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Redding-born Stephen Tomasin lives out Olympic dream

Stephen Tomasin competed on Team USA's rugby sevens team, which finished sixth in the Tokyo Olympics. He spent time in Redding with his dad and brother growing up.

Posted: Aug 2, 2021 6:55 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2021 7:14 PM

REDDING, Calif. - Redding-born Stephen Tomasin lived out a longtime dream at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I got to wear USA colors during an Olympics and play for my country," he said. "It doesn't get much better than that."

Stephen competed on the Rugby Sevens team, making his Olympic debut. 

"I've been with the US team since I was 18," he said. "I debuted in 2013. So essentially my whole adult life I've been a part of this team, chasing this goal."

Stephen grew up in Santa Rosa, but spent time in Redding with his dad and brother Nick.

"I coached him in baseball, I coached him in soccer, and I coached him in basketball," Stephen's father Jim said. "They were really competitive with each other."

"A lot of my fondest memories of my early sports days weren't so much the little leagues I played in," Stephen said. "It was more the competition I had with my little brother."

Stephen started grew up playing rugby casually with his cousins. But it wasn't his main focus. Instead, he hoped to earn a college football scholarship.

I didn't receive the scholarships I was hoping to get," Stephen said. "My cousins nagged me to come out and play one weekend. So I went out and played and the rest is history. I got obsessed with it pretty quickly."

That obsession led to years of practicing and playing. But it paid off to step on the Olympic field. His family in Redding held a watch party where there were plenty of emotions.

"[I was] in awe, surreal, proud, scared, nervous... all those feelings came in," Jim Tomasin said. 

"I was surprised, not in terms of how much support we got, but how much we could still feel it," Stephen said. "How much it still motivated us. To know that we still had people back home watching and cheering for us. We were trying to make everyone proud that was supporting us."

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