Six Longhorns to watch at the 2016 Summer Olympics


Photo Credit: Lillian Michel | Daily Texan Staff

The 2016 Summer Olympics are approaching quickly. 

The games begin in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 6, where 20 current and former Longhorns — along with five Texas coaches ­— are set to compete for a gold medal in 10 different sports. 

With so many athletes and sports to watch, here are some Longhorns to keep an eye on.

  • Rachael Adams 
  • Volleyball (Indoor)

Adams played middle blocker for the Longhorns from 2008-11. In 2011, she led the NCAA in hitting percentage at .443. She was voted as first Team All-American, by both Volleyball Magazine and AVCA and was a two-time first team All-Big 12 honoree. She will attempt to win her first gold medal for Team USA in Rio. 

  • Morolake Akinosun 
  • Track and Field

Akinosun will compete for Team USA at the women’s 4x100­-meter relay. She recently ran a personal-best at the Olympic trials, clocking in at 10.95 seconds on 100-meter — good enough for fourth place. She was also one of only two women to score in four events at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for two years in a row. On the international stage, Akinosun brought in the gold at the 4x100-meter relay event at 2015 Pan American Games. The Illinois native will get the chance to earn another gold in Rio. 

  • Jack Conger 
  • Swimming

As a rising junior, Conger is heading to Rio for the men’s 4x200­-meter freestyle relay. He racked up accomplishments this past year, winning NCAA titles in the 400-meter medley relay, 200-meter freestyle relay and the 800-meter freestyle relay. He is an 11-time All-American and a 12-time Big 12 Champion. He also ranks No. 7 all-time in the 200-yard freestyle. 

  • Ryan Crouser 
  • Track and Field

Crouser is an eight-time Big 12 and four-time NCAA shot put champion. He was named Indoor Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association last Thursday. In July, he came in first at the Olympic trials with a personal best throw of 22.11 meters. Crouser won’t be the first from his family to compete at the Olympics. His father Mitch Crouser was an alternate for Team USA at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

  • Kevin Durant  
  • Basketball 

Durant made headlines this summer for his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join the Golden State Warriors. But now he’s shifting gears for his second-straight Olympic appearance. Durant led Team USA with 19.9 points per game on his way to a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. He will be a focal point again for Team USA in Rio. 

  • Courtney Okolo  
  • Track and Field 

As a senior in 2016, Okolo broke a collegiate record in the 400-meters, becoming the first to clock in below 50 seconds at the LSU Gold Invitational. The Texas native was a three-time NCAA Champion in the outdoor 400-meters and 4x400 meter relay. Okolo also stood out at the 2013 Pan American Games, placing first in the 400m and 4x400m-relay. She is currently a finalist for the Bowerman Award, one of the top awards for collegiate track and field athletes.