Athletes from around the globe are getting ready to compete in the dream of a lifetime this Olympics, and among them are many Latter-day Saints.
Here’s a list of who to watch for at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Maka Unufe: Rugby, U.S.
This Olympics is a historic event for rugby players, as the game will finally be returning to the Olympics after almost a century of absence. The last time rugby was a part of the Olympics was in 1924. And competing this year is Latter-day Saint Maka Unufe, who lives in Provo, Utah. Unufe’s first international appearance came at the 2011 Pan American Games, when he helped his team bring home a bronze medal. He brought home another bronze in the 2015 Pan American Games and is the 11th most scoring player in the U.S.—a feat that earned him a spot on the USA rugby team.
Dustin Williams: Track and Field, U.S.
Image from the Deseret News.
Though not competing on the field, Dustin Williams is heading to the 2016 Games as the U.S. track and field team’s head athletic trainer. A returned missionary who served in England, Williams met his wife, Jillian Camarena, at the 2008 Olympic trials. She was a shot-putter who later went to the 2012 Olympics.
Jared Ward: Marathon, U.S.
Jared Ward, a 27-year-old returned missionary who served in Pennsylvania, will be competing as one of the three U.S. runners in the men’s marathon in the 2016 Olympics. Apart from being a full-time runner and a father of two, Ward is also an adjunct professor of statistics at BYU and uses his expertise in math to help perfect his running. Though Ward ran cross-country at Davis High and BYU, he didn’t run his first marathon until 2013.
Valerie Adams: Shot Put, New Zealand
Valerie Adams already has two gold medals in shot put, one from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and another from the 2012 London Olympics. She is also a four-time world champion and a three-time world indoor champion. But now Adams is back to add to her collection of medals as she competes with the New Zealand track and field team. Earlier this year she also celebrated her wedding in the Hamilton New Zealand Temple.
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