The 2020 Tokyo Olympics that was just concluded was an epic global sport showcase. From the glitz, grim, glamour and gladiators. Empty stands and stadiums never diminished the 2020 Tokyo Olympic vibe.
Held in 2021, because of the Corona virus pandemic. Tokyo 2020 Olympic games produced new world record, winners, sports and- athletes with PhD degrees or PhD students.
While the other records might have been obvious, these elite set of Olympians need to be identified. Some of these doctorate degree holders and students even won medals, others had a good appearance. Postgraduate Nigeria presents a comprehensive list of 2020 Tokyo Olympic athletes with PhD degree. Added to it are PhD students.
2020 Tokyo Olympic Athletes with PhD
1. Anna Kiesenhofer.
A shining winner, Kiesenhofer is a 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist. As a representative of Austria, she won gold in the women’s individual cycling.
If you thought she was on stellar in cycling, wait for it! Anna Kiesenhofer holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics. Currently, she holds a postdoc position at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
The Mathematics genius has shocked the sporting world by her performance at the Tokyo games. She told reporters after winning, “I’m not the kind of cyclist who is only pushing the pedals; I’m also the mastermind behind my performance,” she said. “I’m also proud of that.” The CNN reported her saying, ‘I dare to be different’
After the Summer Olympics, 30 years old Anna Kiesenhofer is back to her Mathematics lecturing in Austria with lots of possibilities.
2. Christina Birch.PhD
A 2015 PhD graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT. Birch is a Tokyo 2020 Olympian, representing the US in cycling.
Christina Birch road to the Tokyo games was quite interesting. She qualified to join the US track cycling team in October 2020. Her path to the games and PhD began at MIT. She joined the cycling club as a student at MIT, Cambridge.
MIT alumna, Christina Birch has applied lessons from her PhD bioengineering to cycling. Team building and tracking of performance data are skills she carried on as an athlete.
The 34 years old athlete had taught at University of California, Riverside after earning her Ph.D. Birch is also a science writer.
Pictures from LinkedIn
3. Veronica Toro.
She is Puerto Rico’s first-ever female Olympic rower. With a debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.
Veronica had her bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Tech. She is currently studying for a Doctor of Medicine from Stanford University school of medicine.
Born in 1994, Veronica’s website chronicles her efforts at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There, she rowed to the final but didn’t win any medal.
4. Hughes Fabrice Zango.
PhD student in Electrical engineering. Zango did not only participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but won a medal.
He is a 2020 Tokyo Olympics triple jump bronze medal winner. Zango from Burkina Faso has won that West African country’s first ever Olympic medal.
Raised in rural Burkina Faso, Zango pushed against the odds of his background in a quite unpopular sport. “I started with taekwondo, and then I dropped it” he told Olympics.com. With a discovery by a coach, who identified his jumping skills, he began training in 2012.
After Tokyo Olympics, 28 year old Zango will return to school at Lille, France to complete his doctorate degree by 2022.
5. Hadia Hosny.
Threetime Olympics participant. Hosny was at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She represented Egypt in badminton. She had won gold medal at previous African games competition.
When Hosny is out of the court, this talented 32 years old athlete is at the British University of Egypt. Over there, she is a Teaching assistant at the Faculty of pharmacy.
Hadia Hosny bagged a Master degree from the University of Bath. Currently, she is a PhD student in Pharmacology at the University of Cairo.
6. Charlotte Hym.
With a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, Charlotte Hym belongs to the elite class of athlete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Born in 1992, Hym got her doctorate degree in 2019 from Paris Descartes University She represented France in skateboarding at the Olympic games.
7. Louise Shanahan.
Louise Shanahan is an Irish athlete born in 1997. She competed at the 2020 Toyko Olympics, in particular, the 800 meters race. Louise’s father was an Indoor 1500 meter champion.
In addition, she is currently studying for a PhD in quantum physics at Cambridge University. By June, she just completed her second year of a four-year Physics PhD at Trinity College. She told Varsity News that, ‘she had been a successful youth [athlete] but struggled over the next six years”. Her qualification for the Toyko Olympics came as a rude shock for many, including her parents.
8. Nadine Apetz.
Here comes a record maker. First German woman to qualify for the Olympics in boxing. And that was at the concluded 2020 Toyko Olympics games.
Apetz had been an amateur boxer but at age 35, she represented her country at the global stage. Outside the ring, she is fighting using her intellect.
With a bachelor’s degree in Biology, she had a master and currently in course for a PhD. Her doctorate degree in neuroscience is a research work at the University Hospital of Cologne, Germany. Not surprisingly, the focus of the neuroscience research is on Parkinson’s disease and deep brain stimulation.
9. TOBE Naoto.
Olympics.com called him ‘Japanese athlete with Phd degree aims to reach top performance in sports and research’
So, Tobe is a Japanese track and field athlete who holds the Japanese record of 2.35m in the men’s high jump.
Tobe earned a Ph.D. at the University of Tsukuba Graduate School in the spring of 2019. His specialty is in Sport science. While the covid-19 lockdown prevented many athletes from full performance training, Tobe delved into research articles. He studied actively how the biomechanics of a high jumper can be analysed. This is to improve training and performance.