After a year of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer Olympics are here—and four Haasies are in Tokyo to compete in golf, swimming, and water polo.
The Games of the XXXII Olympiad are scheduled from from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021. The group of competing Haas athletes includes:
Collin Morikawa, BS 19, joins Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau on the men’s U.S. golf team.
The U.S. will have have more golfers represented than any other nation during this year’s Games, according to Golf magazine. Pro-golfer Morikawa won the 2020 PGA Championship in his first-ever attempt last year.
When he enrolled at UC Berkeley, Morikawa had a single-minded focus to learn how he could succeed as a professional golfer, treating the endeavor as much as a job as a sport. “If you look at big professional athletes, they’re running their own business, which is their name and their brand,” he told Berkeley Haas Magazine. “I wanted to invest in my future and learn as much as I could so when I turned pro I would be ready for the outside world.”
Ryan Murphy, BS 17, is competing in his second Olympics, qualifying again in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke.
In 2016, Murphy won gold in both the 200m and 100m backstroke, and swam to victory in the 400m relay medley with Olympic legend Michael Phelps, Cal alum Nathan Adrian, and Cody Miller. “I honestly didn’t think I’d win the 200m backstroke, but that’s the event I really trained for,” he told Berkeley Haas News at the time. “The 100m back comes a little more naturally to me, so the 200 is the one I have to really work for. It’s the one that meant a lot because I know what’s gone on behind that whole race and what I did in coming up with the best strategy to win it.” This year, he’s serving as an Olympic team captain for USA swimming.
Johnny Hooper, BS 19, a 6’2″ attacker, qualified for Tokyo as a member of the Men’s Senior National Team, USA Water Polo. Hooper is Cal’s #2 all-time leading scorer with 245 goals, and he helped lead the squad to the 2016 NCAA Championship. The team trained remotely during the pandemic, and Hooper, along with many of his teammates, spent part of the last year playing professionally in Europe.
Alicia Wilson, BS 22, qualified for a spot on Great Britain’s swim team to compete in the 200-meter individual medley, a technically challenging race involving equal parts backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, and freestyle. Wilson, a rising senior from England, had an incredible 2021 season, capturing the 2021 Pac-12 crown in the 200-yard individual medley.
Wilson said her inspiration started in 2012 when the London Olympic games “were literally on my front doorstep.” Read an interview with Wilson here.