Know Ohio: Our Olympians

Learn a little more...with a link!

Website: Olympics, Pyeong Chang 2018 | At the official Winter Olympics site, find out more about each sport.

Website Article: SR Olympic Sports, Olympic Athletes by Where They Were Born  | Find out if there are Olympians from your hometown.

Website Article: American Kinesiology Association, Careers in Kinesiology | Learn about lots of careers that use kinesiology.

Read the script:

GABRIEL: U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! OH HEY JUST PRACTICING TO CHEER ON THE OLYMPIANS. THOUGH I COULD JUST AS EASILY BE CHEERING O-H-I-O! O-H-I-O! BECAUSE THERE ARE PLENTY OF OHIOANS REPRESENTING THE US IN THE GAMES.

AND THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF FAMOUS ONES OVER THE YEARS.

LIKE JESSE OWENS. HE MOVED TO CLEVELAND WHEN HE WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD AND GREW UP INTO A TRACK STAR. IN THE 1936 OLYMPICS IN BERLIN, HE BECAME THE FIRST AMERICAN TRACK AND FIELD STAR TO WIN FOUR GOLD MEDALS IN A SINGLE OLYMPICS. HE ALSO SET OR CONTRIBUTED TO FOUR OLYMPIC RECORDS!

ON TOP OF THAT, HE BROKE RACIAL BARRIERS AS WELL. HE WAS A BLACK ATHLETE WHO COMPETED IN BERLIN, GERMANY IN 1936. ADOLPH HITLER WAS THEN THE CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY, AND WORLD WAR II BROKE OUT SHORTLY AFTERWARD. THE BERLIN OLYMPICS WERE THE LAST GAMES TO BE HELD FOR 12 YEARS BECAUSE OF THE WAR.

BEFORE THERE WAS JESSE OWENS THOUGH, JIM THORPE COMPETED IN THE 1912 OLYMPICS IN SWEDEN. HE WON GOLD MEDALS IN THE DECATHLON AND THE PENTATHLON. THOSE EVENTS REQUIRE ATHLETES TO COMPETE IN MULTIPLE ATHLETIC EVENTS, LIKE LONG JUMPS AND SWIMMING. THORPE WAS SUCCESSFUL IN JUST ABOUT EVERY SPORT HE ATTEMPTED, AND AFTER THE OLYMPICS, HE WENT ON TO PLAY NUMEROUS PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, LIKE BASEBALL, BASKETBALL, AND FOOTBALL. HE’S NOT ORIGINALLY FROM OHIO, BUT HE DID PLAY FOR THE CANTON BULLDOGS. HE LED THE FOOTBALL TEAM TO CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 1916, 1917, AND 1919 IN THE UNOFFICIAL WORLD GAMES – SO WE STILL LIKE TO CLAIM HIM AS A BUCKEYE.

A FAMOUS TEAM OF PLAYERS ARE THE 1904 BASKETBALL TEAM FROM HIRAM. THAT YEAR WAS THE FIRST TIME BASKETBALL WAS PLAYED IN THE OLYMPICS, AND THE HIRAM COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM WON THE SPORT’S FIRST GOLD MEDAL! OHIOANS ARE STILL WINNING GOLD MEDALS IN BASKETBALL MORE THAN 100 YEARS LATER, INCLUDING LEBRON JAMES OF AKRON. HE WON TWO GOLD MEDALS WITH THE MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM, ONE IN 2008 AND THE OTHER IN 2012. FELLOW CLEVELAND CAVALIER KEVIN LOVE ALSO WON A GOLD MEDAL IN THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES.

THERE ARE ALSO MANY OHIO ATHLETES WHO COMPETE IN THE PARALYMPICS. THAT’S THE OLYMPICS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. THE ATHLETES ARE STILL INCREDIBLY TALENTED AND TRAIN VERY HARD TO WIN MEDALS. A.J. DIGBY FROM TOLEDO COMPETED IN THE 2016 PARALYMPICS IN BRAZIL. HE IS A TRACK AND FIELD RUNNER; DESPITE BEING BORN WITH NO FEET. DARTANYON CROCKETT IS A BLIND WRESTLER FROM CLEVELAND. HE COMPETED FOR TEAM USA IN PARALYMPIC JUDO AND WON TWO BRONZE MEDALS.

O-H-I-O! O-H-I-O! WHO’S WITH ME?

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