Every day of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Fusion is highlighting a handful of the games’ thousands of diverse athletes. They won’t always be Americans, but they will always be worthy of your cheers.
When she’s on TV: Sun., Aug. 7 at 10 a.m.
The upstate-New York native took up professional cycling after graduating from Middlebury, and she took up racing full-time in 2012 after being passed over for the London games. She is now ranked number 1 in the women’s road cyclist in the world.
When she’s on TV: Women’s beam, Sun., Aug. 7 at 7 p.m..; Women’s vault, Sun,. Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.
At 41, Chusovitina is the oldest female gymnast in the history of the Olympics. She first participated in 1992 in Barcelona for the Soviet Union, and since then, she injured her Achilles’ heel, the crucial ligament, as well as tore her bicep. She is married to a Uzbekistani wrestler, Bakhodir, and she has a son who suffers from leukemia and they moved to Germany for his treatment. After the 2012 Olympics, she said she had her greatest victory: Her son was declared cancer-free.
When she’s on TV: Women’s uneven bars, Sun., Aug. 7th at 7 p.m.; Women’s floor exercise, Sun. Aug. 7th at 7 p.m.; Women’s beam, Sun. Aug. 7th at 7 p.m.; Women’s vault, Sun. Aug. 7th at 7 p.m.; Women’s team all-around, Sun. Aug. 7th at 7 p.m.; Women’s individual all-around, Sun. Aug. 7th at 7 p.m.
Simone Biles is considered the best female gymnast of her generation, and some argue she could be the greatest of all time. She is the first female gymnast since 1974 to win four consecutive all-around titles for the U.S. national team. She was adopted by her grandparents at age three due to her mother’s struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. At the 2013 Secret U.S. Classic, she competed so poorly that she never thought she would win the P&G Championships that same year—but she came back to win the all-around against 2012 Olympian Kyla Ross.