No fewer than four men and women with Ashland University connections will take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Kibwe Johnson will be a member of the United States Olympic track and field team, competing in the men's hammer throw. The qualifying round is Aug. 17 at 8:40 a.m. and 10:05 a.m., while the finals are Aug. 19 at 8:05 p.m.
Johnson will make his second Olympics appearance, having competed in 2012 in London, England, placing ninth at 74.95 meters. He finished second in the men's hammer at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., in early July at 75.11 meters/246-feet-5.
As an Eagle, Johnson was a three-time national champion (two outdoors, one indoors) in the hammer, discus and weight throw. He still has the top seven all-time NCAA Division II marks in the men's indoor weight throw (all in the winter of 2007, top mark of 25.08 meters/82-feet-3.5), and eight of the top nine outdoor men's hammer throw distances (all in the spring of 2007, top mark of 73.77 meters/242-feet-0) in D-II history.
- Carlin Isles is a key member of the United States Rugby Sevens team, in the first-ever Olympic tournament for the sport. The Americans will play Argentina (Aug. 9, 1 p.m.), Brazil (Aug. 9, 6 p.m.) and Fiji (Aug. 10, 1:30 p.m.) in pool play, then move on to the placing round on Aug. 11.
While at Ashland, Isles was a four-time track and field All-American – two indoors and two outdoors. He continues to boast the school record in the indoor 60-meter run (6.68 seconds), and was the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Indoor and Outdoor Men's Freshman of the Meet in 2009. On the football field, Isles has the AU record for longest touchdown play (100-yard kickoff return) and most single-game kickoff-return yards (174).
Known as the fastest man in rugby, Isles has played the sport since 2012.
- Former AU volleyball player Marina Santos will serve as a field reporter for the Olympic men's and women's indoor volleyball tournaments, Aug. 6-21. Santos is working for the Olympic Committee in conjunction with the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB).
Santos (2006-09) ranks fourth in Ashland volleyball history in career attacks (3,960), and led the 2008 team in kills with 362. She earned second-team All-GLIAC honors in 2008, and honorable mention All-GLIAC laurels in 2006. Santos also was a three-time All-GLIAC Academic selection.
- Ashland University junior Alex Hendricks is a member of the United States Paralympic National Men's Soccer Team that will compete in Brazil Sept. 7-18. Hendricks also played for Team USA in the 2012 London Games.