The Olympic Flame has made its arrival, the Olympic cauldron has been lit and the opening ceremonies have concluded, officially kicking off the much-anticipated 2020 Olympic games.
This year, Northwest will have a direct connection to the games, as former Northwest men's basketball alumnus Shelby McEwen has arrived in Tokyo to compete for Team USA in the high jump competition.
McEwen will begin his journey to capturing a gold medal on Thursday, July 29 in the high jump qualifying round. Coverage of the event, along with other track and field events, will begin at 7 P.M. Central and can be seen on USA Network, though listings are subject to change.
Should McEwen advance, his next and final step will be the men's high jump final on Sunday, August 1, which is scheduled for 5:10 A.M. Central on NBC's Peacock streaming service.
McEwen suited up for the Rangers from 2015-17 and played in every game during his career, even developing into a consistent starter as a sophomore. In his 49 career games career, he averaged 5.3 points, three rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, along with 46 career steals and 17 blocks.
While at Northwest, McEwen competed independently in track and field events across the region, catching the eyes of numerous Division I programs. He would later sign with Alabama and earn a pair of indoor and outdoor high jump SEC championships in 2018, while also collecting numerous All-American and All-SEC accolades. During the 2019 indoor and outdoor seasons, the Oxford native collected first place finishes in several events, most notably the NCAA Indoor Championship with a 7-6 mark (2.29m).
In July 2019, McEwen competed in the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, earning the silver medal in the high jump and qualifying for last month's Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. While there, he finished in the top 12 of the qualifying round after clearing 2.14 and 2.19 meters without a miss.
Despite facing scorching temperatures and stiff competition in that weekend's finals, McEwen stood out from the field of 12 and finished with a peak of 2.30 meters, good enough for third place and a spot on the Team USA roster.
All starting times and television listings for the Tokyo games are subject to change.