Meet the six newest athletes on Olympic Channel's "Anatomy Of"
From a skateboarder to a surfer, a climber to a gymnast, a 3X3 basketball star to the bobsleigh track, here are the six athletes featured in the latest season of the Olympic Channel original series.
The third series of Anatomy Of, an Olympic Channel original series in which the best sportspeople from around the world are tested in a laboratory setting to explain the science behind what makes them so good at their sport, returns with six brand new episodes this week.
Skateboarder Tom Schaar, sport climber Nathaniel Coleman, surfer Brisa Hennessy, rhythmic gymnast Ekaterina Selezneva, 3x3 basketball star Laetitia Guapo, and series host and three-time Olympian Lolo Jones all feature in the latest instalments of the series.
They were each tested on their body fat content, pure explosive power, VO2 max, and other different factors to find out how exactly they have reached the highest levels of their sport.
But who are the six athletes? Read on for a short profile of each of them, and why you should pay attention to them as Tokyo 2020 in 2021 nears.
The 21-year-old Schaar will form part of the first U.S. Olympic skateboard team next year in Tokyo when the sport makes its debut at the Games.
Despite his age, Schaar has a long history at the highest level of the sport, writing his name into the Guinness Book of World Records (GWR) twice in the space of two months in 2012.
Then still aged just 12, the young skateboarder became the first person to successfully land a 1080 – completing three full revolutions in the air – in March of that year.
He repeated the feat in competition at the Asia X Games in Shanghai in May, which earned him another recognition from GWR for being the youngest X Games champion.
Still only 23, Coleman was the first American man to book an Olympic spot in sport climbing when he reached the final of the IFSC Combined Qualifier – the last global qualifying event for Tokyo 2020 – in December.
The bouldering specialist, who is also adept at lead climbing, currently finds himself ranked inside the world's top 20 in bouldering and top 35 in lead, and could have been ranked higher if not for the caveat that there has been a lack of ranking events this year due to the coronavirus.
Like many others on the professional climbing circuit, Coleman also climbs natural rock formations.
In June, he completed the first ascent of the "Grand Illusion", a difficult 8C+/V16 (the V-scale tops out at V17) bouldering puzzle in his native Utah.
Costa Rica's top pro surfer Hennessy is one of a number of athletes to have guaranteed their spot at surfing's Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
Born in Costa Rica to U.S. parents who ran surf schools, Hennessy grew up in the country until the family moved back to the States – Hawaii, specifically – when she was nine.
Unsurprisingly, surfing came along with living in the Hawaiian islands, and Hennessy has quickly become one of the World Surf League's best young surfers.
She qualified for the WSL's Championship Tour at the end of 2018 thanks to consistent results in the Qualifying Series, and finished 11th on the CT in her rookie season in 2019.
It's not easy making your mark in rhythmic gymnastics as a Russian, especially when you consider that normally means having to compete against the likes of Aleksandra Soldatova and the Averina twins, Arina and Dina.
Selezneva knows this better than most. The 25-year-old, who represented Russia at last year's World Championships (winning the individual hoop and team gold medals), was denied a spot in the individual all-around final at those Championships despite finishing fourth in qualifying as both Averinas placed ahead of her and gymnastics rules restrict each country to a maximum of two finalists in each event.
Make no mistake, though. The Russian is still one of the best in the world, as proven by four gold medals at the 2019 Summer Universiade in Naples, and seven individual all-around medals at FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup events going back to 2017.
Being world number one in anything is a pretty serious achievement. The 25-year-old Guapo can certainly boast that accolade, as she is currently considered the world's best women's 3X3 basketball player according to world governing body FIBA's rankings.
The guard helped France win the 2019 FIBA 3X3 Europe Cup as well as the 2019 FIBA 3X3 Women's Series – a national-team competition created to mirror the men's 3X3 World Tour.
Les Bleues also won bronze at last year's FIBA 3X3 World Cup, marking them out as a serious medal contender when the discipline makes its first senior Olympic Games appearance in Tokyo after three successful Youth Olympic Games competitions.
Series host Lolo Jones decided to put herself through the same battery of tests after three series of encouraging other athletes to do so.
The 38-year-old is a three-time Olympian and one of a small number of athletes who have competed at both the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games, doing so in athletics at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 before switching to bobsleigh in time for Sochi 2014.
During her career, the American was a two-time indoor world champion in track, before she won a mixed team gold medal at the 2013 IBSF Bobsleigh World Championships in Sochi.