Meet New England’s Olympians

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Needham’s Aly Raisman was a gold medalist at the London Olympics in 2012.
Needham’s Aly Raisman was a gold medalist at the London Olympics in 2012.(Ian Terry)

When the Olympic Games begin Aug. 5, dozens of athletes with connections to New England will represent multiple countries in competition.

Their connections range from colleges to hometowns to local professional teams, and their sports include swimming, fencing, rugby, as well as rowing, where 11 of the United States team's 41 members have regional ties.

Here are the New England Olympians hoping to make their mark on the Games:

(Orlin Wagner)

Elizabeth Beisel

N.E. connection: from Saunderstown, R.I.

Team: Swimming (400 individual medley)

Age: 23

Twitter: @ebeisel34

Of note: Beisel qualified for her third Olympics and is seeking her third medal in Rio after winning silver in the 400 IM and bronze in the 200 backstroke in London in 2012. She qualified with a runner-up performance in the 400 IM at this year's Olympic trials and was named one of three captains for the US women's swim team.


(Jeff Roberson)

Aly Raisman

N.E. connection: from Needham, Mass.

Team: Gymnastics

Age: 22

Twitter: @Aly_Raisman

Of note: The returning captain of the Fierce Five team that won gold in London, Raisman also won gold in floor exercise and bronze on balance beam, making her the most decorated American gymnast at the 2012 Games. By making a second Olympic team, Raisman became one of the first gymnasts (along with teammate Gabby Douglas) to repeat since Amy Chow and Dominique Dawes in 2000.

(Getty Images for Rock 'n' Roll M)

Shalane Flanagan

N.E. connection: from Marblehead, Mass.

Team: Track and field (marathon)

Age: 35

Twitter: @ShalaneFlanagan

Of note: Flanagan won a bronze medal in London, her third Olympic Games but first focusing on the marathon. At the 2014 Boston Marathon, Flanagan posted the fastest time by an American woman in the race's history, finishing in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 2 seconds.

(Sean M. Haffey)

Nate Ebner

N.E. connection: Safety for the New England Patriots

Team: Rugby

Age: 27

Twitter: @Natebner34

Of note: Ebner was a rugby player before he was a football player, but he got a Super Bowl ring before he ever made an Olympic rugby team. Ebner, who played rugby exclusively until his junior year at Ohio State, when he walked on to the football team, made the cut for the debut of rugby sevens in Olympic competition.


(Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)

Gevvie Stone

N.E. connection: from Newton; lives in Cambridge; M.D. from Tufts in 2014

Team: Rowing (women's single scull)

Age: 31

Twitter: @gevgevs

Of note: Stone won a silver medal in single sculls at the 2016 World Rowing Cup II and finished fourth at the 2015 World Rowing Championships. A research assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stone penned an article in the Players' Tribune explaining that, since the Olympics are the pinnacle of her sport, she didn't consider skipping Rio because of the Zika virus. Her mother, Lisa, was on the 1976 Olympic team and her father, Gregg, was on the national team in 1979 and would have gone to Moscow in 1980 if the US had not boycotted. Her father got her back out on the Charles River after Stone considered retiring from competitive rowing after getting cut from the 2008 Olympic team, and she went on to win the women's championship single sculls six times at the Head of the Charles. Stone, who wanted to marry Tom Brady in high school, competed for the Windsor School in Boston.

(Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)

Eli Dershwitz

N.E. connection: from Sherborn; Dover-Sherborn High School '14; Harvard '19

Team: Fencing (sabre)


Age: 20

Of note: Dershwitz has risen to No. 1 in the current US rankings. He qualified for Rio by being in the top 14 of the FIE adjusted official ranking list. In 2015, he won the first title for a US men's saber fencer at the junior world championships, then won a senior level gold medal at the Pan American Games. Dershwitz defeated 2015 world champion Alexey Yakimenko of Russia at the Warsaw World Cup in February 2016.

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

US women’s basketball

N.E. connection: Head coach Geno Auriemma, several former UConn players

Twitter: @S10Bird, @DianaTaurasi, @tinacharles31, @MooreMaya, @bre_stewart30

Of note: Former UConn stars Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, and Breanna Stewart will be seeking gold with their former college coach.

(USA Today Sports)

Michael Hixon

N.E. connection: from Amherst

Team: Diving (3-meter, synchronized 3-meter)

Age: 22

Of note: Hixon made his first Olympic team with a second-place individual finish in the 3-meter and first place in the synchronized 3-meter with Sam Dorman at US trials. Hixon would have just completed his junior year at Indiana University, where he set a Big Ten record with a 1-meter springboard score of 474.45 as a sophomore, but he elected to take an Olympic redshirt year. He was the NCAA Diver of the Year as a freshman. His mother, Mandy, is the diving coach at UMass Amherst, and his father, David, is the men's basketball coach at Amherst College.

(Getty Images)

Mike DiSanto

N.E. connection: from Boston; Belmont Hill '08; Harvard '12

Team: Rowing (men's eight)

Age: 26


Twitter: @madisanto

Of note: DiSanto competed in the men's pair, an event he won at the 2016 National Selection Regatta, before switching to sit in the 6-seat for the US men's eight. DiSanto and the rest of the Rio-bound boat qualified at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, in May and also won a bronze medal at the 2016 World Rowing Cup II. DiSanto graduated from Harvard with a degree in psychology.

(Rebecca Blackwell)

Sarah Scherer

N.E. connection: from Woburn

Team: Shooting (10-meter air rifle)

Age: 25

Twitter: @sarah_scherer

Of note: Scherer placed seventh in the 10-meter air rifle in the 2012 London Olympics. She retired from competitive shooting following London but decided to return in 2015.

(Matt Slocum)

Sean Furey

N.E. connection: from Methuen; Dartmouth B.A. '04, M.S. '05

Team: Track and field (javelin)

Age: 33

Of note: Rio will be Furey's second Olympics, after placing 37th in the qualification round in London. He works as an engineer for the Navy.

(Jamie Squire)

Elena Pirozhkova

N.E. connection: from Greenfield

Team: Wrestling (63-kilogram class)

Age: 29

Twitter: @e_pirozhkova

Of note: Pirozhkova is ranked No. 1 in the US in her weight class and was a world champion in 2012. She has made eight straight US world teams and finished 10th in the world championships in 2015.

(Getty Images for IAAF)

Abbey D’Agostino

N.E. connection: from Topsfield; Dartmouth '14

Team: Track and field (5,000 meters)

Age: 24

Twitter: @abbey_dags

Of note: D'Agostino qualified for her first Olympics after missing the cut by less than a second in 2012, when she was a sophomore at Dartmouth. A seven-time national champion, 16-time Ivy League champion, and 12-time All-American with the Big Green, D'Agostino is the most decorated student-athlete in the history of the Ivy League.


(Sean M. Haffey)

Victoria Folayan

N.E. connection: from Boston

Team: Rugby

Age: 31

Twitter: @vixfly

Of note: Folayan plays center and wing and won two national championships with Stanford. She played basketball and tennis and ran cross-country in high school and originally planned on running track for the Cardinal, before picking up rugby at new student orientation.

(Sean M. Haffey)

Madison Hughes

N.E. connection: from Lancaster; Dartmouth '15

Team: Rugby

Age: 23

Twitter: @MadisonHughes15

Of note: Hughes spent most of his childhood in England, but dual citizenship and a mother who hails from Leominster sent him to Dartmouth led to Hughes representing the US. He was named to the Collegiate Rugby Championship all-tournament team in 2012, '13, and '14, and as a captain of the USA Eagles Sevens team, his 725 points in 23 tournaments are the most in US history. Hughes was also the top scorer in the world in the 2015-16 season with 331 points.

(Leo Correa)

Tessa Gobbo

N.E. connection: from Chesterfield, N.H.; Brown '13

Team: Rowing (women's eight)

Age: 25

Of note: A member of the US senior team since 2013, Gobbo won gold with the women's eight at the 2016 World Rowing Cup II and 2015 World Rowing Championships. She'll sit in the 5-seat in Rio.

Alex Karwoski

N.E. connection: from Hollis, N.H.

Team: Rowing (men's pair)

Age: 25

Twitter: @Akarwoski4

Of note: Karwoski is a five-time national team member who also competed in the men's pair and double sculls before moving to the eight, which he helped win the final Olympic Qualification Regatta. He'll sit in the 3-seat in Rio.

(Matt Roberts)

Sarah True

N.E. connection: from Hanover, N.H.

Team: Triathlon

Age: 34

Twitter: @sgroffy

Of note: An All-American swimmer at Middlebury College, True ended the 2015 season ranked No. 3 in the world and placed fourth at the London Olympics in 2012. Her husband, Ben, is an elite runner who barely missed qualifying for Rio in the 5,000 meters.

(Gian Ehrenzeller)

Lea Davison

N.E. connection: from Jericho, Vt.

Team: Cycling

Age: 33

Twitter: @leadavisonbikes

Of note: Davison placed 11th in cross-country in London in 2012 and is the only member of the US mountain biking team with Olympic experience.

Anders Weiss

N.E. connection: from Barrington, R.I.; Brown '15

Team: Rowing (men's pair)

Age: 23

Of note: Rowing the men's pair with Nareg Guregian, Weiss is appearing in his first Olympics after making his first senior team for 2016. He was part of the men's eight that won silver at the 2013 World Rowing Under-23 Championships.


Louisa Chafee

N.E. connection: from Saunderstown, R.I., Brown '14

Team: Sailing (Nacra 17 class)

Age: 24

Of note: The daughter of former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee races the Nacra 17 with Bora Gulari. This is her first Olympics.

(Clive Mason)

Stu McNay

N.E. connection: from Providence; Yale '05

Team: Sailing (Men's 470 class)

Age: Turns 35 on Aug. 1

Of note: The helm of the men's 470 who sails with David Hughes, McNay will be competing in his third Olympics. He finished 13th in Beijing and 14th in London.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Molly Huddle

N.E. connection: lives in Providence

Team: Track and field (5,000 meters)

Age: 31

Twitter: @MollyHuddle

Of note: Huddle is the American record-holder in the 5,000, establishing the mark in 2014 during an All-American career at Notre Dame. She placed 11th at the Olympics in 2012.

(Getty Images)

Eleanor Logan

N.E. connection: from Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Team: Rowing (women's eight)

Age: 28

Twitter: @EdavisLogan

Of note: Logan is the only member of the women's eight to be entering her third Olympics, having won gold in the eight in Beijing and London. Logan, who started rowing at The Brooks School in Andover, will sit in the 7-seat in Rio.

(Chris Szagola)

Alyssa Naeher

N.E. connection: from Bridgeport, Conn.

Team: Women's soccer

Age: 28

Twitter: @AlyssaNaeher

Of note: The backup to two-time Golden Glove-winning goalkeeper Hope Solo, Naeher is developing as Solo's likely successor. Naeher plays in the NWSL for the Chicago Red Stars, after being traded by the Boston Breakers for national team teammate Whitney Engen. Naeher was the starting goalie for the US under-20 team that won the 2008 World Cup.

(Chris Szagola)

Whitney Engen

N.E. connection: Member of the Boston Breakers

Team: Women's soccer

Age: 28

Twitter: @whitneyengen

Of note: Engen was acquired by the Breakers from Chicago Red Stars in 2015 in exchange for Olympic teammate Alyssa Naeher. Engen's first senior team call-up came in 2010 and she was named to her first World Cup team in 2015.

(Julio Cortez)

Chris Wyles

N.E. connection: from Stamford, Conn.

Team: Rugby

Age: 32

Twitter: @ChrisWyles

Of note: A starter for club team Saracens in the English Premiership (the country's top division), Wyles helped win the Premiership final in 2015. He retired from 15-a-side rugby to focus on making the sevens team for 2016.

(Ronald Martinez)

Devin McEwan

N.E. connection: from Salisbury, Conn.

Team: Canoe/kayak (C2 men's canoe slalom)

Age: 31

Of note: Paired with Casey Eichfeld, McEwan placed 38th at the 2015 world championships and 15th at the 2014 Worlds. His late father, 1972 and '92 Olympic canoeist Jamie McEwan, encouraged him to take up paddling as a child.

(John Gichigi)

Charlie Cole

N.E. connection: from New Canaan, Conn., Yale '07

Team: Rowing (men's four)

Age: 30

Of note: The bow of the men's four for the Rio Games, Cole already has a bronze medal from the four in 2012. Beginning with the junior team in 2003, Cole has been a part of 12 national teams and was US Rowing's 2011 Athlete of the Year.

(Chung Sung-Jun)

Andrew Campbell Jr.

N.E. connection: born in New Canaan, Conn.; lives in Cambridge; Harvard '14

Team: Rowing (lightweight men's double sculls)

Age: 24

Twitter: @TheAndyCamps

Of note: Campbell is the stroke of the lightweight men's double sculls, paired with Joshua Konieczny. Campbell finished eighth in the lightweight double sculls at the 2015 World Rowing Championships. Rio is his first Olympics.

(Dean Mouhtaropoulos)

Austin Hack

N.E. connection: from Old Lyme, Conn.

Team: Rowing (men's eight)

Age: 24

Of note: The stroke of the men's eight for Rio, Hack has been with the senior team since 2013. When the boat had yet to qualify for the Olympics going into the final selection regatta, Hack set the pace as the Americans passed Poland and Italy to win a spot in the 2016 Olympics. At 6 feet 8 inches, Hack once convinced a stranger, who asked if he played basketball, that he was a member of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Donn Cabral

N.E. connection: from Glastonbury, Conn.

Team: Track and field (3,000-meter steeplechase)

Age: 26

Twitter: @DonnCabral

Of note: After placing eighth in London, Cabral returns to the Olympics off a third-place finish at Olympic trials. The eight-time All-American, who set an American collegiate record while at Princeton, trained at high altitude in Flagstaff, Ariz., to prepare for the Games.

(Sean M. Haffey)

Thomas Dunstan

N.E. connection: from New Canaan, Conn.

Team: Water Polo

Age: 18

Of note: Dunstan is a first-time Olympian and an attacker for the US. He scored four times in 2016 FINA World League Super Final, as the Americans won silver.

(Daniel Berehulak)

Katie O’Donnell Bam

N.E. connection: Assistant field hockey coach at Harvard

Team: Field hockey

Age: 27

Twitter: @KatieODonnellFh

Of note: The most-decorated field hockey player in US history, Bam made her first Team USA appearance when she was just 16, becoming the youngest American ever to earn a cap in international competition. She will play striker in Rio, her second Olympic Games. She was a first-team All American all four years at Maryland.

(Pablo Blazquez Dominguez)

Joe Maloy

N.E. connection: Boston College '08, MS '10

Team: Triathlon

Age: 30

Twitter: @joetriathlon

Of note: Maloy, a four-year letter winner with BC's swimming team, was the second American to cross the finish line, and 16th overall finisher, at the Rio de Janeiro ITU world Olympic qualification event. He also placed fourth at the 2015 national championships after winning the title in 2014.

(Chung Sung-Jun)

Anthony Fahden

N.E. connection: Dartmouth '08

Team: Rowing (lightweight men's four)

Age: 30

Of note: Fahden occupies the bow seat of the men's lightweight four, winning bronze at the 2016 World Cup I. He finished second in the lightweight pair at the 2016 National Selection Regatta I. Fahden played hockey for 10 years before switching to rowing to try something new.


Joshua Konieczny

N.E. connection: Dartmouth '13

Team: Rowing (lightweight men's double sculls)

Age: 25

Of note: Sitting in the bow for the lightweight men's double scull, behind Andrew Campbell Jr., Konieczny will be competing in his first Olympics. He made the senior team for the first time in 2014 and has an eighth-place finish at the World Rowing Championships in 2015.

(Chris Graythen)

Evelyn Stevens

N.E. connection: Acton-Boxboro High School '01; Dartmouth '05

Team: Cycling (road race, time trial)

Age: 33

Twitter: @evelyn_stevens

Of note: Stevens set an hour record for a female cyclist with an average speed of 47.980 kilometers per hour at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center velodrome in February. The Dartmouth graduate worked as an investment banker until 2009, when she left her job on Wall Street to focus on competitive cycling.

Alexi Pappas

N.E. connection: Dartmouth '12

Team: Greece, track and field (10,000 meters)

Age: 26

Twitter: @AlexiPappas

Of note: Pappas recently released "Tracktown," an independent film about running she directed with her boyfriend and fellow Dartmouth graduate, Jeremy Teicher.

(David Maialetti)

Nikki Okwelogu

N.E. connection: Harvard '17

Team: Nigeria, track and field (shot put)

Age: 21

Of note: Okwelogu, a two-time All-American and the first woman in Ivy League history to throw the shot put more than 56 feet, met the Olympic qualifying standard for Nigeria at the NCAA East Regional on May 11 with a throw of 17.91 meters (58 feet, 9¼ inches). She started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for her flight to Rio after the Nigerian Sports Ministry asked some athletes if they could purchase their own tickets.

(Kin Cheung)

Bekzod Abdurakhmonov

N.E. connection: Volunteer assistant wrestling coach at Harvard

Team: Uzbekistan, wrestling (men's freestyle 74-kilogram class)

Age: 26

Of note: Abdurakhmonov won a bronze medal at the 2014 world championships in the 70-kilogram weight class. He was listed 13th at 74 kilograms on the United World Wrestling men's freestyle world rankings in April.

(Getty Images for Liberty Mutual)

Kayla Harrison

N.E. connection: Lives in Marblehead, Mass.

Team: Judo (plus-78 kg)

Age: 326

Twitter: @Judo_Kayla

Of note: The 2012 gold medalist trains at Pedro's Judo Center in Wakefield. She started the Fearless Foundation, a support organization for survivors of sexual abuse. Harrison herself is a survivor of sexual abuse, beginning when she was 13, from a former coach.

Nora Princiotti can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @NoraPrinciotti.