Latter-day Saints at the Olympics: 5 medals, plus several records in Tokyo

From the rugby pitch to the shot put circle and the gymnast’s vaulting table to the weightlifting platform, five athletes connected to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints won medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Aside from the medal counts, several athletes made history for their countries in weightlifting and track in an Olympics known for the yearlong pandemic-related delays and protocols. Here’s how these 15 athletes did at the Games.  

Japan's Kameli Raravou Latianara Soejima, right, is tackled by Fiji's Semi Radradra during their men's rugby sevens match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo.
Japan’s Kameli Raravou Latianara Soejima, right, is tackled by Fiji’s Semi Radradra during their men’s rugby sevens match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo. Credit: Shuji Kajiyama, Associated Press
MyKayla Skinner, of the United States, performs on the vault during the artistic gymnastics women’s apparatus final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
MyKayla Skinner, of the United States, performs on the vault during the artistic gymnastics women’s apparatus final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Ashley Landis, Associated Press
  • USA’s MyKayla Skinner, 24, won silver on the vault apparatus final in gymnastics. The Arizona native made the 2020 Olympic team as an individual. Although she qualified for the vault final, she was fourth behind two other Team USA athletes and out due to the two-per-country rule. She was back in the competition when a teammate withdrew from the vault final. She was an alternate in the 2016 Olympics and was a college champion at the University of Utah.   
Rhyan Elizabeth White, of the United States, swims in a heat of the women’s 200-meter backstroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Rhyan Elizabeth White, of the United States, swims in a heat of the women’s 200-meter backstroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Matthias Schrader, Associated Press
  • First-time Olympian Rhyan Elizabeth White, 21, helped Team USA earn a silver in the 4×100-meter medley. The Utah native who swims for the University of Alabama swam the backstroke leg in the preliminary heat. The four-person team took second in that heat and qualified Team USA for the final. A different group of four swimmers swam in the final, winning silver for the team. White also competed in the 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke events and came in fourth in the finals in both events. 
Valerie Adams, of New Zealand, competes during the finals of the women’s shot put at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo.
Valerie Adams, of New Zealand, competes during the finals of the women’s shot put at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo. Credit: Morry Gash, Associated Press
  • New Zealand’s Valerie Adams, 36, won shot put bronze — her fourth medal in the event over five Olympics. She won gold in 2008 and 2012 and silver in 2016. Since 2016, she’s had two children, who are 2 and 3 years old. As the competition wrapped up, she held the New Zealand flag high and showed a photo of the children as she celebrated her bronze-medal standing.  
Sarah Elizabeth Robles, of the United States, competes in the women’s over-87-kilogram weightlifting event at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Sarah Elizabeth Robles, of the United States, competes in the women’s over-87-kilogram weightlifting event at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Seth Wenig, Associated Press
  • USA’s Sarah Robles won bronze in over-87-kilogram weightlifting — the day after her 33rd birthday — and will go in the record books as the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic weightlifting medals. It’s her third Olympics and she won bronze in 2016 in Rio. She’s also the first American — woman or man — to win multiple Olympic weightlifting medals in 57 years, since 1964. During one of her lifts, the California native who lives in Houston, Texas, smiled and winked.  
Peter Bol, of Australia, competes in the final of the men’s 800 meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Tokyo.
Peter Bol, of Australia, competes in the final of the men’s 800 meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Tokyo. Credit: Matthias Schrader, Associated Press
  • Australia’s Peter Bol, 27, came in fourth the 800-meter race after holding the lead until being passed in the last 200 meters by the trio who ended up on the podium. While in Tokyo, he did set a couple of Australian records for the 800-meter race. In the semifinals, the South Sudan native broke the Australian record he set the day before. The new record is 1:44.11.   
Canada’s Deanne Rose, right, and Brazil’s Bruna Benites (13) battle for the ball during a women’s quarterfinal soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Rifu, Japan.
Canada’s Deanne Rose, right, and Brazil’s Bruna Benites (13) battle for the ball during a women’s quarterfinal soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Rifu, Japan. Credit: Andre Penner, Associated Press
  • The Brazilian women’s soccer team, including defender Bruna Benites, placed sixth overall of the 12 teams in the Olympics. They lost to Canada in the quarterfinals — a match that was determined by a penalty-kick shootout. Canada went on to the win gold and the medal match also ended in a shootout. Tokyo was the third Olympics for the 35-year-old professional soccer player and Brazilian native. The Brazilian women’s team was fourth in 2016 in Rio.   
Jordan Matyas, of the United States, tries to break through Japan’s Honoka Tsutsumi, left, and Japan’s Mifuyu Koide in their women’s rugby sevens match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Jordan Matyas, of the United States, tries to break through Japan’s Honoka Tsutsumi, left, and Japan’s Mifuyu Koide in their women’s rugby sevens match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Shuji Kajiyama, Associated Press
  • On the rugby paddock at Tokyo Stadium, Team USA was sixth overall in the rugby sevens tournament. Jordan Matyas, 28, a forward on Team USA, played for Brigham Young University before playing rugby professionally. Team USA was undefeated in the preliminary-pool round but lost to Great Britain in the quarterfinal knockout round. Matyas was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, raised in Canada and lives in California.  
Australia's Leilani Mitchell (5) during a women's basketball quarterfinal game against the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Saitama, Japan.
Australia’s Leilani Mitchell (5) during a women’s basketball quarterfinal game against the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. Credit: Eric Gay, Associated Press
  • On the basketball court, the Australian Opals, including guard Leilani Mitchell, placed eighth overall after losing to the United States in the quarterfinals. Toyko was Mitchell’s second Olympics. The 36-year-old Washington state native is a University of Utah alumna and plays for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. Her mother is Australian.   
Kuinini Juanita Mechteld Manumua, of Tonga, competes in the women’s over-87-kilogram weightlifting event at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Kuinini Juanita Mechteld Manumua, of Tonga, competes in the women’s over-87-kilogram weightlifting event at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Luca Bruno, Associated Press
  • Tonga’s Kuinini “Nini” Manumua, 20, also competed in the over-87-kilogram weightlifting class and was eighth of the 14 competitors. The first-time Olympian is the first woman to compete for Tonga in Olympic weightlifting. She was born in America Samoa and her family lived in her parents’ native Tonga before moving to San Francisco, California, when she was 10.   
Taylor Sander, of the United States, spikes the ball during a men’s volleyball preliminary-round pool B match against France, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Taylor Sander, of the United States, spikes the ball during a men’s volleyball preliminary-round pool B match against France, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Frank Augstein, Associated Press
Jake Gibb (1), of the United States, returns a shot against Germany during a men's beach volleyball match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Jake Gibb (1), of the United States, returns a shot against Germany during a men’s beach volleyball match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Felipe Dana, Associated Press
  • In beach volleyball, United States’ Jake Gibb, 46, and teammate Tri Bourne made it to the round-of-16 matches after the preliminary round, but lost to a duo from Germany, who advanced to the quarterfinals. Tokyo was Gibb’s fourth Olympic games. The Bountiful, Utah, native and University of Utah graduate who lives in California changed teammates days before the opening ceremonies when Taylor Crabb tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan.  
Alexis "Lexi" Lagan, of the United States, competes in the women's 25-meter pistol at the Asaka Shooting Range in the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Alexis “Lexi” Lagan, of the United States, competes in the women’s 25-meter pistol at the Asaka Shooting Range in the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Alex Brandon, Associated Press
Josue Dominguez competes for BYU. He earned the No. 2 fastest time in BYU history for the men's 200-yard breaststroke.
Josue Dominguez competes for BYU. He earned the No. 2 fastest time in BYU history for the men’s 200-yard breaststroke. Credit: Aislynn Edwards, BYU
  • First-time Olympian Josue Dominguez Ramos, 24, of the Dominican Republic, swam in the 50-meter breaststroke and the 200-meter breaststroke races. Overall, he placed 39th and 34th, respectively. A native of the Dominican Republic, he swims for Brigham Young University and is a returned missionary. 
Puerto Rico's Jarod Arroyo adjusts his cap and goggles as he prepares to compete in a heat of the men's swimming 400m individual medley at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.
Puerto Rico’s Jarod Arroyo adjusts his cap and goggles as he prepares to compete in a heat of the men’s swimming 400m individual medley at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Credit: Rebecca Blackwell, Associated Press

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