- July 27, 2021
Olympic athletes typically get a lot of attention every four years when their sports are the hottest thing on television for a month.
After that, things go quiet for 47 months until the next Olympics return. Unlike other athletes, Olympians don't have their highlights shown on SportsCenter each night, even though they keep competing while the Olympics are away. When an area such as Sarasota has four representatives at the Games, as it did at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, it feels wrong to ignore their talents for four years. More constant updates are required.
In that spirit, here is a rundown of what Sarasota's Olympians have been up to since making the city proud last summer.
Olympics refresher: Tucker took silver in the Mixed Air Rifle alongside partner Lucas Kozeniesky at the 2020 Olympics. Tucker also finished sixth in the Women's 10-meter Air Rifle.
Since the Games: Tucker, a junior at Kentucky, and her Wildcat rifle teammates repeated as NCAA champions in March in Colorado Springs, edging Texas Christian 4,739-4,736 — the highest team score in the championship's history. It was the Wildcats' fourth championship in program history and Tucker was a large part of it. She had the highest score of any shooter in the team competition, racking up 1,191 points. She was also named the NCAA individual aggregate champion for her performance in the individual small bore and air rifle competitions.
Olympics refresher: Weyant earned a silver medal in the women's 400-meter individual medley at the Olympics (4:32.76), finishing 0.68 seconds behind Japan's Yui Ohashi (4:32.08).
Since the Games: Weyant, who deferred her enrollment to Virginia one year to focus on her Olympic training, participated in her freshman season for the Cavaliers. Weyant finished second in the 500-yard freestyle (4:34.99) and fourth in the 400-yard individual medley (4:03.17) at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships in March in Atlanta, helping the Cavs capture their second-straight team title.
Weyant is not done, either. She will represent Team USA at the 2022 FINA World Championships, June 18-July 3 in Budapest, by swimming in the 400-meter individual medley, her silver medal event from Tokyo. She will be joined by two Virginia teammates who also medaled in Tokyo, Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh, as well as Cavaliers coach Todd DeSorbo.
Olympics refresher: Ilardi finished 11th out of 20 skaters in the qualifying round of the Men's Street competition, failing to reach the finals.
Since the Games: On May 16, Ilardi and his brother, Nate Ilardi — who films all of Jake Ilardi's competitions and turns them into highlight videos — were honored by the city of Sarasota for their contributions to the area and had the day named after them. The Ilardi brothers raised more than $15,000 for renovations to Payne Skate Park last year and consistently bring attention to the park as an important part of Jake Ilardi's development as a skateboarder.
As far as Ilardi's skateboarding goes, he finished third at the 28th annual Tampa Pro event on May 1, taking home $3,000 and earning a spot in the Street League Skateboarding qualifying event in Los Angeles on June 5. The SLS Championship Tour is recognized as the world’s premier professional street skateboarding competition, akin to golf's PGA Tour. Ilardi is ranked third in The Boardr's Street global rankings.
Olympics refresher: Dean competed in the Men's Four alongside U.S. teammates Michael Grady, Andrew Reed and Anders Weiss. Their boat finished fifth (5:48.85) in the final, 6.09 seconds behind gold-medal winner Australia.
Since the Games: Dean has been completing his senior year at Harvard. He's a stalwart on the Crimson's first varsity Men's Eight boat and helped Harvard win the Adams Cup over Penn and Navy on April 23. Dean and Harvard will compete in the 2022 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships on June 3-5 on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey.