Texas women find their way to podium at Tokyo Olympic Games

Kaitlyn Harmon, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the August 2 flipbook.

Longhorn nation is well represented at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games with 27 University of Texas athletes and two coaches competing on the world’s biggest stage. Three female Longhorns already have their medals in tow, but some are still in search of the gold.

Valarie Allman, Texas’ track and field volunteer assistant coach, secured the USA’s first medal in track and field Monday after a monstrous 68.98 meter throw in the discus. Allman rushed over to Zeb Sion, Texas track and field assistant coach, after she earned the gold medal, and the two embraced in a joyous hug. Allman, a graduate of Stanford in 2017, began her track and field career during her freshman year of high school. Eleven years later, she’s not only attending her first Olympic Games as a Cardinal and a Longhorn, but also as an Olympic gold medalist.

“OLYMPIC CHAMPION. DREAM. COME. TRUE,” Allman took to Instagram to say.

Eleven Longhorns are still in the hunt for their dream-come-true podium finish, starting with long jumpers Tara Davis and Chantel Malone on Tuesday.

Malone, a competitor for the British Virgin Islands, graduated from Texas in 2011. Ten years later, she’s going head to head against Texas’ NCAA record holder, Davis, in the women’s long jump finals. Unlike Davis, Malone also competed in the 200-meter and 400-meter sprints during her collegiate career.

Davis and Malone will compete back-to-back in competition order, with Malone jumping first. Going into Tuesday’s gold competition, Malone’s personal best is 7.08 meters, while Davis’ personal best is 7.14 meters. Yet, only one woman can take the gold.

“The feeling I think I will have competing at my very first Olympics, I think it’s going to be the highlight of my life,” Davis said in an NCAA Championships YouTube video. “Bringing back the gold medal from the Olympics is going to be the biggest dream that I feel like any athlete has ever dreamed of, and I will do everything in my power to do that.

Texas athletes aren’t just making an impact on the track, however.

While USA Olympic pitcher Cat Osterman and team fell to Japan in the gold match, Osterman collected her third overall medal and second silver medal of her Olympic career. As a Texas freshman, Osterman earned her first Olympic medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games when USA Softball placed first on the podium. Four years later, Osterman was back on the podium, this time medaling silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Julia Grosso, rising senior soccer player at Texas, is representing Texas all the way to the gold medal match on Thursday, Aug. 5, when the Canadian Women Soccer National Team takes on Sweden in the quest for gold. Grosso made her Canadian Olympic debut when she was named to the starting nine line-up against Chile on July 24.

“It’s genuinely a dream come true for me,” Grosso said in an interview with Canada Soccer. “It’s been really cool to watch this team play ever since I was 5 years old, and to watch every Olympics and World Cup that they’ve been in is honestly a dream come true for me to now be a part of.”

Davis, Malone and Grosso have a chance to achieve their ultimate goal in the final event of their respective sports just as Allman did. Regardless of the outcome, however, all are connected by the fact they are representing the University of Texas across the globe.