The MBA Olympians Competing In Tokyo

Michael Hixon (right) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is also a first-year MBA student at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Instagram photo

When Michael Hixon enrolled in the full-time MBA program at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business this past fall, he was like the rest of his classmates in a lot of ways: a highly accomplished 20-something who went to a top public university. But one big main thing differentiated Hixon from his classmates: He was an Olympic medalist.

Now the 27-year-old is a two-time Olympic medalist, fresh off a silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Hixon, an award-winning diver from Amherst, Massachusetts, won his first silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games in the men’s synchronized three-meter springboard event with teammate Sam Dorman. This past week, Hixon and new teammate Andrew Capobianco took the silver medal in the same event in Tokyo.

Hixon isn’t the only current or former MBA student to be competing in this year’s Olympic Games. Below is a list of other MBAs competing in this year’s Tokyo Olympics.


Jess Fox and Alyce Wood lead a group of Australian Olympians also earning MBA degrees. Fox and Wood are both currently working on their MBAs at Griffith University in Queensland. After earning a silver medal at just 18-years-old in the K-1 Canoe Slalom event at the London 2012 Olympics, Fox repeated with a bronze medal in the same event at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. But this year, Fox made history, winning the first-ever gold medal in C-1 Canoe Slalom event.

Fox’s teammate and fellow member of the Griffith MBA program, Wood, is competing in her second Olympic Games, after competing in the K-2 500 Meters canoe event in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Meanwhile, Alexander Graham, who is a Bond University MBA student broke onto the highly-talented Australian men’s swim team for his first Olympic appearance this year. Graham earned two bronze medals in Tokyo in the 4×100 and 4×200 freestyle relays.


Australia isn’t the only country to have multiple MBA students competing in this year’s Olympic Games. Canada — and more specifically, Queen’s University — has three MBA students competing in Tokyo. Like Australia and Griffith, Canada and Queens have a returning Olympic champion in Erica Wiebe. The 32-year-old wrestler enrolled in the EMBA Americas program at Queens won the women’s 75-kilogram freestyle wrestling gold medal in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. At the time, Wiebe was Canada’s second-ever gold medal winner in women’s wrestling. Wiebe competed in the 76-kilogram freestyle event this year but lost in early rounds.

If you’re ever lost in the wilderness and need some survival help, Melanie McCann would be good to have around. McCann, who is enrolled in the Accelerated MBA program at Queens competes in the modern pentathlon event, which includes fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting, and cross country running. The 31-year-old is competing in her third Olympic Games and placed 11th in the event in 2012 and 15th in 2016. She’s basically Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games in real life.


When Jeff Butler enrolls in the full-time MBA program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business this fall, it’ll be like Michigan’s Hixon: Butler is already in the elite club of Olympic medalists after earning a silver in wheelchair rugby in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic games. Butler hopes to repeat another medal this year in Tokyo in the same event. The 31-year-old from Fort Wayne, Indiana will enroll in Palo Alto shortly after returning from Tokyo.


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