his freshman eight team’s undefeated season in 2009 and also went undefeated in the varsity eight boat his junior season, highlighted by a victory at the Windermere Cup, defeating Stanford and Cambridge.
Lightweight quadruple sculls
Patricia Obee (2014 UW graduate)
Former UW rower Patricia Obee made her first Olympic appearance four years ago in London, finishing seventh in the lightweight double sculls. This year, Obee will be representing Canada in the lightweight quadruple sculls. Obee won a bronze medal at the 2014 World Cup in the double sculls, followed by a fifth place finish in 2015 and gold medal finish in 2016 in the same event.
As a junior at the UW in 2013, Obee took silver in the varsity eight at the Pac-12 championships. In that same season, the Victoria, British Columbia, native also rowed in the UW varsity eight boat to a first place finish at the Windermere Cup.
Team Chinese Taipei
Cheng-Tsung Pan (2015 UW graduate)
Golf will return to the Summer Olympics for the first time in over 100 years, and a distinguished alumnus will be representing Chinese Taipei in Rio. Cheng-Tsung Pan held the No. 1 Amateur Golfer ranking for eight weeks during the 2013 season, and was a four-time All-Pac-12 Team selection over the course of his collegiate career.
Pan’s 26 top-10 finishes during his tenure at the UW rank third in school history. Following his strong senior year, Pan was runner-up for the Hogan Award, which is given to the top-collegiate golfer in the country.
Now playing professionally, Pan is ranked No. 256 in the World Golf Rankings following his recent tie for second at the Web.com Peek N’ Peak tournament, and hopes to earn his PGA Tour card by the end of the 2016 season.
Pan is now ready to make his first appearance as an Olympian in Rio. The 24-year-old will be one of just two golfers representing Chinese Taipei at the Olympics this summer, and will begin competition Aug. 11. The 72-hole tournament will be played at the Olympic Golf Course in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, to determine this summer’s medalists.
Team Puerto Rico
Track and field — Pole vault
Diamara Planell Cruz (2016 UW graduate)
UW alumna Diamara Planell Cruz will be one of 42 athletes representing Puerto Rico in Rio. Planell Cruz will be making her Olympic debut, having just graduated from the UW in June. Her long list of accomplishments while competing for the Huskies include being named to the All-America First Team each of the past two seasons. She finished second in the pole vault at the Pac-12 championships in 2015, having won the conference title the previous season.
She also qualified for the NCAA indoor championships the past three seasons, finishing in ninth, fourth, and third place in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively. She holds the school record for indoor pole vault, as well as the Puerto Rican national record.
Reach reporter Cody Tyo at email@example.com. Twitter: @codytyo