The Olympic opening ceremony is Friday night in Rio de Janeiro, and a handful of past and present Maryland athletes are set to compete in these Summer Games.
The Games feature six Terrapins – five from the past, one from the present. Here’s a list, courtesy of the folks in Maryland’s media relations office:
Ekene Ibekwe - men's basketball - Nigeria
Nataly Arias - women's soccer - Colombia
Katie Bam (formally O'Donnell) - field hockey - United States
Jill Witmer - field hockey - United States
Micha Powell - track and field - Canada
Thea LaFond - track and field - Dominica
Powell is the current Marylander in the mix, and she’ll be running for Canada in the 4x400 relay. Additionally, Maryland alumna Ashley Nee (who didn’t play a sport in College Park) is in the canoe slalom for Team USA.
As best as we can put it together to this point, here’s a complete schedule for every Maryland athlete competing in Rio, plus streaming links. All times are Eastern:
Ekene Ibekwe, Nigera men’s basketball
Nigeria is not going to win the gold medal. Nor will any team not from the United States. But Ibekwe, who averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds for Maryland over a four-year career from 2003 to 2007, is nonetheless worth your rooting interest.
Nataly Arias, Colombia women’s soccer
The Colombians already took a 4-0 loss before the opening ceremony even started, so it’s tough to envision too deep a run here, especially with the American juggernaut lurking next week. But, still, this could be fun.
Katie Bam and Jill Witmer, United States women’s field hockey
The Netherlands has won the last couple gold medals in women’s field hockey. It’d be awfully fun if Bam and and Witmer could put a stop to that.
Micha Powell, Canada track and field
Thea LaFond, Dominica track and field
It’s not entirely clear at this stage if Powell will run every stage of this relay for Team Canada or not. If you see something official to that effect, let us know in the comments. And best of luck to her.
That’s a rough mockup of how this is going to go. We’ll also treat this post as the weekend Maryland Minute, so feel free to discuss whatever around these parts.
Do go ahead and check out SB Nation’s Olympic coverage, to which members of the Testudo Times staff have been contributing for the past few weeks.
Maryland is paying $185,000 in a settlement to accommodate deaf fans at games.