Meet the Texas women looking to bring home the gold in Tokyo Olympics

At least 15 female athletes from Texas are competing this year

Cat Osterman, Simone Biles and Simone Manuel
Cat Osterman, Simone Biles and Simone Manuel (Associated Press)

Editor’s note: Find live medal counts, a schedule of events and how to watch the Tokyo Olympics here.

It’s been an uncertain stretch for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but one thing is for sure — Texas women are ready to take home the gold.

This year, 15 women from all over Texas have qualified for Team USA. (See the schedule of events for the 2021 Olympics here.)

In San Antonio, a pair of sisters are looking to fence their way into an Olympic medal. Kelley and Courtney Hurley are competing this year with the U.S fencing team.

Kelley is a three-time Olympian and she even won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics for team competition with Courtney. Courtney is a two-time Olympian who competed in 2012 and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Courtney Hurley (R) of the United State teammate Kelley Hurley (L) celebrate winning the Bronze Medal Match 31-30 against Russia during the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Down the road in New Braunfels, softball pitcher Cat Osterman will make Olympic history by being the oldest person to compete for Team USA at 38. Osterman first competed in the Olympics in 2004, winning gold with the softball team.

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2019, file photo, pitcher Cat Osterman smiles as she answers a question during a news conference to announce the USA Softball 2020 Women's Olympic Team in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

One of the most well-known women to watch for this year is Houston-area native, Simone Biles. Biles won four gold and one bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics competing for the women’s gymnastics team.

This year, Biles secured her spot once again as part of the four-person gymnastic team.

Simone Biles competes on the vault during the women's U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials Sunday, June 27, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Biles isn’t the only Simone making history. Simone Manuel, another Houston-area native, won gold in the 2016 Olympics, making her the first African American woman to win an individual gold medal in swimming.

While Manuel was hoping to break the record for the 100-meter freestyle this year, she did not place in the U.S Olympic swimming trials. She was diagnosed with overtraining syndrome but in a comeback victory, she won the 50-meter freestyle and secured her spot in Tokyo.

Defending Olympic champion Simone Manuel, 24.

WNBA athlete and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist, Brittney Griner also joins the list of Houston natives hoping to win an award. This is Griner’s second year playing for the Women’s 5x5 basketball team. Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury and is a two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.

United States center Brittney Griner high fives teammates after a play during the second half of a women's basketball game against Senegal at the Youth Center at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. The United States defeated Senegal 121-56. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

Dallas native Sha’Carri Richardson was set to run in the 100-meter race for the track and field team this year. However, Richardson tested positive for marijuana last week and was suspended for 30 days, according to regulations set by the U.S Anti-Doping Agency. On Tuesday, it was announced that she will not be participating in the team relay.

The full list of Texans in the 2021 Olympics are listed below:

To see all members of Team USA, visit its website here.


About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.