Cameron Pollack / Sun Stock Photo

Rudy Winkler '17 will be one of five Cornellians competing in the Tokyo Olympics this month.

July 4, 2021

Five Cornellians to Compete at the Tokyo Olympics

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Five Cornellians are set to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics that will take place in Tokyo in July. The athletes will seek to add to Cornell’s total of 61 Olympic medals — including 43 in the summer games and 18 in the winter games. 

Six Cornellians won medals in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, but no Cornellian has won a medal at the summer games since 1992. Here is a look at the athletes that will compete in Tokyo.

Kyle Dake ’13 – Wrestling

Four-time Division I national champion Kyle Dake ’13 is set to represent the United States in wrestling. Dake secured his spot on Team USA at the wrestling team trials on April 3.

When asked about his goal for the Olympics, Dake answered: “Gold medal. Go out and perform, make it happen. I’m gonna have to go out and compete at a high level and every single time I step on the mat that’s what I’m gonna have to do, so I’m excited for that opportunity.” 

Tracy Eisser ’12 – Rowing

Tracy Eisser ’12 will row for the United States in her second consecutive Olympics. Eisser competed in the quadruple sculls in Rio in 2016. In Tokyo, she will compete in pairs with Megan Kalmoe. The duo won a silver medal together in the 2017 World Rowing Championships and finished fourth at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.

Michael Grady ’19 – Rowing

Michael Grady will join Eisser on the United States Olympic Rowing Team. He will compete in the men’s four. Grady will row in an All-Ivy League boat with Harvard’s Clark Dean and Andrew Reed and Brown’s Anders Weiss.

Taylor Knibb ’20 – Triathlon

Taylor Knibb ’20 will make history as the youngest female triathlete to ever represent the United States in the Olympics. Knibb secured her place at the Olympics after winning the World Triathlon Championship Series’ Yokohama race in May.  

At Cornell, Knibb was a member of the swim and cross country teams. In 2018, Knibb told The Sun about her packed schedule that included waking up before dawn for swim practice, going to class and then running 10 miles in cross country practice.

Rudy Winkler ’17 – Hammer Throw

Rudy Winkler ’17 will compete for Team USA in the hammer throw. On June 20, Winkler broke the American hammer throw record with an 82.71-meter throw at the track and field team trials.

This will be Winkler’s second Olympic appearance. In 2016, between his junior and senior year at Cornell, Winkler represented the United States in the hammer throw after winning the 2016 United States Olympic Trials. He will look to improve on his 18th place finish in Rio in 2016.

Winkler was a highly decorated athlete at Cornell. He was named a First-Team All-American in the hammer throw in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and was a First-Team All-American in the weight throw in 2017. He was the NCAA Division I Champion in the hammer throw in his senior year in 2017.

Correction, July 5, 5:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of Cornellians competing in Tokyo. There are five, not six.