10 Bay Area & Northern California athletes to watch

Local connection: Born in Santa Cruz, raised in Salinas

Olympic experience: Double Olympian. Silver medalist in 2008.

Circle it: July 27, gold medal game, 4 a.m.

Abbott and his fellow pitcher Cat Osterman are the only survivors of the last softball appearance at the 2008 Olympics. They remember the grief of losing gold to Japan. Over the past 13 years, the sport has worked to return to the Olympic stage. For Abbott, this will be familiar territory: she has performed professionally in Japan for over a decade.

Social media: Twitter: @monicaabbott Insta: monicaabbott

Kate courtney

Kate Courtney qualified for the Olympics finishing fifth at the 2019 world championships.

Dustin Satloff / Getty Images

Sport: Mountain bike

Local connection: Kentfield (Branson School), Stanford

Olympic experience: Olympian for the first time.

Circle it: July 26, cross country medal race, 11 p.m.

Courtney, raised at the foot of Mount Tam – where her sport was born – is considered a contender for gold. In 2018 she won a world championship and in 2019 she won the overall World Cup title. She qualified for the Olympics by finishing fifth at the 2019 world championships.

Social media: Twitter: @sparkleaddict Insta: kateplusfate

Draymond Green

Draymond Green of the Warriors won gold with the United States in 2016 and could play a bigger role in Tokyo.

Draymond Green of the Warriors won gold with the United States in 2016 and could play a bigger role in Tokyo.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Sport: Basketball

Local connection: Golden State Warriors

Olympic experience: Double Olympian. Gold medalist in 2016.

Circle it: August 6, gold medal game, 7:30 p.m.

Green is the only Warriors player on the roster, with Stephen Curry declining an invite and Klay Thompson recovering from injury. He will be reunited with his former teammate Kevin Durant, with whom he first played in the Rio squad the summer before Durant became a Warrior. Green didn’t have much playing time in 2016, but is expected to take on a bigger load in 2021 and provide leadership.

Social media: Twitter: @ money23green Insta: money23green

Nyjah huston

Nyjah Huston, a superstar in his sport, is a big favorite to win gold in his debut in his sport.

Nyjah Huston, a superstar in his sport, is a big favorite to win gold in his debut in his sport.

Charlie Neibergall / Associated press

Sport: Skateboarding

Local connection: Raised in Davis

Olympic experience: Olympian for the first time

Circle it: July 24, men’s street final, 5 p.m.

Already a superstar in his sport, Huston will be one of the faces that will bring skateboarding to the Olympic mainstream. Star since the age of 7, he learned to skate in a Davis skate park bought by his parents. Today, the 26-year-old has millions of social media followers and dollars in the bank. The king of street skating at the X Games, he is a big favorite to win gold in his debut in his sport.

Social media: Twitter: @nyjah Insta: nyjah

Katie Ledecky

A recent Stanford graduate, Katie Ledecky is the biggest star on the U.S. swim team in Tokyo.

A recent Stanford graduate, Katie Ledecky is the biggest star on the U.S. swim team in Tokyo.

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Sport: Swimming

Local connection: Stanford

Olympic experience: Triple Olympian. Gold medalist in 2012. Four gold medals and one silver in 2016.

Circle it: July 27, women’s 200 and 1,500 freestyle finals, 6:30 p.m.

With Michael Phelps retired and not making the United States squad for the first time since Atlanta, Ledecky is set to be the big star of the pool. But a slightly slower time than expected in the 400 in practice led to anticipate a duel with Australian Ariarne Titmus. Ledecky, the only American swimmer to qualify for four individual events, is set to have a big day when she is set to compete in both the 200 and the 1500 freestyle. This is the first year that the women’s 1500m has been an Olympic event.

Social media: Twitter: @KatieLedecky Insta: katieledecky

Brody Malone

Brody Malone, a Stanford student and two-time NCAA champion, quickly rose to the top.

Brody Malone, a Stanford student and two-time NCAA champion, quickly rose to the top.

Jeff Roberson / Associated Press

Sport: Gymnastic

Local connection: Stanford

Olympic experience: Olympian for the first time.

Circle it: July 28, men’s all-around final, 3:15 a.m.

The soft-spoken former rodeo competitor from Georgia will headline the men’s team. Malone led Stanford to consecutive national gymnastics championships and was a two-time all-around champion in the NCAA. He burst onto the national stage in June, winning both the national all-around title and, weeks later, the all-around title at the Olympic Trials.

Social media: Twitter: @ brody1700 Insta: brody1700

Simone Manuel

Stanford alumnus Simone Manuel made history in Rio and returns as the team's co-captain in Tokyo.

Stanford alumnus Simone Manuel made history in Rio and returns as the team’s co-captain in Tokyo.

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Sport: Swimming

Local connection: Stanford

Olympic experience: Double Olympian. Two gold and two silver medals in 2016.

Circle it: July 31, women’s 50 freestyle final, 6:30 p.m.

A 2019 graduate from Stanford, where she won the best swimmer and best female athlete in the country, Manuel made history in Rio. With her victory in the 100 freestyle, she became the first black woman to win an individual gold medal in swimming. Manuel missed this year’s team in the 100 freestyle by 0.02 seconds, but qualified dramatically in the 50 freestyle. She was named one of the four captains of the Tokyo swim team.

Social media: Twitter: @swimone Insta: swimone

Alexandre massialas

In Rio, Alexander Massialas became the first American foil to win a silver medal since 1932.

In Rio, Alexander Massialas became the first American foil to win a silver medal since 1932.

Léa Suzuki / The Chronicle

Sport: Fencing

Local connection: San Francisco, Stanford

Olympic experience: Triple Olympian. Team silver and bronze medalist in 2016.

Circle it: July 26, foil final, 2 a.m.

Massialas grew up fencing in the Sunset outdoors, in his father Greg’s studio. Greg, who was an Olympic fencer in 1984 and 1988, is now the coach of the US team. In Rio, Massialas became the first American foil to win a silver medal since 1932. Massialas was instrumental in forming “36 Sports Strong” at Stanford, the effort to restore 11 eliminated sports, including the ‘fencing.

Social media: Twitter: @AMassialas Insta: amassialas

Alex morgan

Cal alum Alex Morgan is chasing his second Olympic gold medal in his third Olympics.

Cal alum Alex Morgan is chasing his second Olympic gold medal in his third Olympics.

Elsa / Getty Images

Sport: Football

Local connection: Cal

Olympic experience: Triple Olympian. Gold medalist in 2012.

Circle it: August 5, women’s gold medal game, 7 p.m.

Morgan is one of eight players on the U.S. national team with Bay Area ties. Now 32, the Cal 2010 graduate hopes to help the team win the first consecutive World Cup and Olympic gold medal in history. She gave birth to daughter Charlie in May 2020 and will be one of many Olympic mothers to miss their young children.

Social media: Twitter: @ alexmorgan13 Insta: alexmorgan13

Maggie Steffens

Maggie Steffens is the captain of what could be America's most impressive women's water polo team to date.

Maggie Steffens is the captain of what could be America’s most impressive women’s water polo team to date.

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Sport: Water polo

Local connection: Danville (Monte Vista High), Stanford

Olympic experience: Triple Olympian. Gold in 2012 and 2016

Circle it: August 7, Women’s Gold Medal Game, 12:30 a.m.

Once the team’s little sister – she played with her older sister Jessica in 2012 – Steffens is now the 28-year-old captain of what some call the greatest of all time. She tries to keep the team’s dominance alive, having won two gold medals and three consecutive world championships.

Social media: Twitter: @maggiesteffens Insta: maggie.steffens




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