CHARLOTTE – After the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games were postponed due to the pandemic, for many athletes, making it this far holds more weight than ever. For athletes Anabel Knoll '19, Marius Kusch '19, Felix Duchampt '15, and Hannah Aspden '22, it means showing the world how Olympians and Paralympians are made at Queens University of Charlotte.
Knoll, who will represent Germany, made history when she became the first varsity triathlete to qualify for the Olympics since women's triathlon became an NCAA sport. The Ingolstadt native was a member of three of Queens' National Champion triathlon teams, including the 2019 Mixed Team Relay squad where she was the anchor leg.
Kusch is a 16-time NCAA National Champion, 21-time All-American, and three-time NCAA Swimmer of the Meet. The Kassel, Germany native has a wide array of experience in international competition, winning the bronze medal in the 100m Butterfly at the 2017 European Championships and competing on Germany's 4x100m Medley Relay team in the 2018 European Championships, once again earning a bronze medal.
Duchampt will compete for the Romanian triathlon team, making him the second athlete to qualify as a triathlete from Queens thus far. The Ceyrat, France native has dual-citizenship in Romania. While at Queens, Duchampt was a member of the cross country, track and field, and swimming teams. He was an All-American and three-time conference runner of the year in cross country. Duchampt was also the triathlon team's first-ever volunteer coach.
Aspden will compete in her second Paralympic Games after winning two bronze medals in Rio. She competed in four events at the 2020 Paralympic Swimming Trials taking first in the 100-meter backstroke (1:09.48), 100-meter free (1:03.87), and the 50-meter free (29.91). Aspden also finished second in the 200 IM (2:42.11). The Raleigh native also swam for Team USA in the 2018 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships where she earned a silver medal in the 4x100 Medley Relay and won a U.S. Paralympics Swimming Para National Championship in the 100-meter backstroke.