Qualifying for the Olympics does not guarantee a spot on a team. For the 11 BYU affiliates who have met qualifying standards, the process of possibly becoming an Olympian has just begun. In most cases, the athletes won’t know if they made the team until about two weeks before the Olympics begin.
Athletes aren’t the only people who are selected to represent their countries in the Olympic Games; athletic trainers must qualify and apply before they are selected for a spot on an Olympic medical staff team — a behind-the-scenes position that cares for athletes and their bodies day and night during the Olympics.
When the cross country season finishes this November, most of the runners will begin training for track and field, but not Conner Mantz. He is going to start his marathon training to prepare for the Olympic trials.
The Cougars have made a mark in the Olympics since BYU's first Olympian competed in 1912. More than a century later, BYU-affiliated athletes — including students, coaches and professors — have participated in dozens of Olympic events and collectively earned 34 medals.
Seven current BYU athletes, three former students and an adjunct professor are qualified for Olympic trials where they will compete to represent the U.S., Zimbabwe and the Dominican Republic in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. Meet BYU’s Olympic trial qualifiers.
The 2024 Olympics will feature four new sports on its program — rock climbing, break dancing, surfing and skateboarding. Though an appearance from Tony Hawk or Alex Honnold may be a little far fetched, there is a realistic possibility that BYU could feature more athletes participating in the events both on campus and in the Olympics.
Three of the four players from Hawaii, Kana’i Akana and Wil Stanley of the men’s team and Kiani Moea’i of the women’s team, all graduated from the same school in Honolulu, Punahou School. Though just a small part of the BYU volley program, the three players have already made an impact.
While all athletes were impacted by the cancellation of the spring season, BYU seniors, who were anticipating 2020 to be the final year of their college career, are now faced with the decision to either stay for an unforeseen fifth year or begin the next chapter in life.