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DACA Recipient Represents Northern Arizona University In Tokyo Olympics Track And Field Final

Arizona was well-represented in this year’s Tokyo Olympics, with 18 athletes native to the state. But some athletes have ties to Arizona without being born here.

One such athlete is Luis Grijalva, a runner at Northern Arizona University and a DACA recipient, who represented Guatemala in the Men’s 5000m event.

ASU Sports Historian Victoria Jackson told PBS’s “Arizona Horizons” that Grijalva was almost unable to travel because of his legal status.

“The running community really rallied around him and got him a lot of national attention and political attention to get the letter Grijalva needed to be guaranteed that he’d be accepted if he leaves the country and then returns,” said Jackson.

Grijalva placed 12th in the 5000m Final after placing second in June’s NCAA track and field championships.

Jackson also mentioned two Olympic swimmers who are also coaches at Arizona State University.

“Two of our volunteer assistant coaches in the swim program, Allison Schmitt and Hali Flickinger, both earned medals in Tokyo. They’re both multiple-time Olympians, they’re both coaching and training post-collegiately,” said Jackson.

Schmitt brought home two medals in these Olympics, one silver and one bronze, to bring her all-time total to 10. Flickinger won two bronze medals in individual events in her second Olympics.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.