Every day of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Fusion is highlighting a handful of the Games’ thousands of athletes. They won’t always be Americans, but they will always be worthy of your cheers.
When she’s on TV: Sunday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. EST
This is the second Olympics for the 28-year-old Desert Hot Springs, California native, she placed seventh in London in 2012. As the top-ranked weightlifter at the time, it was a huge disappointment, even though Team USA has not won a women’s weightlifting since 2000. But the past four years have not just been about training for Robles: She was given a two-year suspension after testing positive for a banned substances in 2013, and could only get back to training in August 2015. Robles has vowed to vindicate herself.
Saudi Arabia, track and field
When she’s on TV: Sunday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.
In 2012, Sarah Attar was one of two women to compete for Saudi Arabia—the first time the nation sent any women to participate in the Olympics. Now 23, Attar has graduated from Pepperdine University, and has spent the past four years training to be a long-distance runner. Attar says she is contact with a women’s running club in Riyadh, and is working toward creating running attire for Muslim women. She also counsels women on dealing with critics on social media. “Don't focus on what people are going to say, because there's always going to be people who are not happy when you're doing something that's changing things,” she told Al Jazeera.
When she’s on TV: Sunday, Aug. 14 at 1:40 p.m.
Foluke Akinradewo holds triple citizenship in the U.S., Canada and Nigeria and did not play clbu volleyball growing up. When she moved to Ford Lauderdale as a teen, the St. Thomas Aquinas High School marked Akinradewo for volleyball. She was a silver medalist with Team USA in London in 2012 and won the gold medal in the 2014 World Championship. The 6’3” middle blocker contributed 15 points with 12 kills on 18 swings, two blocks and an ace for 15 points in the win against the Netherlands last week.