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Olympics roundup: Utah swimmer Rhyan White just misses out on a medal again

Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez of the United States carry their country’s flag during the opening ceremony at the Summer Olympics.
Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez, of the United States, carry their country’s flag during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Natacha Pisarenko, Associated Press

Former Salt Lake Community College baseball player Eddy Alvarez hit two doubles and had two RBIs in Team USA’s 8-1 win over Israel to open up the Olympic baseball tournament.

Alvarez manufactured the first run of the game in the third inning when he doubled home Nick Allen, setting off a three-run inning. Alvarez added another RBI in the seventh inning on his second double of the game, increasing the U.S. lead to 5-1.

Alvarez finished the game 2-for-5.

Alvarez’s story is remarkable. Growing up both skating and playing baseball, he won a silver medal with the United States in the 5,000-meter short track speedskating relay in the 2014 Winter Olympics, retiring from speedskating after those Games due to knee problems. He played baseball for SLCC in 2011, batting .303 and hitting 15 doubles, four triples and two home runs.

Alvarez signed with the Chicago White Sox as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He currently plays in the Miami Marlins minor league organization. He made his MLB debut in 2020, playing 12 games for Miami with a double, two RBIs and a .189 batting average.

Alvarez, the son of Cuban immigrants, was a flag bearer for the United States at the opening ceremony this year.

“It means everything to me,” Alvarez said. “I owe so much to my parents, to my family that came over to this country. To be able to lead Team USA is an absolute honor. It was a lot of sacrifice I’ve had to make in this life, in my athletic career so I am just absolutely, incredibly honored. What a privilege.”

Rhyan White finishes fourth in women’s 200-meter backstroke final

Utah native Rhyan White finished fourth for second consecutive time in an Olympic swimming final.

White’s time of 2:06.39 in the women’s 200-meter backstroke just missed out on the podium by 0.22 seconds.

Australia’s Kaylee McKeown won gold for the second time in Tokyo with a time of 2:04.68, Canada’s Kylie Masse took silver with a time of 2:05.42 and Australia’s Emily Seebohm won bronze with a time of 2:06.17.

Rudy Gobert, France stay undefeated with win over Iran

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and France improved to 3-0 in Olympic play with a 79-62 win over Iran.

Gobert scored five points, had four rebounds, an assist and two steals in the victory.

Jordan Matyas, USA women’s rugby fall in quarterfinals

Former BYU women’s rugby player Jordan Matyas and the United States saw their bid for a medal come up short as Great Britain won 21-12.

Matyas did not play in the loss. Jasmine Joyce led Great Britain with 10 points in the win.

Jake Gibb, Tri Bourne qualify for beach volleyball knockout stage

Utah native Jake Gibb and his replacement partner Tri Bourne lost their first match of the Olympics as Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar beat the U.S. pair 2-0 (21-18, 21-17). Even with the loss, Gibb and Bourne qualified for the knockout stage by finishing in the top two of their pool.

Gibb scored 11 attack points and a block point in the loss, which dropped his record to 2-1 in Pool C play.

Leilani Mitchell, Australia lose to China in women’s basketball

Former Utah women’s basketball player Leilani Mitchell scored nine points, dished out three assists and had a steal and a rebound in Australia’s 76-74 loss to China.

China’s Li Yueru drew a last-second foul and made both free throws to give China the win.

Up next

7/30, 10:40 p.m. MDT: Miye Oni (Team Nigeria, Utah Jazz player), men’s basketball vs. Italy.

7/31, 2:20 a.m. MDT: Joe Ingles (Team Australia, Utah Jazz player), men’s basketball vs. Germany.

7/31, 4 a.m. MDT: Eddy Alvarez (Team USA, former Salt Lake Community College baseball player), baseball vs. South Korea.

7/31, 6 a.m. MDT: Damian Lillard (Team USA, former Weber State basketball player), men’s basketball vs. Czech Republic.

7/31, 7 p.m. MDT: Kim (Smith) Gaucher (Team Canada, former Utah women’s basketball player), women’s basketball vs. Spain.