John Hoover

John E. Hoover: How Oklahomans (and KD) performed in the Summer Olympic Games

John E. Hoover: How Oklahomans (and KD) performed in the Summer Olympic Games
Kevin Durant and Team USA won the gold medal in Rio.

Kevin Durant and Team USA won the gold medal in Rio. (PHOTOS: Google)

The Games of the XXXI Olympiad — that’s the Rio Summer Olympics to those of us who gave up on Roman numerals when the Super Bowl passed 40 or so — are, mercifully, over.

Seventeen days is about three days too long. Wimbledon lasts a fortnight; so should the Games.

I enjoy all three, but it was too much swimming, followed by too much gymnastics, followed by too much track and field. Then add in pool play and knockout rounds in soccer (men’s and women’s), basketball (men’s and women’s), volleyball (men’s and women’s), beach volleyball (men’s and women’s), and all the other sports — in all, 28 sports, 41 disciplines and 308 events — and it all gets a little tiresome toward the end.

But Oklahomans had plenty of rooting interests, whether it was former University of Tulsa miler Chris O’Hare’s close call in the 1500m semifinal or former Sooners Chris Brooks, Jake Dalton and Alex Naddour making an early push in men’s gymnastics or ex-Thunder Kevin Durant winning a gold medal — OK, actually, let’s cut ties with KD now; that wasn’t really that much fun.

In all, six Oklahomans (yes, we’re counting Durant) won seven medals (three gold) in Rio.

Here’s a quick recap of how every athlete with Oklahoma ties performed:

Men’s basketball

  • Alex Abrines (OKC Thunder), Spain: Spain won the bronze medal. Abrines averaged 2.3 points per game.
  • Alex Abrines

    Alex Abrines

    Kevin Durant (former OKC Thunder), USA: The Americans won the gold medal. Durant was third among all Olympic scorers at 19.4 points per game, shooting 58 percent from the field and 58 percent from 3-point range.

  • Ebi Ere (former OU), Nigeria: Went 1-4 in Group play. Averaged 7.0 points, 2.4 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game.
  • Domantas Sabonis (OKC Thunder), Lithuania: Lost to Australia in the quarterfinals. Averaged 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
  • Ben Uzoh (former University of Tulsa), Nigeria: Averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game.

Men’s golf

  • Rickie Fowler (former OSU), USA: Shot the low round of the day (64) on Day 3, but still finished 52nd.


Men’s gymnastics

Alex Naddour

Alex Naddour

  • Chris Brooks (former OU), USA: Team USA finished fifth. Brooks finished 65th on the pommel horse, 28th on the floor and 23rd on the rings, then got 14th in the individual all-around.
  • Jake Dalton (former OU), USA: Team USA finished fifth. Dalton got 15th on the rings and second on the floor for a spot in the final, where he eventually took sixth.
  • Alex Naddour (former OU), USA: Team USA finished fifth. Naddour finished 24th on the floor, 13th on the rings and seventh in pommel horse, which earned him a spot in the final, where he eventually took third and won the bronze medal.

Men’s track and field

  • Chris O’Hare (former University of Tulsa), Great Britain: Ran the 1500m prelim in 3:39.26 to earn a spot in the semifinal, where he stood third going into the final turn. Eventually finished 10th.
  • Mike Rodgers (former Oklahoma Baptist University), USA: Part of the 4x100m relay team that ran 37.65 in the prelim but Team USA was disqualified in the final because of a zone violation.


    Gil Roberts

  • Ronnie Ash (former OU), USA: Ran the 110m hurdles prelim in 13.31 and the semifinal in 13.36 to finish second in both, but was DQ’d from the final after it was ruled he deliberately hit the last hurdle and somersaulted across the finish line.
  • Shadrack Kipchirchir (former OSU), USA: Ran the 10,000m in 27:58.32, finishing 19th.
  • Nick Miller (former OSU), Great Britain: Threw the hammer 70.83m to finish 22nd.
  • Gil Roberts (Oklahoma City), USA: Ran the 400m
    Will Claye

    Will Claye

    prelim in 45.27 to finish 10th, then ran the semifinal in 44.65 to finish fourth and out of the final; ran the 4×400 relay in 2:57.30 to win the gold medal.

  • Tom Farrell (former OSU), Great Britain: Ran the 5,000m in 14:11.65, finishing 40th.
  • Will Claye (former OU), USA: Went 17.05m in the triple jump qualifications to finish third for a spot in the final, where he jumped 17.76 and won the silver medal.
  • Jeffery Gibson (former ORU), Bahamas: Ran the 400m hurdles in 52.77, finishing 46th.

Men’s rowing

  • Anthony Fahden and Robin Prendes (Oklahoma City), USA: In the coxless lightweight four, finished in 6:05.61 to finish sixth and then got 6:26.82 to finish fourth in the semifinals. In the finals, Team USA came in at 6:36.93 to finish fourth.

Men’s swimming

David Plummer

David Plummer

  • David Plummer (Moore), USA: In the 100m backstroke, swam 53.19 to finish fifth in the prelim, then won his semifinal in 52.50, then won the bronze medal with a time of 52.40. In the 4×100 medley relay, took second in the semifinal with a time of 3:31.81. Didn’t swim in the final, but did receive a gold medal as the team finished with an Olympic record time of 3:27.95.
  • J. Barbar (former Oklahoma Baptist University), Lebanon: Swam the 50m freestyle in 23.77 to finish 42nd.

Men’s taekwondo

  • Stephen Lambdin (Oklahoma City), USA: Lost 9-7 in the first round.


Women’s golf

  • Caroline Masson (former OSU), Germany: Shot 69-69-75-69 to finish 12th.
  • Pernilla Lindberg (former OSU), Sweden: Shot 74-73-69-70 to finish 22nd.

Women’s rowing

  • Meaghan O’Leary (Tulsa/OKC), USA: Finished 12th in the double sculls prelim with a time of 7:46.92, then got second in the repechage at 7:00.60. Took third in the semifinal with a 6:52.92, then finished sixth in the final with an 8:06.18.

Women’s swimming

  • Ines Remersaro (former Oklahoma Baptist University), Uruguay: In the 100m freestyle, finished 34th with a time of 57.85.

Women’s track and field

  • Akela Jones (former Oklahoma Baptist University), Barbados: Finished 20th in the heptathlon, running the 100 hurdles in 13.00 (2nd), jumping 1.89m in the high jump (3rd), throwing 14.09m in the shot put (10th), running 24.35 in the 200 (13th), landing 6.30 in the long jump (10th), throwing the javelin 42.00m (20th), then running the 800m in 2:41.12 (27th). In the individual high jump, she went 1.85m to finish 31st.
  • Laverne Jones-Ferrette (former OU), U.S. Virgin Islands: Ran the 200m in 23.35 to finish 46th.
  • Brittany Borman (former OU), USA: Threw the javelin 56.04m to finish 27th.
  • Ingeborg Loevnes (former OSU), Norway: Ran the 3,000m steeplechase in 9:44.85, finishing 33rd.
  • Nickiesha Wilson (former Oklahoma Baptist), Jamaica: In the 100m hurdles, ran 12.89 to finish 16th in the prelim, then 13.14 to finish seventh in the semifinal.

John Hoover

Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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