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8 athletes with ties to USF set to compete in Tokyo Olympics

From coaches to former athletes, the Bulls will be well represented at the Olympics.
Credit: AP
An Olympic flag flies over the top of the bleachers at Ariake Tennis Center, Monday, July 19, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

TAMPA, Fla. — Eight athletes with ties to the University of South Florida will compete on sports' biggest stage in Tokyo beginning July 23.

The group headed to the Olympics will compete in a myriad of events from sailing to soccer in pursuit of gold medals. 

Here's a look at the current and former USF Bulls competing in Tokyo: 

Paige Riley will represent the United States for the third year in sailing, according to the university. Over the years, Riley has won five medals at World Championships and three medals at the Pan American Games. 

She graduated from USF St. Pete in 2010. 

On the coaching side of things, the university's softball coach Ken Eriksen will look to lead Team USA to victory once again. The team has taken home three gold medals while competing in the Olympics, one of which Eriksen was an assistant coach for. 

Heading over to the track, USF volunteer assistant Shadae Lawrence will look to medal in discus after placing 22nd during the 2016 games in Rio. 

A majority of athletes with ties to the university though can be found competing on the soccer field — and not together. USF says four former members will compete for their home countries of New Zealand, Chile, Great Britain and Canada.

You can learn more about each athlete's journey here.

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