10 Olympic Medalists from Michigan

Here’s some of Michigan’s best that have represented the US over the years

10 Olympic Medalists from Michigan
10 Olympic Medalists from Michigan (Pexels)

Did you know that some of the best Olympic athletes have been from Michigan? Here are a few of the talented individuals that have won medals for Team USA.

  1. Meryl Davis and Charlie White Both of these figure skaters were born in Royal Oak. Davis was raised in West Bloomfield, and White currently lives in Ann Arbor. Not only did they grow up together, but also they attended the University of Michigan at the same time. The duo brought home the gold medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics and a silver in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
  2. Carly Piper This swimmer was born in Grosse Pointe. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Piper won a gold medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. Her and teammates Natalie Coughlin, Kaitlin Sandeno, and Dana Vollmer set the world record in the event. On December 20, 2004 it was declared “Carly Piper Day” in Piper’s hometown for her accomplishments in Athens.
  3. Mark Grimmette Born in Ann Arbor, this American Luger also lived in Muskegon. Grimmette competed in a total of five Winter Olympics. He won two medals in the men’s doubles event with a silver in 2002 and a bronze in 1998.
  4. Shelley Looney Ice Hockey player, Looney was born in Brownstone, but raised in Trenton. She scored the game winning goal for Team USA at the 1998 Winter Olympics. This was the US national women’s ice hockey team’s first gold medal. Four years later, she won a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
  5. Magic Johnson This basketball legend was born and raised in Lansing. Johnson attended Michigan State, where he played on the basketball team. In the 1978-79 season, Michigan State defeated Indiana State in the what is now known as the most watched college basketball game ever. He was then voted Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Johnson was a key member of the “Dream Team” for the US national men’s basketball in the 1992 Summer Olympics. They won the Olympic gold medal.
  6. Connie Paraskevin This cyclist and speed skater was born in Detroit. She was a member of the US team during the 1980 Winter Olympics for speed skating, although she did not compete. Four years later she competed at the 1984 Winter Olympics. Paraskevin won a bronze medal for the US in the women’s sprint event for cycling in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She went on to compete at two more Summer Olympics before retiring in 1996.
  7. Wendy Wyland This American Diver was born in Jackson, although was raised in Rochester, New York. She represented her country at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Wyland won the bronze medal in the Women’s 10m Platform competition. She also won the world title two years earlier in the same event.
  8. Clarke Scholes Born in Detroit, this Olympic swimmer lived there until his death in 2010. Scholes attended Michigan State University, and swam on the Spartans swimming and diving team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association competition. At the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, he was awarded the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle race.
  9. Norbert Schemansky This weightlifter was born in Detroit and died in Dearborn in 2016. Schemansky was the first weightlifter to win four Olympic medals. He won a silver medal in the 1948 Summer Olympic Games, a gold in the 1952 Summer Olympics and bronzes in both the 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics for the United States.
  10. John Garrels This track and field star was born in Bay City, and lived in Grosse Ile Township with his family until his death in 1956. Garrels attended the University of Michigan, where he was a member of Michigan’s football team from 1904 to 1906. He was also a member of the university’s track and field team from 1904 to 1907. Garrels won the silver medal in the men’s 110 metres hurdles and a bronze medal in the shot put at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. In 2009, he was inducted into the Michigan Track and Field Hall of Fame.

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