2021 | Sports

Montgomery County athletes to watch for at the Tokyo Olympics

Three swimmers, one wrestler and a triple jumper will compete; a gymnast will be an alternate

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Editor’s note: After running a list of local Olympians on Team USA last week, we have updated it to include triple jumper Thea LaFond of Silver Spring, who is competing for Team Dominica.

In a year defined by canceled plans, isolation and adaptation, athletes and sport enthusiasts of the world will come together Friday to watch the opening ceremony of the long-awaited Tokyo Olympics.

At the games, Montgomery County will be well represented, with five athletes competing and one on stand-by as a gymnastics alternate.

Superstar Olympians Katie Ledecky, a swimmer, and Helen Maroulis, a wrestler, return to the world stage on Friday for Team USA.

Team Dominica triple jumper Thea LaFond hopes for an Olympic redemption.

Three rookies — swimmers Phoebe Bacon and Andrew Wilson and gymnast Kayla DiCello, who is an alternate — will experience their first Olympics.

The opening ceremony will take place Friday at 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The live broadcast on NBC will start at 6:55 a.m.

It will be re-broadcast at 7:30 p.m. EST Friday night on NBC, then again at 12:35 a.m. on Saturday.

Tokyo is 13 hours of Eastern Standard Time.

How to watch the games

All of the action will be on NBC station for primetime coverage. NBC is the official Olympic broadcaster in the U.S.

The Olympic Channel, CNBC, NBC Sports Channel, USA, the Golf Channel, and Telemundo will also feature Olympic coverage.

Aside from cable TV, there are other ways to tune in. Viewers can stream the games on NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app, and the streaming service Peacock.

Swimming: Ledecky, Bacon, Wilson

Olympic swimming events will start on July 24 and end on Aug 4.

Three swimmers from Montgomery County are on Team USA — three-time Olympian Katie Ledecky and rookies Phoebe Bacon and Andrew Wilson.

Ledecky, 24, a five-time Olympic gold medalist from Bethesda, has dominated women’s competitive swimming since she was a teen. At Tokyo, she will compete in the 200-meter, 400-meter-, 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle races. She will also be part of the 4×200-meter relay event.

This year’s Olympics will be the first time the 1,500-meter freestyle event will be offered to women swimmers. During swimming trials, Ledecky dominated the 1,500-meter race and cruised to first place with a time of 15:40.50.

Bacon, 18, from Chevy Chase makes her Olympic debut in the 200-meter backstroke race. She recently finished up her freshman year in college at Wisconsin University, where she was part of the swim team.

Both Ledecky and Bacon attended school at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, and crossed paths at Stone Ridge as children. This year, they will compete together as teammates.

Another rookie swimmer joining Team USA is Andrew Wilson, who grew up in Bethesda. Wilson, 27, who attended Emory University, is heralded as the first NCAA Division III swimmer to qualify for the Olympic swimming team.

Wilson will swim the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke races.

The schedule to watch Montgomery County swimmers:

July 24:

  • Men’s 100m Breaststroke, heats

July 25:

  • Women’s 400m Freestyle, heats
  • Men’s 100m Breaststroke, final
  • Women’s 400m Freestyle, final

July 26:

  • Women’s 200m Freestyle, heats
  • Women’s 1500m Freestyle, heats

July 27:

  • Men’s 200m Breaststroke, heats
  • Women’s 200m Freestyle, semifinals
  • Men’s 200m Breaststroke, semifinals
  • Women’s 1500m Freestyle, final

July 28:

  • Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay, heats
  • Men’s 200m Breaststroke, final
  • Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay, final
  • Women’s 200m Freestyle, final

July 29:

  • Women’s 800m Freestyle, heats
  • Women’s 200m Backstroke, heats
  • Women’s 200m Backstroke, semifinals

July 30:

  • Women’s 200m Backstroke, final
  • Women’s 800m Freestyle, final

Wrestling: Maroulis

For Helen Maroulis, a freestyle wrestler from Rockville, Tokyo will be her second Olympics. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Maroulis, 29, became the first American woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal.

Maroulis will try to defend her position as the number-one Olympic wrestler in the 53kg weight class.

Maroulis began wrestling at 7 years old and continued to wrestle in high school at Col. Zadok Magruder High School. At Magruder, she became the first girl to place in the boys Maryland Wrestling State Championship.

The Women’s Freestyle (53kg) wrestling schedule:

Aug 5:

  • 1/8 Finals
  • 1/4 Finals
  • Semifinals

Aug 6:

  • Repechage
  • Bronze-medal matches
  • Final

Track and Field: LaFond

Thea LaFond, a triple jumper from Silver Spring, will represent Team Dominica at this year’s games. Tokyo will be her second Olympic Games. The first time, in Rio in 2016, ended in disappointment for her due to a hamstring injury.

LaFond, 27, was born in Dominica and moved to the U.S. at 5 years old. She attended John F. Kennedy High School and the University of Maryland in College Park.

LaFond is a paraeducator at her alma mater, Kennedy High, and has been teaching students and doing Olympic training at the same time for the past four-and-a-half years.

Women’s Triple Jump schedule:

July 31:

  • Qualification Round: Groups A & B

Aug 1:

  • Finals

Gymnastics: DiCello

Kayla DiCello, 17, a star gymnast from Boyds, is heading to Tokyo as an alternate for the women’s Olympic gymnastics team. This means DiCello will train and prepare as though she will be in the competition, but will not compete unless another gymnast on the team is sick or injured before the start of the competition.

DiCello is a rising senior at Northwest High School and trains at Hill’s Gymnastics in Gaithersburg.

The competing members of the team are Simon Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum. Besides DiCello, there are three additional alternates this year — Leanne Wong, Kara Eaker and Emma Malabuyo.

Typically, two gymnasts are chosen as alternatives, but as a cautionary step in light of COVID-19, four alternates were chosen.

Women’s Olympic gymnastics schedule:

July 25:

  • Qualifications day

July 27:

  • Team final

July 29:

  • All-around final

Aug. 1:

  • Vault/Uneven bars

Aug. 2:

  • Floor exercise

Aug. 3:

  • Balance beam

If there are any other 2021 Olympians from Montgomery County missing from this list, please email Elia Griffin at elia.griffin@bethesdamagazine.com.

View NBC’s full Olympic broadcasting schedule online for broadcasting times.