Meet the 3 WNC athletes in the Tokyo Olympics

Olympian Evy Leibfarth at the 2019 Canoe Slalom World Championships in La Seu d'Urgell, Spain. | Photo by Antoine Lamielle

The Tokyo Olympics are starting tomorrow (July 23-Aug. 8) and to get you excited about all of the athletic talent competing this year, we gathered the backstories of 3 WNC athletes you can watch this summer. 

Check out the schedule + plan your Olympic events in advance. And don’t forget the Paralympic Games from Aug. 24Sept. 5here’s the schedule.

Evy Leibfarth | kayak slalom and canoe slalom

At just 17 years old, Evy — who was born in Sylva + currently lives in Bryson City — has already made serious waves as an athlete in WNC and across the world. She’s competed internationally since age 12 and, at 15, she made history at Spain’s International Canoe Federation Slalom Canoe World Championships as the youngest + first American woman to qualify the US for a spot in slalom canoe in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Adrian Hegyvary | track cycling

While Adrian grew up in Seattle, WA, this Olympic cyclist now splits his time between Asheville and Cambridge, New Zealand. In Tokyo, he’ll compete in an endurance-focused, points-based relay race called The Madison which challenges teams of 2 to complete the highest number of laps possible.

FunFact: Adrian also has citizenship in Hungary and has competed nationally for both Hungary and the US. 

From left: Lily Williams, Emma White, Chloé Dygert, and Jennifer Valente at the 2020 ​​UCI Track World Championships. | Photo by Nicola of Wikimedia Commons

Lily Williams | track cycling

This 27 year-old Asheville resident and her 3 Team USA teammates earned a gold medal for the women’s team pursuit event at the 2020 track cycling World Championships. Her athleticism runs (get it?) in the family — her mother Sarah Docter was a speed skater in the 1980 Olympics. Another fun fact: Lily ran track at Vanderbilt University, where she specialized in the 1-mile race before she switched to cycling in 2016. 

ProTip: If you don’t have cable + are looking for ways to stream your favorite events, here’s how