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Your guide to the athletes with Central Pennsylvania ties competing at the Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics will feature 17 athletes with ties to our area competing for Team USA.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Editor's note: The above video is from July 18.

When the Tokyo Olympics officially kick off on Friday, July 23, with the Opening Ceremony — one year to the day after it was originally scheduled — it will look much different than anyone could have predicted.

International spectators were banned from the Games months ago, and just over a week before the Opening Ceremony, Japan entered a state of emergency and local fans were barred as well. 

So, when the Opening Ceremony begins at 7 a.m. ET on Friday, 8 p.m. local time in Tokyo, the seats at the Olympic Stadium will be virtually empty except for a few dignitaries, Olympic sponsors and officials from the International Olympic committee. 

According to Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun, that makes up only about 10,000 people. First Lady Jill Biden will be part of the American delegation.

Among the athletes in attendance will be 17 Olympians competing for Team USA that have ties to Central Pennsylvania.

FOX43 will be tracking their Olympic performance from the time the torch is lit until the closing ceremony of the games.

Here are the athletes you can keep an eye out for with ties to our area (information via Penn State Athletics & Team USA):

1. Hali Flickinger - Women's Swimming | Spring Grove, Pa.

The 2012 Spring Grove graduate is competing in her second Olympics after qualifying in 2016. She finished seventh in the 200m Butterfly in Rio four years ago.

This year, the 27-year-old Flickinger will compete in the 200m Butterfly and the 400m Individual Medley in Tokyo. 

Flickinger is a 2017 graduate of the University of Georgia, where she was a swimming star while majoring in finance. 

2. Johnny Stefanowicz - Men's Wrestling | Kennard-Dale High School

A 2009 Kennard-Dale High School grad, the 29-year-old Stefanowicz is a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and is the first Marine to wrestle for Team USA in the Olympics since 1992. After graduating from Kennard-Dale, Stefanowicz briefly gave up wrestling before returning to the mats as a Marine.

Stefanowicz is a Greco-Roman wrestler who will compete in the Olympics in the 87-kg weight class. He is the older brother of Pennsylvania wrestling phenom Chance Marstellar, a former four-time PIAA champion whose bid to qualify for the 2021 Games in Tokyo as a freestyle wrestler ended in the U.S. Team Trials in April.

Stefanowicz now resides in North Carolina.

3. David Taylor - Men's Wrestling | Penn State University 

This 30-year-old Penn State alum is ranked number two on Team USA and comes in at 189 pounds. 

He's a two-time U.S. World Team Trials runner-up, a four-time Big Ten champion, a World Cup champion, and a two-time NCAA champion for Penn State, among other accolades.

He's the son of Kathy and David Taylor and has a sister named Alex. 

4. Mitch Stahl - Men's Volleyball | Chambersburg, Pa.

A former standout at Chambersburg High School, where he graduated in 2013, Stahl is competing in his first Olympics as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team. The 6-8, 185-pound middle blocker has played professionally in Belgium and France after graduating from UCLA in 2017.

Stahl did not start playing volleyball until he was a freshman at Chambersburg. Now, he’s a U.S. Olympian.

5. Matt Anderson - Men's Volleyball | Penn State University

Anderson will be participating in his third Olympics, after helping the Men's Volleyball team clinch a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He has played professionally in Russia, Italy, and Korea.

6. Max Holt - Men's Volleyball | Penn State University

This will be Holt's second consecutive Olympic Games. He, too, helped the Men's Volleyball team clinch a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

7. Aaron Russell - Men's Volleyball | Penn State University

This will be Russell's second consecutive Olympic Games. He, too, helped the Men's Volleyball team clinch a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

8. Micha Hancock - Women's Volleyball | Penn State University

Hancock graduated from Penn State in 2015 and was part of Penn State's last national championship team in 2014.

She was a three-time AVCA All-American First-Team selection and earned the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player title in 2013.

Hancock plays professionally for the Italian volleyball club Igor Gorgonzola Novara.

She is 5'11".

9. Haleigh Washington - Women's Volleyball alternate | Penn State University

This will be Washington's first Olympic Games.

She has been playing volleyball professionally in Italy since 2018.

10. Megan Courtney - Women's Volleyball alternate | Penn State University

This will be Courtney's first Olympic Games.

She has previous experience on the world stage when she helped the team place fifth at the FIVB World Championship in 2018.

In 2019, she was named the Best Livero of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

11. Joe Kovacs - Men's Shot Put | Penn State University

A Penn State graduate, Kovacs, 32, is a former football and track star at Bethlehem Catholic. He’s competing in his second Olympics after claiming a silver medal in the 2016 Games in Rio. 

The six-foot, 295-pound Kovacs has traveled to more than 30 countries and speaks fluent German.

12. Abby Dahlkemper - Women's Soccer | Lancaster, Pa.

Abigail Lynn “Abby” Dahlkemper is from Lancaster, Pa. but grew up in Menlo Park, California and attended UCLA.

She was a part of the U.S. women's soccer team that beat England in the World Cup semifinals in 2019. She's now a part of one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world in Manchester City. 

Dahlkemper has also won three NWSL titles and an NWSL Defender of the Year award. 

13. Alyssa Naeher - Women's Soccer | Penn State University

Another Penn state alum, Naeher will also be on the U.S. Women's Soccer team in Tokyo. 

Naeher is a goalkeeper and this is the second Olympic Games she's competed in; she was also on the roster in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

She's been a member of the USWNT since 2013, and is a part of the Chicago Red Stars soccer club.  

14. Casey Kaufhold - Archery | Conestoga Valley High School

A 17-year-old junior at Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster County, Kaufhold is competing in the Olympic Games for the first time in the individual, team, and mixed team archery events. 

A recurve archery specialist, Kaufhold became the first archer under the age of 21 to score more than 682 out of a possible 720 points in her Olympic qualifier earlier this summer. 

Her father, Robert, made two national field teams for the U.S., while her mother, Carole, is an avid bowhunter. The Kaufholds have been the owners of Lancaster Archery Supply since they founded the Lancaster-based company in 1988. 

15. Michael Shuey - Javelin | Penn State University

A 27-year-old Penn State grad, Shuey is competing in the Olympics for the first time after finishing second in the U.S. Olympic Trials in late June. He is one of two javelin throwers on Team USA, joining Curtis Thompson in Tokyo. The U.S. has not had an athlete reach the medals podium in javelin since 1972.

Shuey, a 2012 graduate of Johnsonburg High School in Elk County, is a two-time Big Ten champion in javelin and holds the school record in the event at Penn State.

16. Jennifer Brady - Women's Tennis | Harrisburg, Pa.

Harrisburg-native Jennifer Brady will lead the U.S. Olympic tennis team to Tokyo this year.

Brady is No. 15 in the WTA rankings and attended UCLA where she won the Newcomer of the Year Award for her outstanding 2013-2014 season after she had a 23-match winning streak, picking up the Pac-12 singles title along the way.

She earned her first WTA title in Lexington and then reached the U.S. Open's last four before coming up just short of Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open earlier this year.

17. Andrew Mackiewicz - Men's Fencing | Penn State University

Penn State alum Andrew Mackiewicz has qualified for the third individual spot on the U.S. Men's Fencing Team.

The 25-year-old is ranked no. 95 internationally and was on three Senior World Championship Teams, two Pan American Championship Teams, and three Junior World Championship Teams.

He's an avid basketball fan.  

The Opening Ceremony begins at 7 a.m. ET on Friday, July 23.

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