Countdown 2 Tokyo: A look at South Carolina’s Olympians

Japan 2020

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – The world’s best athletes are coming together in just a few weeks for the Tokyo Olympics.

Dating back to 1924, California, Texas and New York have dominated the summer Olympics, specifically the Rio Olympics back in 2016; California brought home 58 medals, Florida came in second with 23 medals, and Texas left with 22 medals.

During the 2016 games, South Carolina had two Olympians compete and bring home one silver medal. But many South Carolinians before them have competed brought home medals throughout the years.

In this special report, you’ll hear from local and state Olympians bout their experience and journey to the big game, including Dawn Staley, the head women’s basketball coach from the University of South Carolina, who was named the head coach for the women’s basketball team in the Tokyo Olympics.

We also hear from University of South Carolina graduate Natasha Hastings, who won numerous world championships and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, telling us about her biggest challenges running track for the 2020 games.

Plus, we have a story of a man who closed out the 4 by 400-meter relay race in the 1996 Olympics. Anthuan Maybank’s gold medal-winning race was more than two decades ago at the Atlanta games.

And finally, born and bred in Charleston, we catch up with a Lowcountry Olympian who is going for the gold again – Raven Saunders, a Burke High School graduate, who has won several state titles in shot put and disc. She set collegiate records at both Southern Illinois and Ole Miss and placed 5th overall in shot put during the Rio games in 2016.

The Tokyo Olympics begin Friday, July 23rd and run through Sunday, August 8th. You can watch full coverage on WCBD News 2 and follow along at counton2.com.

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