By Marquis Cooley | Sports editor
Baylor University was represented at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 with six former Bears participating in multiple events for three different countries. Wil London and KC Lightfoot made their Olympic debuts, joining returning Olympians Brittney Griner and Trayvon Bromell to compete for the USA team. Ekpe Udoh made his Olympic debut for the Nigerian men’s basketball team while John Peers returned to the Olympics to represent Australia in men’s tennis. But no matter what country they represent at the Olympics, Peers said deep down they’re still Baylor Bears.
âNo matter how far away you are or how long you are part of the family, you are still a Baylor Bear for life,â Peers said in an interview with Baylor Bear Insider. “This is probably the most important thing people don’t understand about the Baylor community.”
London was in the pool for the mixed 4x400m relay, and although they ultimately did not make the event, the team won bronze. Bromell was widely favored to win both of his events, but ultimately did not make the final after placing third in a men’s 100m semi-final. Bromell then moved on to the men’s 4x100m relay and placed sixth in his heat after a disappointing performance.
Lightfoot, who decided to go pro last season on the track to focus on training for the Olympics saw his hard work pay off as he finished tied for fourth in the men’s pole vault. Brittney Griner helped the U.S. women’s basketball team continue to dominate the Olympics after accumulating 30 points in her gold medal match against Japan, which saw her claim a 90- 75, as well as his seventh consecutive Olympic gold medal in this event. After asking for barbecue sauce to go with her 30 pieces, Griner explained why it’s so important for her to show up and give her everything in these times and for these games.
âWe could easily not show up to some chosen and chosen (camps, tournaments),â Griner said. âBut all the women who came before me who are here now, every time the USAB calls, we are there. We spend time and effort on it. We have mothers on this team; that’s a lot they leave at home. But we always prioritize American basketball.
After shocking the world with their exhibition victory over Team USA, Udoh and the Nigerian basketball team were unable to keep up the momentum at the Olympics, losing all three games. of the group stage. The peers competed in both the men’s and mixed doubles for Australia, winning a bronze medal in the latter with teammate Ashleigh Barty.
While not all Baylor athletes won gold at this year’s Olympics, they have proven themselves to be some of the best athletes in the world. Baylor track head coach Michael Ford says that’s what’s really important.
âIt’s one of the things we are talking about is making our student-athletes reach the highest level, and the highest level is the Olympics and the world championships,â said Ford. . âSo when we have athletes like KC Lightfoot, Trayvon Bromell, Wil London, just on our recent to make the Olympic team, it’s a huge honor because they represent the United States but they also represent the Baylor University. “