Graduate Division

Two #GradEaters Represent UCI in Tokyo Olympics

Section 1

Picture of UCI graduate students Jason Evezard and Amber Neben

Information for this release was gathered with the help of  

IRVINE, Calif. – One current graduate student and one former UCI grad student are among the 16 UCI representatives to participate in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games held July 23-August 8 in Tokyo, Japan. The games were postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UC Irvine men's water polo player and current graduate student Jason Evezard will play for South Africa in the games. Evezard is in the process of completing his Master’s of Finance at UCI. Amber Neben will compete as a member of Team USA’s Olympic Women’s road race cycling team. She graduated with her Master’s in Biology from UCI.

Evezard is utility player for the Anteater water polo team and was selected as a part of the 13-man roster for the South African Men's National Team. This marks the first Olympics for Evezard.

Evezard, who has played two seasons at UCI, was named the Golden Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year in 2018 and has led the Anteaters in scoring in back-to-back seasons with 59 goals in 2018 and 50 in 2019. He holds the UCI single game school record, scoring nine goals in 2019. Evezard also is a GCC All-Academic Team selection.

He is no stranger to the South African National Team as he represented South Africa at the 2019 FINA World Championships where he helped the team to a 12th place finish.

Evezard will become the 15th Anteater in men's water polo history to compete at an Olympic Games.

Evezard will kick off Olympic action Sunday, July 25th against Italy.

Neben is already a household name when it comes to Olympic glory, as she’ll be making her third appearance for Team USA in the Summer Games (2008, 2012, 2020). She competed in the 2008 road race event in the Beijing Olympics, placing 33rd.

She also placed seventh in the time trail event at the 2012 Olympics in London and took home a 36th place finish in the road race event.

Neben did not compete collegiately while at UCI, but she was on a track and field scholarship at the University of Nebraska as an undergraduate. She’s already proven to be a winner off the bicycle as well, as she defeated cancer in 2007 after being diagnosed with melanoma. In addition, Neben also survived spinal meningitis after being in a coma for three days at age four.

For updates, be sure to follow throughout the Olympics.