Courtney Thompson, a former All-American at Washington, was named to the U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball team Tuesday. Thompson is one of four two-time Olympians on the team. Former UW star Krista Vansant is one of eight alternates on the team.
Courtney Thompson is headed back to Rio.
The former Washington All-American was named Tuesday to the U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball team. The Kent native was also a member of the 2012 silver-medal team in London.
Thompson got the news at the Hong Kong airport from her coach, Karch Kiraly, as the team was returning from the World Grand Prix Finals in Bangkok.
Courtney Thompson file
High School: Kentlake
Twitter handle: @CourtLThompson
“I had been staying positive, but you never know. It didn’t feel real until he told me for sure,” Thompson said.
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Thompson, like all her U.S. Olympic teammates, plays professionally overseas. Last season, she was the star setter for Rio de Janeiro’s top club team, on a roster that included several Brazilian Olympians. Brazil has won gold the past two Olympics, defeating the Americans both times. The U.S., Brazil, China and Serbia are among the favorites for a gold medal next month.
“We’re fired up,” Thompson said. “We’re hungry to head to Rio and get to it.”
Thompson is one of four Pac-12 alums on the 12-woman Rio roster, joining Stanford’s Foluke Akinradewo, UCLA’s Karsta Lowe and California’s Carli Lloyd. Former Washington All-American Krista Vansant is one of eight U.S. Olympic alternates.
Thompson was on the roster when the U.S. won its first-ever world championship in 2014. The U.S. women have never won Olympic gold, earning silver in 1984, 2008 and 2012. Thompson is one of four two-time Olympians on the 2016 squad, joining Akinradewo, Jordan Larson and Christa Dietzen. Larson, Kayla Banwarth and Kelsey Robinson all played at Nebraska, the school with the most players on the Rio roster.
The U.S.’s first match of the 2016 Olympics is Aug. 6 against Puerto Rico. Other teams in the U.S.’s pool are Netherlands (Aug. 8), Serbia (Aug. 10), Italy (Aug. 12) and China (Aug. 14).
Brazil and Russia are among the teams in the other half of the preliminary pool.