Mormon Athletes Take on The Rio Olympics

Rick Willoughby is licensed under CC BY-2.0

Meet the 2016 LDS Olympians.

Mormons have a reason to be proud with the commencement of the 2016 Rio Olympics. A good number of practicing Mormons are participating in the games this year. Catholics have already been pleased by the performance of athletes from their communities.

Here are seven Mormon athletes representing the U.S.A. in the Olympics.

1. Maka Unufe

This year's Olympics is seeing the return of the Rugby event after close to a century of it being removed. U.S.A. Rugby team player Maka Unufe from Utah has represented the U.S. at the historic return of this event. Unufe is renowned as standing on the 11th place in a list of U.S.A.'s most scoring players.

2. Taylor Sandler

Sandler began his career in U.S. National Team in 2014 for the World Championship Qualifier. Having being named as the American Volley Ball Coaches Association's National Player in 2014, he is known as the best server in the National Team. His popularity as an amazing server led the team to make him their “starter.”

3. Sami Hill

Hawaii-born Sami Hill has carved a name for herself as being a player who rarely settles for anything but first place. Serving as the goalkeeper for the Water Polo team of U.S.A., her saves for the team are something of a legend.

4. Russel Holmes

U.S. Volleyball legend Russel Holmes had previously served as the lead blocker in the 2012 Olympics. A proud father of two daughters, Holmes is famous for securing the 2014 FIVB World League Cup and 2015 FIVB World Cup for his team.

5. Jared Ward

27-year old Marathon runner Jared Ward is an adjunct professor of Statistics at BYU and a returned missionary. One of the three male U.S. runners this year, Ward says that he uses his skills at math to improve his performance while running.

6. Sarah Robles

Having secured seventh place in the 2012 Olympics, Sarah Robles is back this year representing the U.S. in the weightlifting category. This year, she will be a participant in the 75-plus kilogram category.

7. MyKayla Skinner

19-year old team-gold and individual-bronze winner at the World Championship in 2014 at China, Skinner has been chosen to act as an alternate for the gymnastic team of U.S.A.

Notable LDS member participants representing other countries at the Games are Lucía Palermo for Argentina, Jason Smyth for Ireland, Jackson Payne for Canada, Leilani Mitchell for Australia, and Lydia Casey Jele for Botswana.

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