Rio Olympics Begin for Nine Ole Miss Representatives
Aug. 5, 2016 | NBC Olympics Coverage

OXFORD, Miss. –
A school-record nine Ole Miss representatives are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for tonight’s opening ceremonies (NBC, 6:30 p.m. CT) of the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

Two of them have been there before – Ole Miss track & field head coach Connie Price-Smith, who is serving as head coach of the U.S. women’s track & field team, and one of her athletes in Rio, Brittney Reese, who is making her third Olympic appearance and is the defending gold medalist in the long jump.

Price-Smith competed in four Olympics as a world-class shot put and discus thrower for Team USA, and she has either competed or coached at every Olympics since 1988 except the 2004 Games in Athens.

“I think we have a good team going down there to Rio,” said Price-Smith about her U.S. squad. “We go from men and women from 16- to 41-year-olds. I think everyone that competed in trials competed well and we will go down to Rio and do the same.

“Ole Miss has great tradition. One of my goals when I came down here was to keep building on that tradition. So I feel like I have started doing that with (current Ole Miss representatives) Raven and Gwen going. It is just great to be able to represent the United States and Ole Miss at the same time.”

All other Rebels besides Price-Smith and Reese will be experiencing their first Olympics, including Gwen Berry (women’s hammer throw – USA), Antwon Hicks (men’s 110-meter hurdles – Nigeria), Sam Kendricks (men’s pole vault – USA), Anthony Perez (men’s basketball – Venezuela), Ricky Robertson (men’s high jump – USA), Raven Saunders (women’s shot put – USA) and Rafaelle Souza (women’s soccer – Brazil).



Saunders, who finished her sophomore season at Ole Miss by winning the NCAA outdoor shot put title and breaking the all-time collegiate record, earned silver at the U.S. Olympic Trials to make her first Olympic team at age 20.

“I really feel like I am going to have to clear some space in my phone for all the pictures I am going to take,” Saunders said. “I would say Serena Williams would be my number one person. I have actually started going through the USA National Team list to see whose people's autographs and pictures I will have to take when I go down there. 

For complete coverage of Ole Miss in the Rio Olympics, including schedules and updates, please visit

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.




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