30 Rio Olympic Hopefuls Hail From — or Have Ties to — North Carolina


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Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, site of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Courtesy of Marchello74/Shutterstock.com

The 2016 Olympic Games will officially kick off during opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, and be televised from 7:30 p.m. to midnight on NBC. The ceremony will highlight Brazil's festive and welcoming nature with spectacular music and dance performances. 

The arenas, designed to blend sport and culture in a spectacular show of artistry, will welcome more than a few athletes who have ties to North Carolina. This list of 2016 Olympic athletes who hail from or have connections to North Carolina was provided by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. We would like to wish all of them the best of luck as competition begins this weekend!

Swimming

  • Abby Johnson: This swimmer from Duke University won a silver medal on the synchronized team in 2012 but is competing solo in the three-meter springboard in 2016.
  • Cullen Jones: In the 2012 games, this North Carolina State University graduate won a gold medal in the the 4-by-100-meter relay and silver medals 50-meter free and 400-meter free relay. He will be competing in Rio for his fourth Olympic games.
  • Kathleen Baker: This swimmer from Winston-Salem who trains at SwimMAC in Charlotte will compete in the 100-meter backstroke in her first Olympic games.
  • Anthony Irvin: A swimmer out of Charlotte, Irvin won two medals in 2000 and competes in the 400-meter freestyle relay and 50-meter individual freestyle in Rio.
  • Jimmy Feigen: Also of Charlotte, Feigen will compete in the 400-meter relay in his second Olympics.
  • Camille Adams: This Charlotte swimmer will compete in her second Olympics in the 200-meter butterfly.
  • Kate Meili: Yet another Charlotte swimmer makes her Olympic debut in the 100-meter breaststroke. 
  • Ryan Held: This NCSU sophomore makes his Olympic debut on the 400-meter relay swim team.

Track and Field

  • Paul Chelimo: This UNC-Greensboro graduate will compete in the 5000-meter race in Rio.
  • LaShawn Merritt: This East Carolina University graduate is seeking his third gold medal in as many Olympics, and will compete in the 200- and 400-meter race.
  • Tavis Bailey: This Kernersville native will debut in the discus throw.
  • Sean Furey: Greenville born Furey will compete in the javelin in his second Olympic games.
  • Shannon Rowbury: This Duke graduate will compete in the 1500-meters in her third Olympics.
  • Shalane Flanagan: This UNC-CH graduate will run in her fourth straight Olympic marathon.
  • Greg Billington: This Wake Forest University graduate will compete in the men's triathlon.
  • Burkheart Ellis, Jr. This Raleigh born sprinter will compete in the 200 meter for Barbados.

Other Sports

Field Hockey: The U.S. field hockey team will feature eight players with North Carolina ties: Michelle Kasold, Lauren Crandall, Stefanie Fee, Jackie Briggs, Rachel Dawson, Katelyn Falgowski, Kelsey Kolojejchick and Caitlin Van Sickle.

  • U.S. Men's Basketball: This Olympic's team features Duke's Kyrie Irvin and UNC's Harrison Barnes. Duke Head Basketball Coach Mike Kryzewski will coach his third Olympics team.
  • Fencing: Watch for Duke graduate Ibtihaj Muhammad on sabre, individual and team.
  • 10-Meter Air Rifle: NCSU graduate Lucas Kozeniesky will compete in this event.
  • Gymnastics: Ashton Locklear, of Lumberton, is an alternate on the U.S. women's gymnastics team.
  • Canoe Slalom: Casey Eichfield of Mount Holly is attending his third Olympic games.
  • Kayak Slalom: Michael Smolen of Gastonia makes his Olympic debut in this event.

Keep up with schedules and results on NBCGood luck to all of our North Carolina athletes! 

 

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About this Blog

From the Editor

 
Beth Shugg, Editor of Carolina Parent

About This Blog

Beth Shugg is editor of Carolina Parent magazine and mom to two sons in college and a daughter in high school. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and will share insight and information here about life as a busy mom in the Triangle.

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Flaherty Park Community Center
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Flaherty Park Community Center
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Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
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Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
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Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
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Contact Name: Marti Kane
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

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Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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405 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Lake Crabtree County Park
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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Preschoolers (ages 3-5 accompanied by an adult) meet a real turtle and hike to see others.  Play turtle games and bring home a rock 'turtle' in a terrarium you design. Preregister online using...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Marti Kane
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7/nonmember. Free for members and ages 6 and younger.

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