The dream group! U.S. Olympians are headed to Tokyo to compete on the world’s stage in just some days, however earlier than they exhibit their skills, the athletes sat down solely with Us Weekly to share their movie star crushes, hidden skills and the way they squash any nerves they’ve earlier than a giant match or competitors. Watch the unique video above to get to know Staff USA!
Rai Benjamin, Monitor and Area
Whereas the 23-year-old athlete is the third-fastest man in historical past in relation to 400-meter hurdles, the Staff USA sprinter is rather like Us in relation to crushing on celebrities!
“I had a star crush, however then she began relationship someone. It was Kendall Jenner, however she began relationship Devin Booker. So, I used to be like, you recognize what? It’s all good. I perceive how it’s,” he stated, laughing.
When Benjamin isn’t busy with observe, he enjoys a interest he perfected in the course of the pandemic.
NBC Olympics (3)
“I discovered to play the guitar throughout lockdown final yr and I acquired fairly good at taking part in ‘Marvel Wall.’ I used to be very, very pushed and really dedicated to truly studying that track,” he defined. “My buddy’s actually good at taking part in the guitar, so, we practiced for about an hour, an hour and a half, on daily basis. And, truly, I’m fairly good at it. I used to be pleased with myself.”
Brooke Raboutou, Climbing
At simply 20 years outdated, Raboutou is able to tackle climbing, a sport that was added to the Summer season Olympics for the primary time this yr. When the Colorado native isn’t on the ropes, you could find her behind her stitching machine.
“I like to stitch. Over quarantine I sewed loads with my stitching machine,” she advised Us. “I made pants out of this materials that I discovered and reworked denims and jean jackets. It’s enjoyable to create issues after which put on them and flaunt them.”
Jade Carey, Gymnastics
The Olympic rookie, 21, who’s finest identified for her troublesome flooring and vault routines, defined what retains her motivated earlier than a giant competitors.
“I truly love quotes, so I’ve loads all over the place, all through my room and on my cellphone and all that,” Carey defined. “It’s exhausting for me to select a favourite, however I actually like, ‘She believed she may, so she did.’ For me, that helped me loads once I was beginning to do bars once more as a result of I took a while off on bars, so I simply knew that if I believed I may do it, I’d finally get there.”
Kaleo Maclay, Paralympic Sitting Volleyball
Maclay, 25, is a mother to 3-year-old son Duke, and busy coaching for her upcoming Paralympic volleyball matches in Tokyo, however as if that’s not sufficient to maintain the gold medalist’s arms full, Maclay additionally turned her facet hustle right into a profitable enterprise.
“Leaving Rio, I knew that volleyball wasn’t going to be ceaselessly for me. With changing into a mother and figuring out that as an athlete, the time span is just not ceaselessly, I needed to begin taking part in with the thought of one thing that I’ve at all times cherished,” Maclay advised Us. “I baked with my grandma and he or she used to make cookies and he or she was the top cookie decorator of each household occasion, and I truly got here throughout cookie adorning on YouTube and actually simply watched YouTube movies of how they did it and [learned] completely different strategies after which developed a cookie recipe that I cherished, and began from there. My husband’s tremendous into espresso. So we had been like, ‘That is the proper mixture: Bakery, espresso and flowers.’ So we put it collectively and it’s referred to as Flower and Flour.”
Lee Kiefer and Gerek Meinhardt, Fencing
Newlyweds Kiefer, 27, and Meinhardt, 30, acquired married in September 2019 and the foil fencers determined coaching for the Olympics wasn’t the one factor they needed to perform collectively — each the Staff USA athletes are additionally tackling medical college.
“It’s [been] very unusual in the course of the pandemic. We’ve been with one another, like, 24/7, as a result of we’ll examine collectively, eat collectively, practice collectively,” Kiefer famous.
“We did a very good job of separating the competitiveness and the main target that we’ve got and the spirit that we’ve got —that we each wish to win — from married life,” Meinhardt added. “After we get dwelling, we nonetheless discuss fencing, however it’s tremendous useful.”
Cat Osterman, Softball
The Team Milk member, 38, advised Us that she doesn’t endure from too many nerves earlier than a giant sport. The Olympic softball pitcher, who got here out of retirement to affix the Tokyo video games, advised Us: “We profit from the truth that we get to the sector normally about two hours early and the group has batting observe and that’s a time the place I don’t must be tremendous centered. So, even when I’m beginning that sport, I can use that point to both relax or simply begin to join with teammates. So normally I take advantage of that point to be the bucket particular person, gathering all of the balls and taking them again in. That’s kinda my calming time, simply having some straightforward conversations, often it is going to be with the catcher about who we’re taking part in.”
To study extra about Staff USA, go to TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23 on NBC.
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