As the Tokyo Olympics get underway this week, fans who cheer on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will see plenty of familiar faces on the United States’ teams, including a pair of basketball legends and a group of talented fencers who will be looking for gold in Tokyo.
The United States’ women’s basketball team will feature several players who hail from the school, including Skylar Diggins-Smith. She helped lead the Irish to a 130-20 record, and helped the team to the Final Four on three occasions during her collegiate years.
Jewell Loyd also played at Notre Dame, averaging 17 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. She was the number one overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm, and has since gone on to a pair of WNBA titles and is a three-time All-Star in the league.
Notre Dame fans who appreciate the sport of fencing will find that the Fighting Irish are well-represented, as five different athletes hail from the school.
Sisters Courtney and Kelley Hurley will both represent the United States in the Epee and Team Epee events, marking the fourth time that they have done so. Nick Itkin, a sophomore at the school, is competing in the Foil and Team Foil events, as will Gerek Meinhardt, who will be making his fourth appearance in the Olympics this year after winning the bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Mariel Zagunis will compete in the Sabre and Team Sabre events at the Olympics. She is the most decorated fencer in U.S. history, competing in four prior Olympics and collecting two gold medals and two bronze medals. She won her first gold medal in 2004 at the age of 19, becoming the first US fencer to capture gold in a century.
Distance runner Yared Nuguse set a new NCAA record in the 1,500 meters during the 2021 track season, and was named a First-Team All-American.
Marathon runner Molly Seidel graduated from Notre Dame in 2016, and finished in second place during the Olympic Team Trials, securing her first-ever Olympic berth.
While she was in school, she collected three NCAA championships in three different distances, including the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000-meter races.