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Charlotte-area athletes competing in Tokyo Olympics

A list of Charlotte-area athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
Credit: WCNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Evy Leibfarth

Credit: WCNC
Bryson City's Evy Leibfarth, 17, shows off her Team USA colored nails after qualifying for the Tokyo games at the U.S. National Whitewater Center

Evy Leibfarth, 17, is from Bryson City, North Carolina, and will be representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Leibfarth will compete in Kayak Slalom, Canoe Slalom.

Leibfarth failed to qualify for her first final event in Tokyo on Tuesday as she placed 12th in the K-1 slalom semifinals. She will compete in the C-1 slalom semifinals in Tokyo. 

Competition date: Thursday, July 29

Leibfarth is from Bryson City, North Carolina, and attends school at Davidson College.

Leibfarth has won several awards including 3rd in WK1 and 3rd in WC1 at the 2020 World Cup. This will be the first time Leibfarth competes in the Olympics. 

Team bio | Instagram | Facebook

Michal Smolen

Michal Smolen, 27, is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and will be representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Smolen will compete in American Canoe.

Smolen is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and attends school at Belmont Abbey College. 

Smolen placed 12th in Single Kayak (K1) at the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Team bio | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Competition Date: K-1 Slalom semifinals, Friday, July 30

Zach Lokken

Zach Lokken, 27, is from Durango, Colorado, and represented Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Lokken competed in American Canoe.

Lokken is from Durango, Colorado, and attends Central Piedmont Community College, Associate of Science. 

Lokken has won several awards including placing third in C1 and 3rd in C2 during the 2015 U.S. National Team Trials. This was the first time Lokken competes in the Olympics. 

Lokken placed 7th in the semifinals with a time of 105.97. That time allowed Lokken to race in the finals just an hour later. Lokken was the top American finisher placing 7th in the finals with a score of 106.08.

Team bio | Twitter 

Erika Brown

Erika Brown, 22, is from Modesto, California, and represented Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Brown competed in swimming.

Brown is from Modesto, California, but attended high school at William Amos Hough High School '16. She also attended college at the University of Tennessee. 

This was the first time Brown competes in the Olympics. 

In her Olympic debut Sunday, July 25 in Tokyo, helping the United States bring home bronze in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay. Brown competed in the women's 100-meter freestyle semifinals Wednesday night. She finished 7th in her race and did not qualify for the finals.

Team bio | Instagram

Quanera Hayes

Quanera Hayes, 29, is from Hope Mills, North Carolina, and will be representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Hayes will compete in the 400m sprint.

Hayes is from Hope Mills, North Carolina, and attends Livingstone College. 

Hayes won the 2016 World Indoor Championships (Bronze, 400m). This will be the first time Hayes competes in the Olympics. 

Team bio | Instagram

COMPETITION DATE: Monday, Aug. 2 at 8:45 p.m.

Caine Wilkes

Caine Wilkes, 33, is from Matthews, North Carolina, and will be representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Wilkes will compete in Weightlifting.

Wilkes is from Matthews, North Carolina, and attended Old Dominion University. 

Wilkes placed 15th in the 2019 World Championship. This will be the first time Wilkes competes in the Olympics. 

Team bio | Instagram 

COMPETITION DATE: Tuesday, Aug. 3 

Hannah Aspden

Hannah Aspden, 21, is from Raleigh, North Carolina, and will be representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Aspden will compete in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and the 200m IM.

Aspden is from Raleigh, North Carolina, and attends Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.) '22, Journalism and Digital Media. 

Aspden is a one-time Paralympian (2016); Two-time medalist (2 bronze)

Team bio | Instagram | Facebook 

Naya Tapper

Naya Tapper, 26, is from Beaufort, South Carolina, and will be representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Tapper will compete in Women's Rugby.

Tapper went to high school at West Mecklenburg High School (Charlotte, N.C.) ‘12 and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‘16, Exercise and Sports Science. 

Tapper placed 4th in the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens. This will be the first time Tapper competes in the Olympics. 

Team bio | Instagram | Twitter 

Anna Cockrell

Anna Cockrell, 23, is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and will be representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. Cockrell will compete in the 400-meter hurdles Track and Field.

Cockrell went to Providence Day School (Charlotte, N.C.) ‘16 and attended the University of Southern California ‘19, Communications. 

Cockrell won gold at the 2016 IAAF World Under-20 Championships (400m hurdles, 4x400m relay). This will be the first time Cockrell competes in the Olympics. 

Team bio | Instagram | Twitter 

COMPETITION DATE: Friday, July 30

Gabriele Cunningham

Gabbi Cunningham is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and will be representing Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.  Cunningham will compete in the 100-meter hurdles Track and Field.

Cunningham went to Mallard Creek High School (Charlotte, NC) '15 and attended North Carolina State University.

Cunningham earned Second Team All-American status in 60m dash and 60m hurdles. This will be the first time Cunningham competes in the Olympics.

Instagram | Twitter 

COMPETITION DATE: Saturday, July 31 

Sam Mikulak

Sam Mikulak, 28, represented Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. He competed on the men's gymnastics in the U.S. four-person team. 

Mikulak is from Newport Beach, California, but his fiance, WCNC Charlotte's Mia Atkins, resides in Charlotte. 

In the men's all-around qualifier, Mikulak finished 14th with an overall score of 84.664. Mikulak earned a score of 15.433 in the Men's parallel bars qualifier, finishing in fifth place. The Olympian missed in the high bar final with a score of 12.866.

Mikulak graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015, majoring in Psychology. He first competed at the London 2012 Summer Olympics in artistic gymnastics, before competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Instagram | Twitter | Team bio