ATLANTA — The state of Georgia has sent a robust delegation to the Olympics, and already some of our athletes are making their mark in Tokyo.
The Olympic Games began earlier this week before the Opening Ceremony formally ushered things in on Friday. By Saturday morning, they were really in full swing.
In that short time, Georgia has seen athletes who are either from here, live here or have gone to school here compete in sports as varied as swimming, gymnastics, soccer and weightlifting.
A couple of Georgia-connected athletes even had a moment in the spotlight as flag bearers during the Opening Ceremony.
If you're curious how the Peach State is performing, here's a rundown of highlights so far:
- The swimmers have made perhaps the biggest impact early on, as far as Georgia-connected athletes go. Six former UGA Bulldogs all advanced out of the heats stage in swimming events on Saturday, with a seventh athlete - an Emory grad - joining them in finals and semifinals on Saturday night. Chase Kalisz (UGA grad) and Jay Litherland (UGA grad) will compete in the men's 400m individual medley final, Hali Flickinger (UGA grad) will compete in the women's 400m individual medley final, Andrew Wilson (Emory grad) will be in the men's 100m breaststroke semifinal, and Olivia Smoliga, Allison Schmit (UGA grads), and Natalie Hinds (UGA postgrad) will compete together in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay final.
- UGA doesn't get all the shine - Georgia Tech was represented during the Opening Ceremony by swimmers Andrew Chetcuti, a graduate of the school who was a flag bearer for Malta, and first-year incoming swimmer Berke Saka, who was a flag bearer for Turkey.
- A native Georgian impressed in men's gymnastics, as well. Brody Malone, from Chattooga County, was the highest-scoring member of Team USA during qualifying and advanced to the men's individual all-around final.
- Georgia has also contributed to the U.S. women's soccer team through metro Atlanta natives and defenders Kelley O'Hara and Emily Sonnett, who made her Olympic debut Saturday and helped the Americans stifle New Zealand in a 6-1 blowout.
- Georgia's also on the board in basketball, where Washington County native Allisha Gray helped the U.S. women's 3x3 team beat No. 1 ranked France in their first game before leading the team with nine points in their second win, over Mongolia.
With so many athletes from the Peach State in Tokyo, the list of accolades will only keep growing.