Williams Makes History

Lily Williams officially becomes first Vanderbilt female Olympian

TOKYO — Former Commodore cross country standout Lily Williams made history as Vanderbilt University’s first female Olympian on Monday at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Williams competed for Team USA in the team pursuit event of track cycling at the Izu Velodrome. 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.

Team USA finished the 4,000-meter race in 4:10.118 to place third among the eight qualifiers and will race second-seeded Great Britain at 1:30 a.m. CT on Wednesday. The winner will race for the gold medal at 3:26 a.m. The remaining top two times from the first round will compete in the bronze medal race which is set for 3:19 a.m.

Williams competed for Vanderbilt cross country from 2012-15 and graduated with a degree in biology in 2016.

More on Williams’ unique journey from Vanderbilt cross country to USA cycling is here.