The Chicago area has one of its first athletes on Team USA heading to Paris in 2024 – and she’ll be the only one representing the U.S. in her sport.
Evita Griskenas will be returning to the Olympics, representing the U.S. as the country’s only competitor in rhythmic gymnastics.
Griskenas, from Orland Park, qualified in one of her last opportunities as she earned the all-around silver medal and hoop, ball, clubs & ribbon bronze medal at the Pan American Games, according to NBC Sports.
Griskenas had previously competed in the Tokyo Olympics, alongside a number of other local rhythmic gymnasts on the team, but she was one of only two to compete individually in the sport. She ultimately placed 12th in the rhythmic all-around, which marked the third-best Olympic result ever for an American in the event, NBC Sports reported.
In a previous interview with NBC Chicago ahead of the Tokyo Games, Griskenas described rhythmic gymnastics as a combination of “gracefulness and elegance” mixed with “lots of strength.”
“There’s lots of cross training that’s involved that incorporates ballet technique and dance, as well as, again, lots of like strength training and conditioning,” she said.