17 Tar Heels Competing in Rio

The University has assembled a roster of 17 Tar Heels who are participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The official opening is Aug. 5, but soccer starts early; the U.S. women’s team is scheduled to play New Zealand on Aug. 3.

Watch for these UNC Olympians in Rio:

  • In men’s basketball, Harrison Barnes ’14.
  • In track and field, Shalane Flanagan ’05, for the U.S. in the marathon; and Vikas Gowda ’06, for India in discus.
  • In women’s soccer, for the U.S., are Meghan Klingenberg ’11, Heather O’Reilly ’09, Crystal Dunn ’14, Ashlyn Harris ’09, Tobin Heath ’10, Whitney Engen ’11 and Allie Long ’10; and, for New Zealand, Katie Bowen ’16.
  • In field hockey, for the U.S., are Jackie Briggs ’10, Rachel Dawson ’07, Caitlin Van Sickle ’12, Katelyn Falgowski ’11 and Kelsey Kolojejchick ’15.
  • In women’s basketball, for Turkey, LaToya Pringle Sanders ’12.

Also, Professor Charlie Tuggle in UNC’s School of Media and Journalism is taking a group of 29 students from the school to report on the Olympics. Each student has a sport to cover, along with other assignments. Tuggle led a similar program during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

According to a newsletter published by the school, an anonymous donor gave $50,000 to subsidize travel costs for the students.

UNC and Memphis are the only two universities in the world that are working with the Olympic News Service at the Olympics, according to the school. Four of the UNC students will report for state media partners instead of interning with the Olympic News Service. The program is offered through UNC’s Study Abroad Office, and students earn three credit hours along with experience.

Roxane Coche ’13 (PhD), an assistant professor at the University of Memphis, is leading a group of 14 Memphis students. Coche originally contacted the Olympic organizing committee about needs for English speakers to help with media efforts.

To keep up throughout the games, go to and follow ‪#‎UNCinRIO‬ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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