Meet Costa Rica's 2021 Olympians

Twenty athletes will represent Costa Rica at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Twenty athletes will represent Costa Rica at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, both scheduled for later this year.

Andrea Vargas will carry the national flag at the opening and closing games of Tokyo 20201, while Camila Haase and Steven Román will do so at the Paralympic Games.

“Remember at all times that you have a whole country that admires and defends you,” President Carlos Alvarado said at a ceremony this week.

“Within the framework of 200 years, you will write the history of a small nation that never ceases to amaze with what it does.”

These are Costa Rica’s Olympians:

Costa Rica at Tokyo 2020

  • Athletics: Andrea Vargas, Noelia Vargas and Gerald Drummond.

Fun fact: Andrea and Noelia are sisters. In 2019, Andrea placed fifth at the World Athletic Championships in the 100-meter hurdles.

  • Surf: Brisa Hennessy y Leilani McGonagle.

Fun fact: McGonagle has severe scoliosis. She has called that a “blessing in disguise” because she is “I’m definitely more in tune with my body than I think a lot of people are,” she says. She’s one of two 2020 Olympians who were raised surfing the same break: Pavones in southern Costa Rica.

  • Judo: Ian Ignacio Sancho.

Fun fact: Ian’s brother, Julián, unfortunately didn’t qualify to Tokyo in Judo.

  • Artistic gymnastics: Luciana Alvarado.

Fun fact: Alvarado is the first Costa Rican gymnast to qualify to an Olympic Games.

  • BMX Freestyle: Kenneth Tencio.

Fun fact: Costa Rica has few dedicated BMX training facilities, so Tencio cut his teeth on the streets and parks of Cartago.

  • Cycling: María José Vargas and Andrey Amador.

Fun fact: Amador was the first Tico to ride the Tour de France.

  • Swimming: Beatriz Padrón and Arnoldo Herrera.

Fun fact: Padrón swims collegiately at Nebraska. (Go ‘Huskers!) Herrera did so at Northern Michigan University.

Costa Rica at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

  • Cycling: Henry Raabe.

  • Athletics: Sherman Guity, Melissa Calvo and Ernesto Fonseca.

  • Taekwondo: Andrés Molina.

  • Table Tennis: Steven Román.

  • Swimming: Camila Hasse.

  • Tennis: José Pablo Gil.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics begin July 23, while the Paralympics are scheduled for August. Good luck, Ticos!


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The Games have retained the “Tokyo 2020” name despite occurring in 2021.