From Flagstaff to Rio: High-altitude training pays off for Olympic athletes

Rie Kaneto
Rie Kaneto of Japan, pictured training at NAU, is predicted to earn a medal in the women’s 200m breaststroke during the 2016 Olympics Games. Photo credit: Sarah Cotton

The Olympics are in full swing and athletes who trained in Flagstaff are already making a name for themselves.

As part of a partnership with the high-performance sports center Hypo2, NAU hosts athletes from around the world who seek the benefits of training in Flagstaff’s thin mountain air. Of the hundreds of athletes who trained here this year, 202 athletes, representing 30 countries, made their respective Olympic teams—an all-time record for the northern Arizona community.

Kosuke Hagino of Japan, who took advantage of training in NAU’s new Olympic-size swimming pool, is taking home the gold medal after competing in the men’s 400m individual medley.

Winnetka native Conor Dwyer of the United States, who also trained in NAU’s Aquatic and Tennis Complex, earned both a gold medal for the 4 x 200m freestyle relay and bronze medal for the individual 200m freestyle.

Other athletes who trained in Flagstaff to earn medals so far include Siobhan-Marie O-Connor of Great Britain, Daiya Seto of Japan and Jazmin Calin of Great Britain.

A full list of athletes who came through NAU and Flagstaff and made it to Rio can be viewed on this 2016 Olympic Roster.

NAU Communications