Texas Tech University

Red Raiders in Rio

Office of Communications and Marketing

September 30, 2016


Three Red Raiders competed in the 2016 Olympics. Two returned with medals. One struck gold.

Janine Beckie

By Heidi Toth


Last summer the Women's World Cup ended spectacularly, with the United States beating reigning champion Japan 5-2 for its first World Cup title since 1999.

Host Canada had a respectable showing, advancing through the first two rounds before losing to England in the quarterfinals.

Janine Beckie watched the action on TV.

It wasn't the competition the former Texas Tech University soccer standout wanted. The dual citizen had been practicing with Canada for the better part of a year. She wanted nothing more than to be on the team, but was cut just before the World Cup.

That disappointment is old news now. In June the three-time All-American, career scoring leader for the Red Raiders and professional soccer player had her name added to Canada's Olympic team roster. She's now practicing in the heat and humidity of Brazil, preparing to represent her family's country on one of the biggest stages in the world.

"It's been kind of a whirlwind year, kind of a 180 from getting cut to now being rostered," she said. "It's a little bit of a Cinderella story." More>>

Bradley Adkins

By George Watson

Bradley Adkins

Overcome by emotion, Bradley Adkins dropped to his knees.

On a cool, wet track at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, the Texas Tech University senior high jumper saw everything he'd worked for, everything he'd dreamt about, happening right before his eyes. With a spot on the Olympic track and field team up for grabs, Adkins had done what he needed to, clearing the bar at 7-feet 5-inches to maintain a third-place standing among the final seven men remaining at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

He also was one of only three competitors remaining who had already achieved the Olympic Standard, meaning someone behind him would have to clear 7-6 to pass him and possibly take his spot on the Olympic team. Deante Kemper, in fourth place, passed on his final attempt at 7-5 to attack the 7-6 height as Adkins could only watch.

Kemper missed.

Adkins was in. More>>

Gil Roberts

By Glenys Young


Taking the baton from teammate Tony McQuay, Gil Roberts only had one thought: "Just go."

And he did.

Completely zoned in, Roberts didn't pay attention to anything or anyone around him for the next 45 seconds. He knew if he did his job, running those 400 meters as fast as he could, his team would be in a good position to win.

After passing the baton to LaShawn Merritt, Roberts pulled up to watch. As Merritt passed the 300-meter mark, Roberts began to celebrate in his head. When Merritt crossed the finish line – ahead of his competitors – Roberts felt a rush of relief.

"Thank God!" he thought. "I'm going home with a gold medal!"

And with that, Gil Roberts became only the third Texas Tech University alumnus to win an Olympic gold medal. More>>

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