Eight former student-athletes from The Summit League's current membership are set to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in the coming weeks, setting a record for the largest representation by the league at an Olympic Games. The previous mark of seven was established in London at the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Summit League also has three athletes competing for the United States, which is also a record for number of league athletes on the American squad in a single year.
That trio is made up entirely of track and field stand outs. South Dakota's Chris Nilsen (2015-19) and North Dakota State's Payton Otterdahl (2014-19) are both first-time Olympians while Kansas City's Courtney Frerichs (2011-13) returns to the Games after making her debut in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Nilsen, Otterdahl and Frerichs were all multiple-time Summit League Champions during their collegiate careers and each won at least one NCAA Championship as a collegian.
Nilsen won the pole vault at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June to qualify for Tokyo, while Otterdahl took third in the shot put and Frerichs punched her second ticket to the Olympic Games thanks to a runner-up finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
In total, Summit League athletes will be representing six different countries. Former Oral Roberts student-athlete Ana Camila Pirelli (2008-12), The Summit League all-time record holder in the heptathlon, is competing for Paraguay.
Fellow Golden Eagle alum Obi Emegano (2011-16) is suiting up for the Nigerian men's basketball team.
Emegano will be joined on the Olympic hardwood by former Omaha standout Mike Rostampour (2013-15), who will play for Iran after helping that country clinch a spot in the tournament at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Former Maverick sprinter Maja Mihalinec Zidar (2008-13) returns to the Olympic Games for the second time and will compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.
Rounding out the eight former Summit League student-athletes is Antoine Rozner, a Kansas City alum (2012-13), who will tee it up for France as part of that country's four-man golf squad.
Opening Ceremonies for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo is set to air live on NBC-(WGEM-TV) on Friday morning at 7:55 a.m. CT and will re-air during primetime at 8:30 p.m. ET also on NBC-(WGEM-TV).
( Summit League Release )