Five Olympic Athletes With Iowa Connections
The Winter Olympics in PeyongChang, South Korea begin this Friday on NBC. It's always fun to watch our Olympic athletes take their places among the best in the world to compete in figure skating, bobsledding, skiing and other games and sports events. It takes years of training and skill development to compete and win, and some of those best-in-the-world athletes have been from right here in Iowa. They weren't all born here but they have all spent enough time as Iowans to call them our own. Let's take a look at a few of them below.
Everyone in Iowa knows who Shawn Johnson East is. She participated in the 2008 Olympics as a gymnast, where she took home a gold medal and two silvers. Since then, she went on to compete on Dancing with the Stars, and WON! She has won a number of awards and has gone on to become a great ambassador for the state of Iowa.
Lolo Jones is an Olympic hurdler AND bobsledder, making her one of few athletes to represent their country in both the summer and winter Olympics.
She came to Iowa to train for and pursue her very successful gymnastics career, but we call her one of our own. She won a total of three gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Games.
When you think of legends in Iowa, you think about Dan Gable. He was a star wrestler at Iowa State, and went on to lead the Hawkeyes to be one of the biggest programs in college wrestling history. In 1972, he wrestled a full match on an injured knee and still won Olympic gold. In 2012, when the International Olympic Committee decided to drop wrestling, Gable advocated heavily to bring it back, which they did, in 2013.
Born in Guthrie Center, Janvrin has been a Drake Relays regular who tried out for the 2000 and 2004 Olympics finishing third and 12th, respectively, in the trials, although he never made the final cut.