A Guide to Dartmouth Athletes in the Tokyo Olympic Games
Three Dartmouth athletes will compete for the United States, and one will play for Puerto Rico.
These four athletes will look to shine on the world's biggest stage.
On Friday, July 23, three Dartmouth alumni and one current student will walk into the National Stadium in Tokyo, parade behind their national or territorial flags and watch in awe as the Olympic torch ignites the Olympic cauldron. U.S. women’s rower Molly Reckford ’15, U.S. rugby player Ariana Ramsey ’22, U.S. men’s rugby player Madison Hughes ’15 and Puerto Rico women’s basketball player Isalys Quiñones ’19 Th’20 all qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and will be eager to make their nations proud as the events kick off on Friday.
Reckford, who is competing in the lightweight women’s doubles sculls event with teammate Michelle Sechser, first joined Dartmouth rowing as a walk-on to the openweight team. She began rowing in the summer of eighth grade in her hometown of Short Hills, New Jersey before competing at the high school level for Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. At Dartmouth, her career was highlighted by a victory during her senior year in the Petite Final at the Eastern Sprints Regatta, where she rowed two seat. In 2019, Reckford participated in her first World Championships, finishing in fourth in the lightweight double sculls event. Then, this May, Reckford and her doubles teammate Sechser came in first at the World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, just edging off the host country for the top place with a time of 7:06.62. The duo look to continue their success in Tokyo, beginning on Saturday, July 24 at 9:50 p.m. EST with the lightweight women’s double sculls heat.
Reckford’s classmate Hughes enters Tokyo as the Men’s Rugby Sevens — a 7v7, fast-paced version of the traditional 15v15 version — captain after also being selected as captain for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, where the team finished ninth overall. Hughes, who grew up in England and has been playing rugby since age seven, made a mark on Dartmouth’s team upon arrival as a freshman, helping them win both the Ivy League and College Rugby championships. He then went on to captain the team by his junior year, while also training and competing with the U.S. national sevens team. After his performance in the 2016 Games, Hughes went on to debut with the men’s national team against Romania. He has been called “American Rugby’s Secret Weapon” and hopes to leave Tokyo with some hardware for Team U.S.A. Hughes’ first game will take place on Sunday, July 24 at 10:30 p.m. EST against Kenya, followed by two matchups within 24 hours against Ireland and South Africa.
The only Dartmouth athlete not competing for the U.S. Olympic team, Quiñones is playing for the Puerto Rican basketball team and looking to pull off some major upsets. Nicknamed “Ice,” Quiñones excelled on the hardwood during her time at Dartmouth, leading the team with 14.0 points per game and securing Second Team All-Ivy honors as a senior. In 2017, when her parents asked the Puerto Rican national team for a tryout, she was able to win a spot on the team, leading to a pivotal nine-point, five-rebound outing against Brazil in February 2020 to secure a place in the Olympics. Quiñones becomes the second Dartmouth basketball player to play in the Olympics, following in the footsteps of Crawford Palmer ’93, who won a silver medal in 2000 with France. Puerto Rico plays China, Belgium and then Australia in their first three games during the group stage, beginning on Tuesday, July 27.
Lastly, current student Ramsey, one of three collegiate rugby players in the country to make the U.S. women’s sevens team, becomes the first Dartmouth women’s rugby player to compete in the Games. The Philadelphia native joined the Dartmouth women’s team as a freshman and made a huge impact as a sophomore, finishing first in tries (10) and second overall in points (50). She also made the U.S. Pan American Games women’s sevens team in 2019, flourishing during the tournament and helping them to a silver medal. The team begins its quest for Olympic gold with a match against China at 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, July 28, followed by a 5:00 a.m. matchup the next morning with host nation Japan and a game against Australia at 9 p.m. later that day.