Latter-day Saints in the Olympics, day 4: Swimming, soccer, basketball and shooting

Team USA’s Rhyan Elizabeth White came in fourth in the 100-meter backstroke finals on Tuesday, July 27, and the Brazilian soccer team, including defender Bruna Benites, is advancing from the preliminary pool play to the quarterfinals.  

Here’s how White and Benites, along with three other athletes with connections to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, did on the fourth day of the official Olympic competition in Tokyo. 

Read more of Church News’ coverage of athletes connected to the Church competing in the Olympics

Swimming  

Although she ended up without a medal, White, 21, was second after the turn in the 50-meter pool behind Canada’s Kylie Masse. Her time for the 100-meter backstroke was 58.43 seconds. 

The Utah native and University of Alabama swimmer was racing against record-breaking competition. The gold medalist, Australia’s Kaylle McKeown, set an Olympic record with 57.47 seconds, which was .02 seconds slower than the world record McKeown set in June. Masse won silver with 57.72 seconds. USA’s Regan Smith took bronze with a time of 58.05 seconds. She set the previous Olympic record of 57.86 seconds the day before.

White is scheduled to compete in the 200-meter backstroke qualifiers on Thursday, July 29.  

Swimmers start a heat of the men's 200-meter breaststroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Swimmers start a heat of the men’s 200-meter breaststroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Petr David Josek, Associated Press

The Dominican Republic’s Josue Domiguez Ramos swam in the 200-meter breaststroke qualifiers with a time of 2:17.34. The top 16 move on to the semifinals. Of the 40 contenders, the Brigham Young University swimmer and returned missionary placed 34 overall.  

Soccer  

Brazil's players, including Bruna Benites (13), pose for a team photo prior to a women's soccer match against Netherlands at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Miyagi, Japan.
Brazil’s players, including Bruna Benites (13), pose for a team photo prior to a women’s soccer match against Netherlands at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Miyagi, Japan. Credit: Andre Penner, Associated Press

With a 1-0 win over Zambia on Tuesday, July 27, the Brazilian soccer team, including defender Bruna Benites, moves on to the quarterfinals. The team was 2-0-1 in the preliminary group play and was second in the group, earning a spot in the eight-team knock-out tournament. The team plays the Canadian team on Friday, July 30. The winner will play the winner of the USA vs. Netherlands match in the semifinals on Monday, Aug. 2.  

Basketball  

Australia's Leilani Mitchell (5) drives past Belgium's Julie Allemand, right, during a women's basketball game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Saitama, Japan.
Australia’s Leilani Mitchell (5) drives past Belgium’s Julie Allemand, right, during a women’s basketball game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. Credit: Eric Gay, Associated Press

Australia, including guard Leilani Mitchell, lost 70-85 to the team from Belgium in the first game of the preliminary round Group C games on Tuesday, July 27. Mitchell, 36, who plays in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics and played for the University of Utah, played for 27 minutes and 15 seconds and scored two points.  

Australia faces the team from China on Friday, July 30. The basketball teams are divided into groups of four teams and play each team in their group. The top teams from each group advance to the final tournament for gold, silver and bronze medals.  

Pistol shooting  

In the 10-meter air pistol mixed team event, Alexis “Lexi” Lagan, with teammate Nicholaus Mowrer, placed 16th of the 20 teams who competed. The top eight teams moved to the next round.  

Lagan, 28, a University of Utah alumna, will also compete in the 25-meter pistol competition that starts on Thursday, July 29.  

Upcoming Wednesday

Events Wednesday, July 28, include volleyball matches for Team USA (1-1), including Taylor Sander, as they face Tunisia in the preliminary pool round. And on the sandy beach volleyball courts, Jake Gibb and teammate Tri Bourne, who are 1-0, are scheduled to play a team from Switzerland in the preliminary pool round.  

In the pool, Puerto Rico’s Jarod Arroyo is scheduled to swim in the 200-meter individual medley.  

On social  

Gymnast and Latter-day Saint MyKayla Skinner cheered on Team USA in the team competition Tuesday. Simone Biles withdrew after one rotation and the three remaining team members won silver.  

“I’m so so proud of our girls for fighting to the very end. Each one of them is gold in my eyes,” she tweeted. 

Skinner said about her Olympic journey on Instagram that while she would have loved to have competed with the team, “I still did some of my best gymnastics here as an Olympian and that’s something no one can take away from me.” 

Skinner competed as an individual and while her scores were high enough for the all-around and the vault competitions, she was knocked out as only two athletes per country were allowed and others from the USA were higher than her in the standings.   

“I’m grateful I could be an example to never give up and to chase your dreams no matter what. I am humbled by the experiences I’ve had and hope I can continue to be a light for others fighting their own battles.” 

Last week prior to the competitions starting, Skinner and Biles, both 24, shared a photo calling themselves the O.G. or “Olympic Grandmas,” as they are older than their teammates. 

Benites, 35, who is competing in her third Olympics, shared a photo with two of her teammates, calling them fellow “grandmas” of the Brazilian women’s soccer team.  

Mitchell shared a team photo of the Australian Opals in advance of the team’s game against Belgium. She is kneeling on the front row, third from the left. 

New Zealand’s Valerie Adams posted a photo with coach Dale Stevenson where she’s been practicing in Saga, Japan, before heading northeast to Tokyo. The shot put competitions are scheduled to start on Friday, July 30.  

Australia’s Nagmeldin “Peter” Bol, 27, shared a photo of various country flags along the street in Japan announcing his arrival at the Olympics. He races in the 800-meter qualifiers on Saturday, July 31.