Huskies strike gold, silver and bronze in Tokyo Olympics, Paralympics

Gold medalists Kelsey Plum (left) and Jacquelyn Young of Team USA celebrate at the medal ceremony for 3×3 women’s basketball. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Plum guards of Tserenlkham Kunkhsaikhan of Team Mongolia in a women’s 3×3 basketball game during the Summer Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The fantastic Kelsey Plum, ’17, the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader in women’s basketball, captured the gold medal at the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 3×3 women’s basketball. She helped lead the U.S. team to an 8-1 record in the tournament, including an 18-15 victory over the Russian Olympic Committee in the gold-medal match.

“Winning a gold medal is hard to describe,” said Plum, who was the WNBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2017 and currently plays for the Las Vegas Aces. “Seeing the U.S. flag and representing the country, it was a great experience. … An Olympic gold medal is something that I always wanted to accomplish.”

In men’s basketball, former Husky Matisse Thybulle, ’19, helped lead Australia to the bronze medal in Tokyo. Thybulle, who plays for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, holds dual American-Australian citizenship; he spent about seven years of his childhood in Sydney. The Boston Celtics made him the 20th overall pick in the 2019 draft, and he was subsequently traded to the Sixers. He is a former National College Defensive Player of the Year.

In all, 31 UW athletes (mostly former Huskies) competed at the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

Paralympics Rowing: Danielle Hansen, ’16, won her second Paralympics silver medal, helping her PR3 mixed four with coxswain to a runner-up finish in Tokyo. She also won silver in the same event in the Rio Summer Paralympics.

Softball: Ali Aguilar, ’17, helped lead the U.S. to the silver medal. Husky coach Heather Tarr, ’96, was an assistant coach for the U.S. team. Canada was led by three former Huskies: pitcher Danielle Lawrie, ’10, who led the UW to the 2009 national championship; infielder Jenn Salling, ’11, ’17; and outfielder Victoria Hayward, ’14. Current Husky star pitcher Gabbie Plain played for Australia.

Rowing: Sadly, former Husky rowers did not medal, which was a bit of an eye-opener since 42 UW rowers have won medals at the Olympics.

Among them was Megan Kalmoe, ’06, a bronze medalist in London in 2012, who finished fourth in the Women’s B final in Tokyo. Conlin McCabe, ’14, also finished fourth in the men’s Pair A finals. A veteran of three Olympics, he also won silver in 2012 in London. And Valentina Iseppi finished fourth in the Women’s A final.

Track and field: Sam Tanner, ’16, competed in 1500 meters in men’s track and field but did not medal. He competed for New Zealand. In women’s track and field, Izzi Batt-Doyle, ’19, ran in the women’s 5000 meters while competing for Australia, but did not medal. Amy-Eloise Markovc also ran in the 5000 meters but did not win a medal while competing for Great Britain; and Gianna Woodruff, ’15, a hurdler competing for Panama, did not medal either.