Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas athletes look forward to upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics

Skyler Sharp
Senior Leo Neugebauer floats over the bar during the pole vault event of the decathlon on March 28, 2024. Neugebauer placed first in the pole vault with a height of 5.1 meters at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.

The countdown to the 2024 Olympics in Paris is officially under 100 days. Starting on July 26, Texas fans will be able to see some familiar faces grace the international stage. 

Senior German international athlete Leo Neugebauer will compete in the track decathlon while junior diver Hailey Hernandez looks to make her second Olympic appearance in the three-meter springboard diving event.

In his last collegiate year, Neugebauer won the NCAA indoor heptathlon title with a personal best, Texas and German national record, and Indoor National Field Athlete of the Year accolades. His record-breaking indoor season was one of many successful seasons throughout his career, and it’s a moment of his life that Neugebauer said he will miss.

“I feel like the time is flying by, this being my last season,” Neugebauer said. “I’m really appreciating and enjoying everything for the last ride.”

Neugebauer’s debut in the Olympics is a great feat that he said he looks forward to, as well as the community support that comes with it sent from Germany. 

“It’s always been a dream, and it feels really good because people really like you,” Neugebauer said. “You give your all for the country and they support you no matter what, and that’s just a great feeling every time.”

Neugebauer credits his experience competing in the World Championships and NCAA Championships as preparation for the upcoming Olympics. These events have helped him realize how to focus on his training and rely on it during competitions. 

“Knowing what’s coming and then being ready for the moment is all it is about,” Neugebauer said. “There’s a lot of pressure, and you learn how to deal with it, so it’s all a learning experience.”

Experience in all competitions helps to prepare for the Olympics, but Hernandez already has Olympic experience under her belt. Having competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Hernandez finished ninth in her three-meter springboard diving competition. 

Since then, she said her time at Texas has helped her grow and prepare to once again try to secure her spot at the Olympic trials.

“Matt (Scoggin), my coach, is incredible, and having an amazing team that’s surrounding me that’s able to push me … my confidence in my diving has grown a lot,” Hernandez said. “I know that I can do it if I just focus on myself and my training.”

Hernandez experienced the sensation of representing her country globally during the 2020 Olympics as a member of Team USA. She looks forward to welcoming crowds back into competition and having support from her family and friends, as well as gaining another opportunity to experience the Olympics in its truest form.

“It’s absolutely incredible. Every time I get to compete internationally for Team USA, I just feel so proud and honored,” Hernandez said. “It would mean so much to be able to continue that and hopefully be able to compete on the Olympic stage again for Team USA.” 

Hernandez and Neugebauer look to use the few months before the Olympics begin to continue their preparation and secure their places in the Paris Games.

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