TOKYO, JAPAN (KTSM) – The El Paso Chihuahuas officially have an Olympic medalist in their midst.
Team USA baseball lost 2-0 to host Japan in the gold medal game at the 2020 Tokyo Games on Saturday, but they’ll still bring home a silver medal. That means Chihuahuas slugger Patrick Kivlehan will have a silver medal with him when he returns to El Paso.
Kivlehan started one game for the United States in Tokyo, but went hitless in Japan. He said before the Games that making the Olympics was on par with being called up to the Major Leagues for him.
“I think it’s like the coolest thing,” said Kivlehan. “Opening Ceremony, seeing other athletes that you’re normally just used to seeing on TV, and it’s all just truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. Baseball itself is going to be really cool, but everything else that entails being at the Olympics I can’t wait to experience.”
On the season with the Chihuahuas, Kivlehan is hitting .274 with 17 home runs and 49 RBI.
The New Jersey native was one of 16 athletes with Borderland ties to go to Tokyo, and one of just 4 that will return with a medal.
Kivlehan is the lone silver medalist; Former UTEP track and field star Emmanuel Korir won a gold medal in the 800 meters for his native Kenya. Meanwhile, FC Juarez duo Joaquin Esquivel and Adrian Mora both won bronze medal as members of Mexico’s soccer team.