Defending bronze medalist Janay DeLoach will lead a group of three Rams competing over the next two weeks in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
DeLoach, who finished third in the long jump in the London Olympics in 2012, will be joined by former men’s basketball star Andy Ogide and current student Ben Pinkelman, who will compete in the men’s rugby 7s – a new Olympic sport. Ogide will compete for the Nigerian National Team, while Pinkelman competes for Team USA.
DeLoach, a former All-American at CSU, currently works as an occupational therapist at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital and a volunteer assistant coach for CSU track and field.
She earned her spot on Team USA at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., in July with a leap of 6.93 meters (22 feet, 7.5 inches) on her last jump, landing her the third and final qualifying spot on the team.
DeLoach Olympic sendoff
There will be a sendoff for Janay DeLoach, who still resides in Fort Collins, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, in Old Town Square.
DeLoach’s personal bests are 7.03 meters and 6.99 meters indoor. DeLoach will go through qualifications Aug. 16, with finals the following day.
DeLoach’s is one of CSU’s decorated track athletes, garnering four All-America honors and four Mountain West long jump titles in her collegiate career that wrapped up in 2008. She earned the silver medal in the 2012 World Indoor Championships.
DeLoach earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and human development and family studies before earning master’s in occupational therapy.
Ogide playing for parents’ homeland
Born in Tallahassee, Fla., Ogide will compete in his first Olympics in Rio for his parents’ native Nigeria, which qualified for the Games by winning the 2015 African Basketball Championship.
Playing in Group B, Nigeria will open the Rio competition against Argentina on Sunday. The group also includes Lithuania, Spain, Croatia and Brazil.
Ogide started his basketball career at the University of Mississippi but transferred to CSU in 2008, playing three seasons for the Rams. He earned all-Mountain West and second-team NABC All-District honors for his efforts.
Pinkelman, who stars for CSU’s club rugby team, was selected for Team USA following a standout performance throughout the past year. Pinkelman, a senior from Centennial, Colo., will graduate in December with a degree in sociology/criminal justice and a minor in history.
Rugby has not been played in the Games since 1924.
Including Ogide, DeLoach and Pinkelman, CSU athletes will have competed in a combined 22 Olympic games, including every summer Olympic Games the U.S. has participated in since 1972.