Tokyo Olympics

UConn Represents Several Nations at Tokyo Olympics

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Tokyo Olympics has begun and UConn athletes are representing several countries.

Athletes who competed during their college days in Connecticut are now representing six nations in sports from basketball to soccer to field hockey, according to UConn Today.

Team USA

UConn is well represented on Team USA, especially the women’s basketball team.  


Sue Bird, 40, of Syosset, N.Y, was one of the flag bearers for team USA, leading the team during the parade of nations during the Opening Ceremony.

Bird, a four-time WNBA champion, is making her fifth appearance at the Olympics.

USA Basketball star Sue Bird discusses being named a flag bearer for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics. She will share flag bearer duties with USA Baseball player Eddy Alvarez.

Diana Taurasi, 39, of Glendale, California, is a member of the Phoenix Mercury,

Bird and Taurasi were on Team USA when the team won gold in 2004 in Greece, 2008 in Beijing, 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

Tina Charles, 32, of Flushing, New York, is a member of the Washington Mystics. She is a 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medal winner.

Breanna Stewart, 26, Syracuse, New York, won Olympic gold in 2016.

Stewart, a member of the Seattle Storm, was one of five athletes to be named Sports Illustrated magazine's 2020 Sportsperson of the Year.

Napheesa Collier, 24, of Jefferson City, Missouri, is competing in her first Olympics. She is a member of the Minnesota Lynx.

Jennifer Rizzotti, the president of the Connecticut Sun, is an assistant coach.

The U.S. Women's Basketball Team’s first game is set for July 27 against Nigeria.

Before the torch ceremony in Tokyo, a Kabuki actor appeared in elaborate costume. Ayako Kiyono and Masa Hattori from InsideJapan explain the role that the theatrical form plays in Japanese culture.


Stefanie Dolson, 29, of Goshen, New York, is a member of the Chicago Sky, is making her Olympic debut in the 3×3 Olympic Tournament.

WNBA player Stefanie Dolson fact checks her Wikipedia to page ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Watch Team USA battle France live online here. 3x3 basketball will be featured in TV coverage on NBCSN (12 a.m. to 2 a.m. ET), USA (2 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. ET) and NBC (10:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. ET).

Katie Lou Samuelson had been selected for the 3X3 team, but had to withdraw due to COVID protocols.

Team Canada

Women’s Basketball

Aaliyah Edwards, a 19-year-old sophomore from Kingston, Ontario, is on the Canadian women's basketball team.

Kia Nurse, 25, of Hamilton, Ontario, a team member on Team Canada plays for the New York Liberty.

Canada will take on Serbia in the first round.


Stephanie Labbé, 34, of Stony Plain, Alberta in Canada, played at UConn from 2005 to 2008.

A goalkeeper, she competed in Rio in 2016 and was part of the team to win bronze.

The Tokyo Olympic Stadium’s 68,000 seats won’t be filled during the events this year, so its incredible views will only be appreciated by a limited group. That includes NBCLX storyteller Chase Cain, who got access to take you on a behind the scenes tour — from the floor where the athletes will compete to the nosebleed seats to even its spotless bathrooms.

Team France

Gabby Williams, 24, of Sparks, Nevada, holds dual citizenship in the United States and France, according to UConn Today. She is a member of the Los Angeles Sparks.

France takes on Japan in the first round.

Team Germany

Field Hockey

Cécile Sophie Pieper, 26 of Mannheim, Germany, earned a master’s degree in educational psychology at UConn, according to UConn Today.

Germany and Great Britain will be competing in the first round.


Niels Giffey, 30, of Berlin, Germany, played for UConn from 2010-2014 and, UConn Today reports, won NCAA championships with the team 2011 and 2014.

Germany and Italy will be competing.

Team Ireland

Roisin Upton, 27, of Limerick, Ireland, was a member of the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Championship squads with UConn, according to UConn Today. 

Ireland and South Africa will be competing.

Team Japan


Gavin Edwards, 33, of Gilbert, Arizona, played basketball at UConn from 2006 to 2010.

According to, he relocated to Japan in 2013 and in January 2020 was granted Japanese nationality and he made his international debut for the Japanese team at the 2021 Asian Cup Qualifiers.

Japan will take on Spain.


Amy Dixon, a 1989 UConn graduate who studied pharmacy and equine business management, is a native of Brookfield. Her biography says that in 2017, she became the first blind female athlete to compete in an XTERRA race.

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