San Diego Olympians Trek to Brazil for 2016 Rio Games

With Rio 2016 just days away, Team USA athletes are getting social before they get competitive

With the 2016 Rio Games around the corner, San Diego-based Olympic athletes have started hopping on airplanes and heading to Brazil as they prepare to represent the United States in the competition of a lifetime.

Jesse Smith, Men’s Water Polo athlete and Coronado High School alum, is among the local Olympians sharing his road to Rio on social media. On Tuesday, he posted a photo on Twitter of his teammates along a picturesque backdrop with the inspiring caption: “Teamwork is dream work.” Smith’s competitive run in the 2016 Rio Games starts this Saturday.

Bonsall resident and racewalker John Nunn has also been tweeting his trek to the Rio Games. On Monday, Nunn tweeted from a USA Basketball event, grateful for a “little pre-show” before the trip to Rio De Janeiro.

Nunn – a Palomar College graduate and track and field coach for Bonsall High School – also posted to his Twitter feed Tuesday, saying he was catching a flight to Rio soon. Nunn is scheduled to compete on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, the NBC Olympics Twitter page posted a photo Tuesday of Men’s Volleyball Olympian David Lee, a native of San Diego’s Alpine community. The 6-foot-8 athlete is seen standing back-to-back with 4-foot-8 Team USA gymnast Simone Biles with the caption: “Athletes come in all shapes and sizes.”

Team USA gymnast Alexandra Raisman also posted a similar photo back-to-back with the tall volleyball player. Lee, whose parents still reside in Alpine, is scheduled to compete with Team USA Volleyball this Sunday.

Meanwhile Beach Volleyball Olympian Lauren Fendrick was pictured in a Twitter post by Team USA rooting on her team. Fendrick, a native of Carlsbad, is set to compete with her team this Sunday as well.

Shalene Flanagan, the winner of the 2016 Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon and Half Marathon, has also been posting to her Twitter page, including a snapshot of herself and other athletes wearing their sharp, Ralph Lauren-designed Team USA uniforms:

She also posted a short video of some behind-the-scenes fun captioned: “Running form on point.” Flanagan will compete on Aug. 14.

BMX athlete Connor Fields, who trains on and off at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center, posted a GIF to his Twitter page Monday showing off the new Team USA uniforms, which light up. Fields’ clip shows the flag bearer jacket that will be worn in Friday’s Opening Ceremony. Fields is set to compete in the Rio Games Aug. 17 through Aug. 19.

Another BMX Olympian – San Diego resident Alise Post – also snapped a photo during processing for Team USA, posting to Instragram: “Wait, what?! Things just got real.” Post will also compete Aug. 17 through Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, the NBC Olympics website reported that all 15 of U.S. Sailing’s Olympic athletes are now in Rio De Janeiro. The United States Sailing Association hosted a send-off party for the team at the Houston Yacht Club last week.

The sailing team includes Coronado High School graduate Paris Henken and Caleb Paine – a San Diego native who attended La Mesa’s Murray Manor Elementary School and Parkway Middle School, then Point Loma High School. Also on the team: Point Loma High School graduate Briana Provancha. The sailing team will compete in Rio starting Aug. 8.

For updates from the 2016 Rio Games, including profiles of San Diego athletes, visit our Olympics section here.

NBC 7’s Steven Luke is reporting from Rio during the 2016 Olympic Summer Games; follow him on Twitter and Facebook for exciting updates from Brazil over the next few weeks.

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