The University of Nebraska–Lincoln will have eight athletes representing four countries at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The group includes a pair of current Nebraska student-athletes as well as six former Huskers.
Four Huskers will represent the United States in Tokyo. Jordan Larson, Kelsey Robinson and Justine Wong-Orantes make up one-quarter of the USA women’s volleyball team, while former Husker runner Amber (Parkinson) Neben is a member of the road cycling team.
Four-time All-American Sarah Pavan will compete in beach volleyball for her home country of Canada, while former Husker track star Mate Koroknai will represent Hungary in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. Beatriz Padron, an incoming freshman, will compete in the 200-meter freestyle for Costa Rica as the country’s lone female swimmer in Tokyo. Keisei Tominaga, an incoming sophomore guard for the Nebraska men’s basketball team, will represent the host country Japan in 3-on-3 basketball.
Neben, Larson, Pavan and Robinson are all repeat Olympians, while Padron, Tominaga and Wong-Orantes are first-time Olympians. Neben and Larson are both competing in their third Olympics, while Pavan and Robinson are making their second Olympic appearances. Additionally, former Husker Taylor Edwards was named an alternate for the United States softball team while incoming freshman gymnast Emma Spence was an alternate for Team Canada.
Several Huskers have strong shots at earning medals in Tokyo. The United States women’s volleyball team won its third straight FIVB Volleyball Nations League title last month and is the No. 1-ranked team in the world. The Americans have medaled in each of the past three Olympics but have never won a gold medal in women’s volleyball. On the beach, Pavan and her teammate Melissa Humana-Paredes were the 2019 world champions and are No. 1 in the FIVB Olympic Ranking for women’s beach volleyball.
Fans can follow the progress of the Huskers in Tokyo here.
Huskers at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
- Jordan Larson (Women’s Volleyball, July 24-Aug. 8)
- Kelsey Robinson (Women’s Volleyball, July 24-Aug. 8)
- Justine Wong-Orantes (Women’s Volleyball, July 24-Aug. 8)
- Amber (Parkinson) Neben (Women’s Road Cycling, July 24)
Sarah Pavan (Women’s Beach Volleyball, July 23-Aug. 6)
Beatriz Padron (Women’s Swimming: 200-Meter Freestyle, July 26-28)
Mate Koroknai (Men’s 400-Meter Hurdles, July 29-Aug. 2)
Keisei Tominaga (3x3 Men’s Basketball, July 24-28)
Noting Nebraska’s 2020 Tokyo Olympians
- The 2020 Tokyo Olympics mark the 10th consecutive Summer Olympics with at least eight Husker Olympians.
- At 46 years old, Amber Neben is the oldest Husker to ever compete in the Olympics.
- At 18 years old, Beatriz Padron is the fifth-youngest Husker to compete in the Olympics and the youngest since Helene Muller swam for South Africa in the 1996 Olympics.
- Jordan Larson and Kelsey Robinson are the only Huskers competing in Tokyo who have previously won an Olympic medal. Larson and Robinson were both on the Team USA volleyball team that won a Bronze Medal in 2016, while Larson was on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team that won a Silver Medal.
- Along with teammate Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson, Jordan Larson is looking to become the first United States female indoor volleyball player to be a three-time Olympic medalist.
- Jordan Larson is also looking to become just the sixth Husker to be a three-time Olympic medalist, while her teammate Kelsey Robinson is seeking to become the ninth Husker to be a two-time medalist.
- Beatriz Padron and Keisei Tominaga are the first Huskers to participate in the Olympics while still enrolled at Nebraska since Robin Mackin pitched for Canada in the 2008 Olympics prior to her junior season.
- Beatriz Padron is the first Husker to compete for Costa Rica in the Olympics, while Keisei Tominaga is the first Husker to represent Japan at the Olympics. Huskers have now represented a total of 32 countries at the Olympics.
Noting Nebraska’s Olympic History
- A total of 111 Huskers have been Olympians (not including three alternates), combining for spots in a total of 165 Olympic Games, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At the Summer Olympics, 109 Huskers have combined for 161 appearances.
- Huskers have combined to win 50 Olympic medals, including 12 Gold Medals, 13 Silver Medals and 25 Bronze Medals. At the Summer Olympics, Huskers have won 47 medals, including 11 Gold Medals, 11 Silver Medals and 25 Bronze Medals.
- At least one Husker has competed in 17 consecutive Summer Olympics, dating back to 1956.
- At least one Husker has won a medal in 11 consecutive Summer Olympics, dating back to 1976.