Here Are Some Standout College Athletes Competing in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games

Fewer than 60 current student-athletes qualified to compete for Team USA at this year's Summer Olympics in Paris. Here's what you need to know about some of the standouts.
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Published on July 3, 2024
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Simone Manuel, left, and Gretchen Walsh, right, smile during the medal ceremony for the Women's 50m freestyle final at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials in Indianapolis, Indiana. Image Credit: Sarah Stier / Staff / Getty Images Sport

  • Approximately 57 current student-athletes qualified to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
  • They join a larger list of over 300 former student-athletes who will also represent Team USA this year.
  • Stanford University has the most current student-athletes participating in this year's Olympics.
  • The Olympic Games will be held from July 26-Aug. 11.

The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are just around the corner, and a number of collegiate athletes will take center stage to represent Team USA in their respective sports.

Fewer than 60 current student-athletes qualified to participate in the Olympics for Team USA this year, all of whom will officially compete in the international games.

For most of these students, the upcoming showcase will mark the first time they compete in the Olympics.

Some schools, like Stanford, Princeton, and Harvard have multiple athletes who will join Team USA, with Stanford having the most at eight.

Below, we've highlighted some of the standout student-athletes to watch who are headed to Paris later this month.

College Athletes Competing at the 2024 Olympics

Emily Ausmus: Water Polo, University of Southern California

Emily Ausmus, a first-year civil engineering student at the University of Southern California, is the youngest student-athlete to make this year's Team USA water polo roster. Ausmus scored three goals at the 2023 World Aquatics World Championships and four goals at the 2024 World Aquatics World Championships.

Jade Carey: Artistic Gymnastics, Oregon State University

Jade Carey, a fourth-year student at Oregon State University, will be returning to the Olympics this year. The 24-year-old student-athlete is a 2020 Olympic gold medalist on floor exercise, a 2024 NCAA Championships silver medalist in the all-around and on floor exercise, and a 2024 NCAA regional champion on beam, floor, and all-around.

Chris Guiliano: Swimming, University of Notre Dame

Chris Guiliano, a fourth-year student at the University of Notre Dame, will compete in five Olympic events, including two relays. He is tied with Katie Ledecky for the most Olympic events among swimmers this year. He is the 2024 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) swimmer of the year and is a six-time All-American.

Guiliano is the first swimmer from Notre Dame to qualify for the Olympics.

Payton Jacobson: Wrestling, Northern Michigan University

Payton Jacobson, a fourth-year student at Northern Michigan University, will join Team USA in Paris this month to compete in Greco-Roman wrestling. The 21-year-old is already a 2022 U20 World Team Trials gold medalist and a 2021 Pan-Am Championship silver medalist.

During this year's Olympic Games, Jacobson will compete in the 87 kg weight class. It will be the Wisconsin native's first time participating in the Olympics.

Tatiana Nazlymov: Fencing, Princeton University

Tatiana Nazlymov, a second-year student at Princeton University, is heading to her first Olympics this July. The 19-year-old fencer qualified for both the individual and team events for women's saber this year.

During the 2023-2024 academic year, Nazlymov finished third in the NCAA regional competition. Nazlymov was inspired to pursue fencing by her father and grandfather who also participated in the sport.

Carson Tyler: Diving, Indiana University

Carson Tyler, a third-year political science major at Indiana University, is the first American in over two decades to qualify for the Olympic Games on both the 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform in the same year. He is the 2024 American Cup bronze medalist and 2024 Canada Cup silver medalist in the 10-meter.

Hailey Van Lith: Basketball, Texas Christian University

Hailey Van Lith, a graduate student at Texas Christian University, is the only student-athlete on a USA men's or women's basketball team at the Paris Olympics. Van Lith previously played for the University of Louisville and Louisiana State University (LSU), where she was a key part of LSU finishing with a 31-6 overall record and advancing to the Elite Eight in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Gretchen Walsh: Swimming, University of Virginia

Gretchen Walsh, a fourth-year student at the University of Virginia (UVA), will make her Olympic debut this year swimming for Team USA. The Nashville, Tennessee native is a six-time 2023 NCAA gold medalist and was the youngest swimmer to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.

Walsh will be joined by her older sister Alex, who is a graduate student at UVA and a 2020 Olympic silver medalist. Together, they are one of two sets of siblings who will compete for Team USA as swimmers.

Juliette Whittaker: Track & Field, Stanford University

Juliette Whittaker, a second-year student at Stanford University, will also make her Olympic debut this July. The double NCAA champion finished third in the women's 800 meters during the Olympic Trials on June 24, setting both a personal best and Stanford record.

In addition to Whittaker's previous NCAA wins, the middle-distance runner is a four-time All-American champion and was a Stanford Athletics Board Conference Athlete of the Year in 2024.

Nico Young: Track & Field, Northern Arizona University

Nico Young, a third-year exercise science major at Northern Arizona University, is a two-time NCAA indoor champion and two-time NCAA cross-country champion. He placed third in the men's 10,000-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Young is also the first openly gay male U.S. track and field Olympian in history.

It Pays to Be a Student on Team USA

Team USA student-athletes can get in-state tuition in three states if they certify their participation in an Olympic or Paralympic elite-level training program and attend certain eligible state institutions.

The most recent state to do so, California passed legislation in 2022 to offer in-state tuition for Team USA athletes across the University of California, the California State University, and California Community Colleges systems. The legislation was initially sponsored by the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games (LA28).

In 2017, Colorado passed similar legislation offering Team USA athletes who train in Colorado in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges, including the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Utah also offers in-state tuition at the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Salt Lake City Community College to Team USA athletes who live and train in the state.

For so many athletes, staying connected to their education (college, post-grad, etc.) is a grounding force, and it also allows them the balance (in) the pursuit of their athletic dreams without sacrificing future ambitions, Carrie White, vice president of athlete development and engagement of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, told BestColleges in an October 2022 statement.

Removing financial barriers to athletes considering higher education is a huge opportunity for them and is directly in line with our mission of competitive excellence and well-being.