You'll Want to Remember the Names of These 12 International Athletes Competing at the Olympics

Naomi Osaka, Sky Brown and more world-class athletes will represent foreign countries at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Get acquainted with the international competitors here.

By Cydney Contreras Jul 24, 2021 7:00 AMTags
Watch: 2020 Tokyo Olympics: By the Numbers

Thousands of athletes compete in the Olympic Games, but viewers only have so much time in the day. 

After all, there are 33 sporting events and more than 10,000 athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Games. Some of those individuals are well-known within their respective fields, while others are total newcomers to the games. 

Then, there are the 206 countries to keep up with, including the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and Russian Olympic Committee (Russia was banned from the games because of a doping scandal).

Luckily, E! News has put together a list of 12 athletes who are competing for teams outside of the United States and are predicted to make history at the games. For example, the fastest woman alive is set to compete in the 100 meter dash and the first two openly transgender athletes are blazing a trail for the LGBTQ community as they represent their respective countries.

2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

In other words, you're going to want to tune in when these 12 individuals go head-to-head with other world-class athletes. To get acquainted with these trailblazers, check out the gallery below!

Karsten Warholm

The Norwegian athlete is currently the world record holder in the 400 meter hurdles, which was last set by American Kevin Young at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Naomi Osaka

Though she's well-known in the United States, the tennis player is representing Team Japan. 

Ariarne Titmus

The Australian swimmer threatens to dethrone Team USA's Katie Ledecky in the women's 400 meter freestyle. Titmus currently has Ledecky beat by one second.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

As the fastest woman alive, it's basically promised that Jamaica's Shelly-Ann will take home her seventh medal at the Tokyo Games. Tune in to the 100 meter to see if Shelly-Ann will beat her record of 10.63 seconds.


The soccer player is competing on Canada's national team at the Tokyo Games, making them one of the first openly transgender athletes to participate in the Olympics.

Zhu Ting

China's decision to make her the country's first female flag-bearer for the Summer Games' Opening Ceremony speaks to Zhu's talent. She's widely favored to lead the women's volleyball team to the podium.

Eliud Kipchoge

The Kenyan long-distance runner made history when he became the first athlete to run a marathon in under an hour in 2019. At the time, it wasn't considered a world record, as he had a team guiding him throughout the run, but he's definitely one to watch.

Sky Brown

All eyes are on Team Great Britain's youngest competitor, 13-year-old Sky Brown, who is set to participate in skateboarding, one of four new Olympic sports.

Tingmao Shi

The Chinese diver is a tough competitor, as she's won four Asian Games, six World Cup, seven World Championships and two Olympic gold medals in the 3m and 3m synchro.

Janja Garnbret

For the first time, viewers can watch competitors scale rock climbing walls and this 22-year-old Slovenian climber is favored to take home the gold in the women's section.

Stephanie Gilmore

Now that surfing is officially an Olympic sport, Australia is sending the 7-time world champion to represent them in Tokyo.

Laurel Hubbard

The New Zealand weightlifter is one of the first openly transgender athletes to compete in the Olympic Games.

(E! News and NBC Sports are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

Check out E! News' 2022 Beijing Olympics homepage for news, photos and more.