Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Tokyo Olympics: It’s a family affair for 26 sets of siblings

From competing against each other to teaming up, be it in the pool, on the track and even on the basketball court, it's a family affair in Tokyo.

It’s a family affair at the 29th edition of the Olympic Games.

Tokyo will see 26 sets of siblings in action, all gunning for medals and personal bests.

And, interestingly, all the sets of siblings will compete in the same sport, but not necessarily the same event.

Great Britain features nine sets of siblings – the most.

Here are some of the more interesting sets of siblings who’ll be in action.

The Korda sisters

Hard-core golf fans will know the Korda sisters, Nelly and Jessica, who play on the LPGA Tour.

Nelly recently won the PGA Championship and is ranked number one in the world, while Jessica is ranked 13th. They’ll compete for the US golf team.

Interestingly, if you didn’t know, their father is Petr Korda, the former world number two in tennis and winner of the Australian Open in 1998. He was also runner-up at the French Open in 1992, and played  in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon and the US Open.

Korda’s son and the brother of Nelly and Jessica is Sebastian, a professional tennis player who won the 2018 junior title at the Australian Open.

Football, gymnastics, track and field

In football, the Mewis sisters, Kristie and Sam, play for the US team – the first set of siblings to ever be named in the side.

In gymnastics, 16-year-old twins Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova are members of Great Britain’s Olympics women’s team, and well-known for their floor routines.

Tokyo Olympics gymnastics siblings Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova.
Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova of Team Great Britain pose for a photo in front of the rings during the women’s qualification on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Another two sets of sisters will compete in track and field when it gets under way later this week.

Tiffany Porter and Cindy Sember will go up against each other in the 100m metre hurdles, while Jodie and Hannah Williams will race together as members of the 4x400m relay team.

The Yates brothers

More siblings in Team GB are cyclists Adam and Simon Yates, who competed in the weekend’s men’s road race.

Africa’s siblings

In the swimming pool, the brother and sister “team” of Troy and Jayla Pina will represent Cape Verde in swimming – the first time the African country has sent a swimming team to the Games.

Tokyo Olympics siblings Jayla and Troy Pina
Jayla and Troy Pina pose for a portrait underwater as they train for the Cape Verde Olympic swim team at Seekonk High School in Seekonk, Massachusetts on May 3. Jayla and her older brother Troy will be the two swimmers representing the first Olympic swim team for Cape Verde at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Joseph Prezioso / AFP

Spain’s basketball brothers

In basketball, the Gasol brothers, Marc and Pau, are already three-time Olympians with Spain. They won bronze in 2016 and silver in 2012 and 2008 – and could medal for a fourth time if all goes well.

To see the full list of the siblings, in Business Insider US, click here.  

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