A “who’s who” of San Francisco’s own will be representing the United States in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics. Here’s a close-up and personal look at team members who claim San Francisco as home, by birth or by choice. Be sure to check out all the Olympics action at The Brick Yard!
Gerek Meinhardt, Fencing
Championship fencer Gerek Meinhardt will celebrate his 26th birthday on July 27, shortly before heading to Rio to compete in the Olympics. Meinhardt began fencing at the age of nine, and at 17 he became the first U.S. men’s fencer to qualify for three world teams during a single year. He went on to set another record the following year as the youngest athlete ever on a U.S. fencing team.
Meinhardt currently ranks fourth in the world for men’s foil and will be competing in both individual and team events at Rio. Throughout his athletic career, he has managed to maintain similarly high academic standards. In 2013 he earned a BS in Information Technology Management from Notre Dame.
Alex Massialas, Fencing
Meinhardt’s teammate Alex Massialas is something of a fencing legacy. His father Greg competed on the U.S. men’s fencing team during the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics and currently serves as his son’s coach, while his sister Sabrina is a high-achieving member of the U.S. women’s team. Massialas is considered the best chance for the United States to receive its first-ever gold medal in men’s fencing this summer in Rio.
After beginning his fencing career at age 7, Massialas became the youngest male member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team across all sports. He currently holds the number one world ranking for men’s foil and earned a silver individual medal in the 2015 World Fencing Championships. This year, Massialas also received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
Shannon Rowbury, Track & Field
Long-distance runner Shannon Rowbury has been competing since her time at Duke University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2007 with a degree in English and Theater Studies. She has trained as part of the Nike Oregon Project under legendary runner Alberto Salazar, noted for his victories in the New York and Boston Marathons during the 1980s.
In early July, Rowbury qualified for the women’s 1,500-meter event in Rio with a second-place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She competed in the same event during the last two Summer Olympics, earning 7th place in 2008 and 6th place in 2012.
Evelyn Stevens, Cycling
Cyclist Evelyn Stevens took an unorthodox route to her place on the U.S. Olympic Team. Stevens’ previous experience with competitive sports was limited to membership on the women’s tennis team at her alma mater of Dartmouth. In 2009, after her sister Angela introduced her to the sport two years earlier, Stevens walked away from a lucrative investment banking career on Wall Street to pursue professional cycling.
Since then, Stevens has competed each year in the World Championships, earning a silver medal in the 2012 time trials. Rio will be the second Olympic experience for Stevens, as she previously finished 24th in the road race event during the 2012 Summer Games.
Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Basketball
As members of the Golden State Warriors, these two men receive honorary status as citizens of the City by the Bay. Draymond Green came to the Warriors after a spectacular college career at Michigan State, while Klay Thompson played three outstanding years at Washington State.