Two to cheer at Tokyo Olympics are athletes from North Texas

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Photo by Alex Smith on Unsplash

If you are looking for some local athletes to root for during the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, here are two: Hailey Hernandez and Jasmine Moore.

Hernandez, 18, who just graduated from Southlake’s Carroll High School earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic diving team, when she took the second spot in the 3-meter individual competition on June 19. Hernandez will be attending the University of Texas.

According to the Team USA website, Hernandez is a four-time Texas state champion. She placed second at the Trials, finishing with 926.55 points by displaying consistency despite having a lower degree of difficulty than her top rivals.

The Southlake native began diving at age 7 and was first taught to do flips by her brother Nathaniel, who is five years older and also competed at the Trials. 

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Hernandez is a 10-time junior national champion. She won two silver medals at the 2018 world junior championships (1-meter and 3-meter) and won a gold and two silver medals at the 2019 Junior Pan American Championships.

Moore is a graduate of Mansfield ISD’s Lake Ridge High School, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the triple jump on June 20. Moore, who attends the  University of Georgia, finished third to earn the final U.S. spot in the event to the Tokyo Games.

The Olympics will begin on July 23 after being postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic. While the two athletes from North Texas will be attending the games, it is unclear if their families will be attending.

A sharply limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics, organizers announced Monday as they tried to save some of the spirit of the Games where even cheering has been banned.

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Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans, all of whom must be Japanese residents — for each Olympic venue, regardless of whether it is indoors or outdoors. Officials said that if coronavirus cases rise again the rules could be changed and fans could still be barred all together. Spectators from abroad were banned several months ago, and now some local fans who have tickets will be forced to give them up.

Also from the area is Sha’Carri Richardson, unmistakeable in her shock of flowing, orange hair who put on an eye-opening show at the Olympic trials Saturday. She blew away the field in the 100-meter semis in a wind-aided 10.64 seconds, then again in the final in 10.86 — she figures to grab her fair share of attention next month in Tokyo.

With her performance, the 21-year-old out of LSU picked up a spot in the Olympics and a national title while also setting up a possible showdown with the Jamaican world champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who is well-known for her colorful hairstyles, too.

And while she is not from North Texas, Christina Clemons from Waldorf, Maryland made the Olympic team after finishing third in the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials held in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday. Her third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles went viral as she was wearing earrings that were in the shape of small Doritos Cool Ranch chips bags. Doritos is a product of Frito-Lay, which is based in Dallas. Doritos, known for its social media savvy, quickly Tweeted photos of her with the earrings.

  • The Associated Press contributed to this report.