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Seven Princetonians to compete in Tokyo Olympics

<h5>Julia Ratcliffe ’17 will represent New Zealand in the hammer throw at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of Goprincetontigers.com&nbsp;</h6>
Julia Ratcliffe ’17 will represent New Zealand in the hammer throw at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Courtesy of Goprincetontigers.com 

Keep an eye out for Tigers when watching this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

So far, five Princeton alumni and two current students have qualified to represent their home countries in the games. This includes four members of Team USA, one athlete representing Egypt, one athlete representing New Zealand, and one athlete representing Norway.

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Eliza Stone ’13, who was a political theory concentrator at Princeton, qualified for the Olympics in saber fencing thanks to her performance at the Sabre World Cup in Budapest, Hungary this March. She reached the podium at the NCAA Championships three times from 2011–2013, winning the gold medal in 2013 for individual sabre. Princeton also won the team gold that year. 

Stone is joined by Kat Holmes ’17, a neuroscience concentrator who qualified in epee fencing after delivering a standout performance at the Epee World Cup in Kazan, Russia, just one week after Stone qualified. Holmes represented the USA at the Rio Olympics in 2016, coming in 25th overall in the epee event. Team USA finished 5th overall. 

At the same event in Kazan, Holmes’ classmate Anna Van Brummen ’17, who concentrated in geoscience, qualified as a replacement athlete in epee fencing. Van Brummen defeated Holmes in the 2017 NCAA Championship to win the gold medal in epee. She also won bronze in epee at the NCAA Championships in 2015. 

The Tigers have qualified a male fencer, too; Mohamed Hamza ’23, who is concentrating in mechanical and aerospace engineering, will represent Egypt this summer in foil fencing. Hamza was an All-American in the 2018–19 season and finished sixth at the NCAA Championships. He also competed for Egypt at Rio 2016. Hamza is excited to return to the Olympics, noting that his experience in Rio will serve him well.

“It’s nice to have already experienced the Olympic atmosphere and the unique pressures that come along with it,” he said. “I feel very much ready and have been working hard to hopefully achieve something great and prove that us young athletes are just as great as our older opponents, of which there are plenty in fencing.”

So far, three non-fencing athletes from Princeton have also secured their spots in Tokyo. Gevvie Stone ’07 (no relation to Eliza), who also has an M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine, will compete for Team USA in double sculls rowing. Stone, who is the daughter of two former Team USA rowers, represented the United States at London 2012 and Rio 2016, where she finished 7th and 2nd, respectively. 

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Julia Ratcliffe ’17 became the third member of her class to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics when she made Team New Zealand on March 26 in the hammer throw. Ratcliffe’s qualifying throw of 73.55 meters set the Oceania record in the event. She was also the NCAA Champion in the hammer throw in 2014, and was an All-American all four years at Princeton.

Finally, Sondre Guttormsen ‘23 has reached the Olympic Games entry standard in the pole vault with his personal-best jump of 5.80 meters, achieved in 2019. Guttormsen transferred to Princeton in the fall from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and set an Ivy League record earlier in the year with his jump of 5.66 meters. As of April 27, he is ranked 26th in the world in the pole vault, according to World Athletics. Guttormsen will be representing his home country, Norway.

With an impressive list of athletes already qualified, the Tigers could still see more current and former athletes representing their home countries this summer. In an email to The Daily Princetonian, a representative for Princeton Athletics said that the full list of Princetonian participants in the games should be available by the end of May, when the United States Olympic Committee will have the teams named. 

This article was updated on April 29 to include reference to a seventh qualifying athlete.

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