What are the chances that you could become an Olympic athlete? As of today, the US is sending 621 athletes across 36 sports to Tokyo. While historians are not known for our math skills, this intern has calculated that one has a 0.00019% chance of becoming an Olympian. But look on the bright side, according to USA swimming your chances to become a US Olympic swimmer or diver are hovering at an *attainable* 0.00013%. Against these odds, 10,931 men and women from the U.S. have gone on to represent the Stars and Stripes on the Olympic stage. This blog will go on to recognize and celebrate the Olympians that have been produced locally.
Take a short drive up I-75. At Exit 155 you’ll arrive at the hometown of Draymond Green. The Saginaw High graduate and Golden State Warriors Power Forward is competing in his second Olympic games hoping to repeat as a gold medalist in Tokyo. Green also graduated from Michigan State in 2012, rounding out his status as a true Michigander.
Next stop: Exit 122. Flushing. 37-year-old rower Ellen Tomek calls Flushing her home, graduating from Flint Powers Catholic and the University of Michigan. Appearing in her third Olympic Games, Ellen seeks to capture a medal after placing sixth in quadruple sculls in Rio in 2016 and fifth in double sculls in Beijing in 2008.
Our final Olympians to note are the Williams sisters. Although both of the tennis icons have opted out of the Tokyo Games, their winning tradition deserves mention. The two sisters have combined for five gold medals, each winning one singles title and three doubles titles together. Although the sisters spent most of their lives in Southern California, Serena was born right here in Mid-Michigan, earning her (and her sister) an honorable mention on this list of Olympians.
Against all odds, these local Olympians have represented their country well. From all of us in Mid-Michigan, we wish all of the 2021 Olympians the very best!
Garrett is an intern at the FHA and an undergraduate History major attending Saginaw Valley State University.
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