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SAN FRANCISCO — Decathlon, the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, is proud to announce that two sponsored athletes, paralympic swimmer, Jamal Hill, and racewalker Robyn Stevens, have qualified for the Tokyo Summer Olympics and will be the first Team USA athletes to represent the French brand at the Olympic Games. Racewalker Nick Christie also won the 20-kilometer racewalk, but missed the Olympic standard time and is awaiting word on his Olympic qualification.
“It’s an absolute honor to work with inspirational athletes like Robyn, Nick and Jamal, who embody our company ethos of making all sports more accessible for everybody,” said Jaclyn Applegate, sports marketing manager, Decathlon USA. “Sending our first Team USA athletes to the Olympic Games is a pivotal step forward as Decathlon continues to grow its footprint in the U.S.”
A prodigal talent in the niche sport of racewalking, Stevens won a U20 medal at the 1999 PanAm Games and remains the only American to win gold at an international race walking competition. Injuries sidelined her career for 11 years, but she returned to competition in 2016, promptly qualifying for the 2016 Olympic trials, and later the world team trials. She will be competing in the 20k race walk at the 2021 games.
Hill is one of the world’s top ranked paralympic swimmers. He won his first national title in 2018, when he took first in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events and 2nd in the 100-meter backstroke. At the 2019 ParaPan American Games, Hill won both an individual silver and team bronze medals. Hill will be representing Team USA in the 50-meter freestyle.
Christie, also a race walker and Stevens’ partner, has been racing professionally since 2012, when he finished third in the 20k race. He finished first in the 2-mile race walk at the 2015 USATF Indoor Championships. Christie will be competing in the 20k race walk, if he qualifies for the Games following review.
The Games are set to begin on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo.
Decathlon, a leading company in the sports market, has two activities: the creation of sports products and its distribution of products online and in stores. Founded on the mission to make sports more accessible, Decathlon designs, innovates, produces and sells its own products for more than 80 sports. This vertical integration means that Decathlon is able to ensure the highest value at the best price point with the goal of increasing access to sports for people of all levels and abilities.
Founded and headquartered in France and active abroad in 70 countries with more than 1,600 points of sale, the services, brands and store teams have been working since 1976 with a constant ambition: to innovate in all areas to remain the main playing partner of all sports lovers. Decathlon’s mountain brand, Quechua, is based in the Mont Blanc Valley near Chamonix. It’s here that Decathlon’s team designs and tests outdoor gear & equipment.