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The Road to Tokyo

The University of Tennessee continues to be well represented when it comes to the Tokyo Olympics. Past and present students across campus are displaying their talents overseas and we are proud to call them Vols! Here we are highlighting some of our KRSS and CEHHS athletes:

Erika Brown (2017-2020) USA; Swimming:

  A two-time SEC Female Swimmer of the Year, Erika Brown sealed her legacy at Tennessee when she led the Lady Vols to their first-ever SEC Championship title in 2020. She represented Team USA during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, competing in the 100-meter freestyle and the 4×100 freestyle relay. She owns the world record in the 4×100 medley relay and holds the American record in the 100 butterfly. During her decorated career in Knoxville, she garnered 21 All-America honors and won 18 SEC gold medals. During her senior campaign, she broke the American Record in the 100 butterfly with her time of 49.38 and became just the second woman to ever swim sub 46 seconds in the 100 free, joining Olympian Simone Manuel. Brown also marked the first woman in SEC history to win the same three events (50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly) three consecutive seasons. Erika is a recent KRSS graduate from Spring 2020.


Lyubomir Epitropov (2021-Present) Bulgaria; Swimming: 

Lyubomir Epitropov made his Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, competing for Bulgaria in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke. Epitropov won gold in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2021 SEC Championships, securing his first SEC title. The Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria, native holds the Tennessee school record in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 1:52.69. Lyubomir is a current KRSS student.


Kira Toussaint (2016-2017) Netherlands; Swimming:

After competing for the Netherlands at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Kira Toussaint returns to the summer games for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The former Lady Vol will compete in the 100-meter backstroke, an event she holds the program record for at UT. The world record holder in the 50-meter backstroke (25.60), Toussaint earned eight All-America accolades and won three SEC gold medals during her two seasons in Knoxville. At Rio, she became the first women’s swimmer in program history to compete in the Olympics while currently on the Tennessee team, finishing 18th in the 100 back. Kira graduated with her BS in Kinesiology in 2017.


Cherelle Thompson (2013-2015) Trinidad & Tobago; Swimming:

Cherelle Thompson Cherelle Thompson is making her first appearance in the summer games by competing with Trinidad & Tobago in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The former All-American swimming will compete in the 50-meter freestyle. She helped the Lady Vols to top-15 finishes at the NCAA Championships during her three seasons on Rocky Top, including a third-place finish in 2013. Cherelle graduated with her BS in Kinesiology in 2016.


Kelsey Robinson (2010-2012) USA; Volleyball:

Kelsey Robinson will compete with Team USA volleyball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, marking her second Olympic games appearance. In 2016, Robinson and Team USA brought home a bronze medal from the Rio Olympics. As a Lady Vol, Robinson was a two-time AVCA All-American and was named the SEC Player of the Year in 2011. She also helped lead the Lady Vols to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2010-2012. Kelsey graduated from Child & Family Studies with her BS in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences in 2021.


We would also like to include honorable mentions of some past KRSS and CEHHS Olympians:

  • Pat Head Summitt; Head Coach – Women’s Basketball
    • 1976 Silver medal Player
    • 1984 Gold medal
  • Tamika Catchings – Women’s Basketball
    • 4 time Gold Medal ’04, ’08, ’12’, and ’16.
  • Candice Parker- Women’s Basketball
    • 2 time Gold Medal ’08 and ’12’.
  • Timothy Mack – Men’s Pole Vault
    • ’04 Gold Medal, Olympic Record.
  • Aries Merritt – 110 Metre Hurdle
    • ’12 Gold Medal
  • Lawrence Johnson – Men’s Pole Vault
    • – ’00 Silver Medal.
  • Terry Hull Crawford
    • 1988 Olympic T&F Head Coach Women.
  • Tom Pappas – Decathlon
    • 3 time Olympian ’00, ’04, and ’08.
  • Jose AntonioTony” Parrilla Jr. – 800 Metres
    •  2 time Olympian 1992 and 1996.
  • Molly Hannis – 200 Metre Medley Relay
    • ’16 Gold Medal
  • Christian Coleman – T&F ’16
  • Hassaan Stamps Asst. Coach – T&F ’12
  • Jonas Persson – Swimming ’08
  • Nikki McCray – Basketball
    • ’00 Gold Medal
    • ’96 Gold Medal
  • Aric Long – T&F Decathlon ’92