UCCS students, alum headed to summer Olympic games in Rio

Once again, the University of Colorado will be represented at the Olympic Summer Games, this year in Rio.

UCCS and CU Boulder each have students, alumni, coaches and/or faculty taking part in the games, which start Aug. 5.

UCCS alumnus FrankThompson
UCCS alumnus Frank Thompson

UCCS boasts four athletes who identify as students or alumni competing for Team USA:

  • Adeline Gray, wresting, is a three-time World Champion (2012, 2014, 2015), the 2015 Pan American Games champion, and the 2014 and 2015 World Cup champion;
  • Jennifer Valente, undeclared major, cycling, was part of the five-member women’s team that made history for USA Cycling by winning the program’s first world title in team pursuit;
  • Will Brown, mechanical engineering, is competing in his first Olympics in shooting;
  • Frank Thompson (business, 2011), shooting, finished eighth in the 2012 Olympics in London.

UCCS alumni and staff will also be making the trip in supporting roles. Craig Elder, associate professor of Clinical Teaching Track, is the athletic trainer for the Paralympic Archery Team. Nuwanee Kirihennedige, a dietician with Peak Nutrition Clinic, part of the UCCS HealthCircle at the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences, will serve as dietician for the Paralympic Team. Alumna Meredith Price, who graduated last spring from the sports nutrition program, is a dietitian for the U.S. Olympic Team.

CU Boulder

CU Boulder boasts four alumni athletes headed to Rio: Two alumnae in track and field are representing the United States, one alumnus will represent Samoa and an alumna will compete for Bermuda.

For the U.S., Emma Coburn (marketing, 2013) will be running the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and Jenny Simpson (Economics, PolSci, 2009), qualified for the 1,500-meter run. Both women won their respective races at the U.S. Olympic Trials. (Read more)

This is Coburn’s second trip to the Olympics – having made the finals in the 2012 London Olympics. She was a three-time NCAA Champion and a six-time All American.

Simpson was a seven-time All-American and four-time NCAA Champion at CU. It’s her third trip to the Olympics, her second in the 1,500. She ran the steeplechase in 2008.

Coburn and Simpson are training under CU coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs.  Wetmore is heading to Rio and Burroughs will stay in Boulder to be on hand as the cross country team reports for fall camp.

In addition, CU Boulder alumnus Jeremy Dodson (arts and sciences, 2010) is representing Samoa at the 2016 Olympic Games in the 200-meter dash; and alumna Flora Duffy (sociology, 2013) is competing in the triathlon for Bermuda. She also competed in the 2008 and 2012 games.


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