(WCIA) — Nine Illini are set to compete in Tokyo for the 2021 Olympic Games, which officially got underway with the opening ceremonies on Friday. Of the nine athletes and coaches at the games, they’re representing five different sports, and three different countries.
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Jordyn Poulter will compete with Team USA volleyball, Erin Virtue is also coaching for the team. Former Illini golfers Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry will represent Belgium. Two-time national champion Alex Diab is selected as an alternate gymnast for Team USA, while gymnast Tyson Bull will compete with Australia.
Tennis player, Rajeev Ram, who won two National Championships as an Illini is making his second appearance in the games. Ram will play for the Team USA doubles team.
“I feel like I’m in a better position already to start with for myself, and it’s going to be an interesting year though, because obviously the Olympics is not what it normally is, let’s say,” says Ram. “So I think there’s going to be a lot of people that have to make some adjustments.”