ST. LOUIS — It's no secret that St. Louis and the surrounding area are pumping out some major athletic talent. But after a look at Team USA's roster for the Tokyo Olympics, the number of athletes with ties to the extended St. Louis area really stands out.
Here's a list of every athlete on Team USA with ties to the St. Louis area heading to Tokyo for the Olympics. Also included at the end of this story are Olympic athletes from the rest of Missouri as well as southern Illinois.
Athletes listed in alphabetical order
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley - Volleyball
Bartsch-Hackley, 31, is a native of Collinsville, Illinois and a graduate of Collinsville High School.
She played volleyball collegiately for the University of Illinois in Champaign and was inducted into the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 2020.
Bartsch-Hackley is an outside hitter, and was an alternate on the 2016 Olympic team in Rio.
Team USA is the top-ranked international team in the world and will look to take home the country's first indoor Women's Volleyball gold medal.
Bradley Beal - Basketball
Update: Beal will no longer represent Team USA in Tokyo after being ruled out for the Games due to health and safety protocols.
Beal, 28, is a native of St. Louis and a graduate of Chaminade High School.
A shooting guard, Beal was one of the premier recruits in the country as a senior at Chaminade.
Gwen Berry - Hammer Throw
Berry, 31, grew up in St. Louis and graduated from McCluer High School in Florissant in 2007.
She attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where she also majored in Psychology and Criminal Justice.
Berry was an Olympian in the hammer throw in 2016 in Rio where she placed 14th. She was an alternate for the London team in 2012.
Berry has been in the news recently for her role as an athlete and activist. At the 2019 Pan American Games Berry won a gold medal, and raised her fist during the playing of the National Anthem in protest.
When she finished third in the hammer throw in the Olympic Track and Field trials in Oregon in June, Berry made headlines again. While the National Anthem was played during the podium ceremony, Berry turned away from the flag and draped her t-shirt that read "Activist Athlete" over her head.
“I feel like it was a setup, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said of the timing of the anthem after the meet. “I was pissed, to be honest.”
The National Anthem is not typically played after medal ceremonies at the Olympic Trials.
You can watch our full interview with Berry from Sports Plus at the beginning of June by clicking here.
Kelsey Card - Discus
Card, 28, was born in Springfield, Illinois and grew up in Carlinville, Illinois where she graduated from Carlinville High School in 2011. Carlinville is about an hour northeast of St. Louis.
Card attended the University of Wisconsin, where she graduated in 2016 with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies.
In 2016, Card was an Olympian in Rio, where she finished 25th in the discus. She also competed in the 2015 Pan American Games, where she finished seventh in the discus.
Nick Christie - Racewalking
Christie, 29, is a native of San Diego, California, but went to college at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, graduating in 2015.
Christie will compete in the 20k race walk in Tokyo. This is his first Olympic team.
Christie has won many national titles in his racewalking career, including three collegiately with Missouri Baptist.
Napheesa Collier - Basketball
Collier, 24, was born in Jefferson City and grew up in the St. Louis area. She graduated from Incarnate Word Academy where she helped the team win three Missouri Class 4 state championships in basketball.
After Incarnate Word, Collier joined the powerhouse UConn Huskies women's basketball program where she helped Connecticut make it to four Final Fours, winning it all in 2016.
The Minnesota Lynx drafted Collier with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft, and she went on to win the rookie of the year award in her first season.
At just 24 years old, Collier is tied for the title of youngest member of the women's hoops team heading to Tokyo.
Tyler Downs - Diving
Downs, 17, is a Ballwin native who is the youngest member on Team USA diving for the Tokyo Olympics.
He clinched his place on the team with a win in the 3m springboard final at the swimming and diving trials in Indianapolis.
Downs is also a TikTok star with half a million followers.
5 On Your Side has been following Downs since he was just 12 years old.
DeAnna Price - Hammer Throw
Price, 28, is a Moscow Mills native who graduated from Troy Buchanan High School in 2011. She attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and majored in accounting. At SIU she became the fifth woman in NCAA history to win back-to-back hammer throw titles.
Price is a record-setting hammer thrower and has already had a decorated career coming into the Tokyo Games. She finished eighth in the hammer throw in Rio.
In June, Price topped her own American hammer throw record with an 80.31 meter throw to win the United States trials and become just the second woman in history to ever break 80 meters.
After setting the record, Price said after the trials that she still thought she had "More in the tank", and that the world record was now on her mind.
Becky Sauerbrunn - Soccer
Sauerbrunn, 36, is the captain of the United States Women's National Team.
Born in St. Louis, Sauerbrunn graduated from Ladue High School in 2003, and went on to play collegiately at the University of Virginia. She currently plays professionally for the Portland Thorns of the NWSL.
Tokyo will be Sauerbrunn's third Olympics for the USWNT, taking gold in London in 2012 and finishing fifth in Rio in 2016.
Sauerbrunn was also a part of the 2015 and 2019 USWNT rosters that won the Women's World Cup.
Karissa Schweizer - Track and Field
Schweizer, 25, may not have a direct tie to St. Louis, but her status as one of the greatest athletes in the history of the University of Missouri will undoubtedly make her an area favorite in the Olympics.
Schweizer grew up in Urbandale, Iowa and raced for Mizzou from 2014 to 2018. In college, she won the 2016 national championship in the six-kilometer race. In 2017, Schweizer won the 5,000 meters at the indoor track and field championships and then won the 5,000 meters at the outdoor track and field championships that same year. In 2018 she won the 5,000 and 3,000 meters at the 2018 indoor track and field championships. Also in 2018, she won the 5,000 meters in the outdoor championships to make it six NCAA titles in her career.
Schweizer now runs for the prestigious Bowerman Track Club and qualified to race in the Tokyo Olympics in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races. She is just the fifth American woman to qualify in both races. She's the first woman from the University of Missouri to qualify for the Olympics in track and field since Natasha Kaiser-Brown in 1996.
Emily Sisson - Track and Field
Sisson, 29, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but spent part of her high school career at Parkway Central High School in St. Louis.
At Parkway Central she won the Missouri High School Class 4 State championship in cross country in 2008 and 2009.
Collegiately, Sisson ran for Providence College.
At the U.S. track and field trials in Oregon, Sisson won the women's 10,000 meters with a meet record of 31:03.82.
Jayson Tatum - Basketball
Tatum, 23, is the second member of the 2020 United States men's basketball team from St. Louis, and like Bradley Beal, also is a graduate from Chaminade High School.
Tatum was the Gatorade National Player of the Year in high school and a McDonald's All-American before deciding to play a year of college basketball at Duke.
Tatum was drafted No. 3 overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Since he arrived in the NBA, Tatum has become a star. He's already a two-time All-Star (2020, 2021), and averaged a career-high 26.4 points in 2020-2021 with Boston.
Tatum has represented the United States on the basketball court in various capacities over the years, but this is his first Olympic team.
He is a strong candidate for a starting spot on Team USA, along with fellow Chaminade alum Bradley Beal.
Athletes from the rest of Missouri and southern Illinois:
Lauren Doyle - Rugby
Doyle, 30, is a wing player for the United States' women's rugby team.
Doyle was born in Springfield, Illinois and graduated from Meridian High School in Macon, Illinois in 2009. She attended Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
In 2016, Doyle was on the fifth-place U.S. women's rugby team in Rio.
Kara Eaker - Gymnastics
Update: Eaker was expected to be an alternate for Team USA, but will lose any chance to compete after testing positive for COVID-19.
Eaker, 18, was originally born in Jianxi, China but grew up in Grain Valley, Missouri near Kansas City. Eaker is currently a senior at Grain Valley High School.
Eaker trains at the Great American Gymnastics Express (GAGE) in Blue Springs, Missouri.
She finished seventh overall at the Olympics gymnastics trials in St. Louis and was named to the team as a replacement athlete.
Mason Finley - Discus
Finley, 29, is a discus thrower born in Kansas City, Missouri.
He attended the University of Wyoming, graduating in 2014.
This will be Finley's second Olympics. He competed in 2016 in Rio, finishing 11th in the discus.
Courtney Frerichs - Steeplechase
Frerichs, 28, is from Nixa, Missouri and graduated from Nixa High School in 2011. She also attended the University of Missouri - Kansas City.
Frerichs competes in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Tokyo will be her second Olympics, after she competed in Rio in 2016. She finished 11th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the 2016 Olympics.
Frerichs finished second in the Olympic qualifying for 3,000 meters steeplechase at the trials in Oregon.
KC Lightfoot - Pole Vault
Lightfoot, 20, is from the Kansas City area of Missouri.
He attended Lee's Summit High School and eventually Baylor University.
Lightfoot is the 2021 NCAA Indoor National Champion in pole vault.
Chris Nilsen - Pole Vault
Nilsen, 23, was born in Kansas City, Missouri and attended Park Hill High School in Concord, California.
He attended the University of South Dakota, graduating in 2020.
Nilsen is a two-time NCAA champion in outdoor pole vault (2018, 2019) and was the 2017 NCAA champion in indoor pole vault. Nilsen is a two-time semifinalist for The Bowerman award for most outstanding male collegiate track and field athlete.
Darryl Sullivan - High Jump
Sullivan, 23, is a native of Marion, Illinois and graduated from Marion High School.
Sullivan attended the University of Tennessee where he was one of the best collegiate high jumpers in the country and a four-time All-American. Sullivan was most recently a 2021 SEC Outdoor Silver Medalist in High Jump in 2021.
Tokyo will be Sullivan's first Olympic games.
Jacarra Winchester - Wrestling
Winchester, 28, is from Marshall, Missouri and attended Missouri Valley University.
Winchester has a decorated wrestling career.
She was the 2019 Senior World champion, took fifth in the 2018 Senior World Championships and was a bronze medalist in the 2014 University World competition.
Winchester was the U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion in 2021, and this will be her first Olympics.
Leanne Wong - Gymnastics
Wong, 17, was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lives in Overland Park, Kansas. She graduated from Blue Valley High School in Stilwell, Kansas in 2021.
Wong will be an alternate on the Olympic Gymnastics Team heading to Tokyo.
She trains at the Great American Gymnastics Express (GAGE) in the Kansas City Area, along with U.S. teammates Kara Eaker.