Former Fairmont State University football standout and 2013 criminal justice graduate, Perry Baker, will compete on the world’s most esteemed stage next week in the Tokyo Summer Olympics as a member of the USA Men’s Rugby Sevens Team. Baker is slated to make a second appearance in the Olympic Games after receiving the nod in 2016 and competing in the Rio Games.
Baker will return to the Olympics as a two-time World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, earning the honors following the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Baker earned his sophomore bid to the Olympic stage during trials in Los Angeles last month, despite injuries sustained to his fibula and ankle earlier this year.
“Falcons make their way all over the globe,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “We are so proud of Perry – he shines as the perfect embodiment of the Falcon spirit – hard working, talented and driven. We wish him good health and good luck as he represents this great nation on the world’s largest stage.”
Throughout his tenure with the Fighting Falcons as a wide receiver, Baker racked up 90 receptions for 1,552 yards and 19 touchdowns. His touchdown receptions currently rank in a tie for third in Fairmont State’s history, while he was also on the receiving end of the school’s 11th longest pass in 2008 from quarterback, Vick Bradford. Baker received various other accolades as a playmaker for Fairmont State, including All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors, Gazette All-Region honors, among others. Baker was also awarded the Fairmont State Jasper H. Colebank Memorial Award.
Baker was a 2011 National Football League Draft prospect and was invited to training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles following the draft. He spent several years playing in the Arena Football League as a member of the Pittsburgh Power, then transitioned to a career in Rugby.
In 2014 Baker received an invitation to the Residency Program at the Olympic Training Center, and made his World Rugby Sevens Series debut under head coach Mike Friday, his current Olympic coach, later that year. He was also named to World Rugby’s Rookie of the Year shortlist following the 2014 -15 season.
During the 2017 - 18 season, in the first match of the 2018 Hamilton Sevens Tournament, Baker passed Zack Test to become the USA's all-time leading try scorer. The milestone was secured by Baker with only three years under his belt with the squad.
Baker will join the USA Men’s Rugby Sevens Team as they begin play on Monday, July 26 with two games against Kenya at 11:30 a.m. and Ireland at 6:30 p.m. The team will continue play on Tuesday, July 27 during an 11:30 a.m. matchup against South Africa. The knockout round will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, with the medal rounds wrapping up on Wednesday, July 28. (Note: start times listed are venue local time in Tokyo, Japan).
For additional information visit, http://www.olympics.com/tokyo-2020.