San Jose State University alumni compete in Tokyo Olympics
San Jose State University. File photo.

Among the 11,000 athletes competing for medals in the Tokyo Olympics, several have ties to San Jose State University.

Ten residents — who are San Jose State University alumni — are representing nine different sports at the international competition, according to the city’s website. The athletes weren’t immediately available for comment.

Lawrence Fan, spokesperson for SJSU Athletics, said the department is proud to have alumni competing in the Games.

“It has been a delight for SJSU to follow its alumni in its most diverse representation in an Olympic Games in many years,” Fan said in a statement to San José Spotlight. “There are a diversity of sports and diversity of countries represented, and we are very proud that more SJSU women are competing in the Olympics.”

Robyn Stevens, a 2007 SJSU alumna, is competing for women’s track and field in race walking. Stevens retired from competition in 2004 while at SJSU because of an eating disorder, and did not compete again until 2014. She won first place in the 2020 Olympic trials for race walking.

Colton Brown, a 2015 SJSU alumnus, represents the U.S. in men’s judo. This marks Brown’s second time competing at the Games after the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“If someone told me then that I would eventually travel the world meeting incredible people and competing at the highest level of sport, I wouldn’t have believed them,” Brown said in a July 28 Instagram post.

SJSU water polo player Clara Espar Llaquet is competing for Spain. Espar Llaquet is the first player in school history to score at least one goal in every match in a season and was named most valuable player of the Spartans team in 2014. This is Espar Llaquet’s second time competing after the 2016 summer Olympics.

An Australian native and SJSU 2015 alumna, Michelle Cox represents Australia in softball. Cox was a four-year starter for the San Jose State softball team and was named on the Australian Olympic team in July.

A 2018 graduate of SJSU, Emma Entzminger is competing for Canada in softball. Entzminger played for the school for four years–starting in 191 of her 207 games played during that time–before joining the Canadian team.

SJSU alumna Suzy Brookshire Gonzales represents Mexico in softball. Gonzales played for SJSU in the 2019-20 school year, during which the Spartans had a 21-5 season and record 17-game winning streak.

A three-time fencing Olympian and four-time coach for the Olympics, Greg Massialas coaches Team USA’s fencing team. Massialas trained for several years at SJSU and participated in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. He became Team USA’s coach in 2011 and received its Olympic Coach of the Year award in 2020.

Seven San Jose State University alumni are participating in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Greg Massialas, Team USA’s fencing coach, is not pictured. Photo courtesy of SJSU.

Along with SJSU alumni, several other athletes from San Jose are competing.

Taylor Averill is competing for the U.S. in men’s volleyball. Averill attended Branham High School in 2010 and then played for the University of Hawaii. Averill also played professionally in France and Italy prior to joining his home country’s team.

Born and raised in San Jose, Keilani Ricketts is competing for Team USA in softball. Ricketts graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School in 2009. She attended the University of Oklahoma, where she was a two-time national champion and participated with the women’s national team in 2011 and 2012.

Eighteen-year-old Nikhil Kumar is a member of Team USA competing in table tennis. Kumar graduated this year from Valley Christian High School and placed first in the 2020 Olympic trials for table tennis.

Contact Stephanie Lam at [email protected] or follow @StephCLam on Twitter.

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