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Olympic Gold Cultivated In Idaho

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

The ripples of inspiration created by Olympians pushing themselves to reach extraordinary accomplishments will continuelong after the XXXI Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil have drawn to a close.  We shall never know how many young people here at home or around the world tuned in this summer to see a favorite athlete do what to most would appear unattainable.  Olympic athletes spark hope that the seemingly impossible can be achieved.  Some of this inspiration and determination is being cultivated in our own backyards.

Team USAshared the following statistics about the U.S. Olympic Team:    

  • The 558-member team was comprised of 264 men and 294 women;
  • The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team featured 189 returning Olympians, including three six-time Olympians, seven five-time Olympians, 17 four-time Olympians, 50 three-time Olympians and 113 two-time Olympians;
  • Among the returnees were 106 Olympic medalists, 66 of whom are Olympic champions and 43 who have won multiple Olympic medals.

Idahoan Kristin Armstrong was one of only 19 athletes in individual events of those returning Olympic champions who sought to defend their titles from the London Olympics, and she succeeded.  Kristin earned her third-straight gold medal in the Olympic Cycling Individual Time Trial.  In addition to her recent win and her gold medal win in the 2012 Olympics in London, she brought home the gold in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing after competing in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.  This gold is another achievement in her remarkable cycling career that also includes earning medals in World Championship competitions. 

Fellow Idaho Senator Jim Risch and I highlighted Kristin's accomplishments in a Congressional Record Statement we submitted to the official record of the U.S. Senate.  This is among the many efforts, including community events and naming of a Boise park in her honor, to congratulate her on her achievements and commend her for representing our state and nation with such distinction.    

In addition to Kristin, Will Brown of Twin Falls represented the U.S. at this summer's Olympic Games.  Will competed in two pistol shooting competitions.  He placed 12 thin the 10-meter and 10 thin the 25-meter air pistol competitions.  Numerous others connected to Idaho, including their attendance at Idaho colleges, represented other countries in these Olympic games. 

Idaho has also been well represented in the Paralympics in Brazil.  U.S. Paralympics team member and Boise State University graduate Roderick Townsend-Roberts won gold in the long jump while setting a Paralympics record.  Additionally, Tyson Gunter of McCammon competed in Track and Field events in the Paralympics. 

Olympic athletes are living examples of the Olympic motto, which the International Olympic Committee explains that translated from Latin means Faster-Higher-Stronger.  Some of the next Olympians, living this motto, are probably growing up right now in our Idaho communities.

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