Bringing Home Bronze

Former Commodore Lily Williams earns Olympic bronze in track cycling

TOKYO — Former Vanderbilt cross country and track and field standout and the first female Olympian in school history, Lily Williams, earned the bronze medal at the Tokyo Games as a member of Team USA in the team pursuit event of track cycling on Tuesday at the Izu Velodrome.

Williams is just the third Vanderbilt student-athlete to win an Olympic medal, joining Jeff Turner, who won gold with the 1984 USA men’s basketball team, and Casey Weathers, who won bronze with the USA baseball team in 2008.

The world champion squad of Chole Dygert, Jennifer Valente, Emma White and Williams were among three teams to break the world record in the qualifying round on Monday.

In the first round on Tuesday, Team USA raced against the British squad with a berth in the gold medal round on the line. Team GB led the first half of the race, with Team USA taking the advantage on the last few laps. When the teams crossed the line, Team GB would have the advantage by 0.814, moving Team USA to the bronze medal race, where they defeated Canada with a time of 4:08.040 in the 4,000-meter event.

Williams competed for Vanderbilt cross country and track and field from 2012-16 and graduated with a degree in biology in 2016.

More on Williams’ unique journey from Vanderbilt to Olympic bronze medalist is here.