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Meet Some Of The Hoosiers Headed To The Olympics

This story is part of the BSU at the Games project.

The 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio, Brazil this Friday. As you watch the opening ceremony and make your schedule for can't-miss events, keep an eye out for the Hoosiers competing in and working at the games.


Lilly King"It's been crazy. I'm just kind of taking it step by step right now. "

19-year-old Lilly King of Evansville is heading to her first Olympics.

"I'm just getting excited to meet the team at training camp and make some new friends and learn from all the veterans that are going to be here."

Through the experience so far, King says the toughest part was easily the Olympic trials. She says you're more worried about not screwing up than you are about swimming fast, and she's relieved that it's over.

King and five other IU swimmers, will be competing for gold.

What's the best part of King's Olympic experience so far? She says: getting her Team USA swag.

Women's Basketball

Tamika CatchingsIndiana Fever forward and three-time Olympian Tamika Catchings is hoping for big things in her final Olympic games. Catchings is getting set for her fourth trip to the Olympics. However, this time may be a little awkward.

Catchings' Fever teammate Natalie Achonwa is also competing in Rio this year, but for team Canada. The potential USA-Canada matchup has Catchings pretty excited.

"When you play overseas, on your respective teams…that's what makes it exciting, and I think for us Canada's in our pool, but we know we're going to face them," Catchings says. "You always want to wish everybody the best, but when we get on the court, we're enemies."

Achonwa is also pumped for the competition.

"Typically, you like to have Tamika Catchings on your team, but it will be a different atmosphere playing against her and playing against the US."

Catchings and the rest of Team USA look to win their 6th consecutive Olympic Gold medal at the 2016 games.


Two-time Olympic Medalist David Boudia is heading to his third Olympic games. The 27-year-old diver from Purdue says, while the excitement is not the same as his first Olympics, his own critiques of his performance are just as meticulous.

"If I was to compete with the same dives I did at Olympic Trials, it wouldn't cut it at the Olympic Games."

"If I was to compete with the same dives I did at Olympic Trials, it wouldn't cut it at the Olympic Games," Boudia says. "That's what the next three weeks after trials did for us."

But as hard as he may work to improve his craft for diving in Rio, Boudia says it is not the biggest struggle he has had to face during his career. When he faced depression, he said his coach, Adam Soldati, was the man to turn to.

Boudia said he then began exploring religion. Now, his faith, along with the desire to provide for his wife and daughter, is what drives him.

"When I have the perspective that it's not about me, it's about me serving God and me serving the people around me, then that's when you have more contentment at least in my life."

Boudia's synchro partner, Steele Johnson, is going to his first Olympics. He says working with Boudia has made the process a lot easier to grasp.

"He's just been so good at teaching me how to hold diving with an open hand because a lot of times this Olympic dream is tightening your grip and you don't want to let it go for anything, but when you let it go, that's when it can really flourish," Steele says.

Not Just Athletes

Swimming Coach Ray Looze

Ray LoozeEach year, more than just athletes travel to the Games. It's also coaches like Ray Looze who make the journey… and sometimes are thanked in victory speeches.

Indiana University swimming coach Ray Looze is joining five of his swimmers at the Rio Olympics. As a former swimmer who just missed making the Olympics in his day, Looze knows the pain of just missing the cut. His swimmers say his energy at practice produces results.

"Ray's very enthusiastic at practice," says 2016 Olympian Lilly King. "He yells at me a lot. We kind of butt heads a lot, but I know it's all for the better and that he believes in me."

Looze' enthusiasm for swimming, even when it is six in the morning, can be traced to one simple factor.

"This is what I want to do, and it's stuff like Olympic trials that makes it oh so worthwhile," Looze says. "In a way, seeing these guys make a U.S. team made me feel so good because I get to be a part of a small piece of that, and to be going as a coach, you're an Olympian."

Not only has Looze helped his swimmers make it to the 2016 Olympics, but he also gets to help them compete for gold as an assistant with Team USA.

Referee Zach Errett

His name is Zach Errett, and he is going to the Olympics, not as a competing athlete, but as a referee. The former Mooresville Athletic Director, set to start a new job in Avon this fall, is headed to Rio for his second Olympics as an official for wrestling, a sport Errett says has been around him all his life.

"Well, my dad was the head wrestling coach at Martinsville, so I kind of grew up around wrestling with that part, and doing that and I remember we never really took family vacations," Errett says. "We just went to wrestling tournaments."

Errett has traveled to countries including Venezuela, Azerbaijan and Great Britain just to name a few. He received his national refereeing license when he was in seventh grade and got his international license when he was just 20 years old, but with all this experience has come both successes as well as tough breaks.

"We're thrilled that he made the first [Olympics], ecstatic that he makes the second one."

Errett's father, David, got within one selection of becoming an Olympic referee twice, but was passed over both times. He says because of the international wrestling organization's mandatory retirement age, he knew he would not be eligible for the 2012 Olympics. Instead, he decided to retire early. Now that his son is going to his second Olympic games, Errett says he could not be happier.

"We were lucky in the fact that Zach was the one that was selected then to take my place," David Errett says. "We're thrilled that he made the first one, ecstatic that he makes the second one."

Both Zach and David Errett have won the Golden Whistle Award, an award presented to outstanding referees in the World Wrestling Competition. Zach Errett's trip to the 2016 Olympics is just the latest stop in a global, lifelong hobby.

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