Athletes from around the globe are getting ready to compete in the dream of a lifetime this Olympics, and among them are many Latter-day Saints.
Here’s a list of who to watch for at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Lucía Palermo: Rowing, Argentina
Appearing at her third Olympic Games, Lucía Palermo will represent Argentina in women’s rowing. At the 2004 Olympic Games, Palermo competed in the women’s lightweight sculls, finishing in 17th place. In 2012, she competed in the Olympic singles sculls, placing 21st overall, and won the double sculls in the South American Rowing Championships with Maria Gabriela Best.
Maka Unufe: Rugby, U.S.
This Olympics is a historic event for rugby players, as the game will finally be returning to the Olympics after almost a century of absence. The last time rugby was a part of the Olympics was in 1924. And competing this year is Latter-day Saint Maka Unufe, who lives in Provo, Utah. Unufe’s first international appearance came at the 2011 Pan American Games, when he helped his team bring home a bronze medal. He brought home another bronze in the 2015 Pan American Games and is the 11th most scoring player in the U.S.—a feat that earned him a spot on the USA rugby team.
Jared Ward: Marathon, U.S.
Jared Ward, a 27-year-old returned missionary who served in Pennsylvania, will be competing as one of the three U.S. runners in the men’s marathon in the 2016 Olympics. Apart from being a full-time runner and a father of two, Ward is also an adjunct professor of statistics at BYU and uses his expertise in math to help perfect his running. Though Ward ran cross-country at Davis High and BYU, he didn’t run his first marathon until 2013.
Taylor Sander: Volleyball, U.S.
Standing at 6-feet 4-inches, Taylor Sander is a force to be reckoned with. The former BYU player is a four-time All-American and was the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s National Player of the Year in 2014. During his debut with the U.S. national team at the 2014 World Championship Qualifier, he was named the best server and he quickly became a starter for the team. He married Rachel McQuivey in 2015.
Find the rest at LDS Living.