August 13, 2012

Seven Remarkable Idahoans

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

Idahoans have had seven more reasons to follow the Olympic Games in London.  Seven athletes competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics have strong Idaho connections--giving us opportunities to cheer on hometown champions.  Through their examples, Olympic athletes are inspiring us to push beyond the limits of what we may think is possible.

Idaho has fielded a remarkable group of athletes in a variety of events for these Olympic games:


  • Kristin Armstrong, a graduate of the University of Idaho, lives with her husband, Joe Savola, and son Lucas in Boise.  Kristin recently achieved her second consecutive gold medal in the Olympic Road Cycling Individual Time Trial race.  Among her many other cycling achievements, she is a two-time World Champion in the Individual Time Trial. 


  • Kurt Felix, Boise State University graduate from Grenada, is competing for the Grenadian Olympic Team in the Men's Decathlon.  He is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Decathlon Champion. 


  • Georgia Gould, who lived in Ketchum, is competing in Women's Cross-Country cycling in the London Olympics.  She is the USA Mountain Biking Cross Country Champion and finished 8 th in the Beijing Olympics.


  • Breeja Larson, who moved to the Boise area during high school, is a U.S. Olympic swimmer who recently took 6 th in the Women's 100 meter breast stroke in the London Olympics.  She was part of the U.S. team in the Women's 4x100 meter Medley Relay that earned a gold medal in London.


  • Adrienne Lyle, a horse trainer and riding teacher in Ketchum, won the highlight Grand Prix Freestyle and Grand Prix events before taking her horse, Wizard, to the London Olympics to compete in equestrian competitions.


  • Jarred Rome, a graduate of Boise State University where he is in the university's Hall of Fame, is a champion discus thrower and throwing coach.  Jarred competed in the 2004 Olympics and competed in the London Olympics in the Men's Discus Throw after placing 2 nd at the Olympic Trials. 


  • Nick Symmonds,a Boise native, is competing in the Men's 800 Meter track event at the London games.  Nick earned three Idaho state track titles while at Bishop Kelly High School, was named the 2005 NCAA Division 3 Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year, and won five 800 Meter U.S. National Championships.

These athletes have pushed themselves remarkably far to compete in their respective events.  They have not let setbacks or obstacles sideline them from their dreams of competing in the Olympics.  For example, Kristin Armstrong, who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in 2001, broke her collarbone in the Exergy Tour in Idaho two months ago and sustained minor injuries from a crash just a few days before her London gold medal win.  Kristin did not let these difficulties hold her back.  Additionally, after Jarred Rome competed in the 2004 Olympics, he did not qualify for the 2008 Olympics.  Instead of letting this discouragement end his Olympic career, Jarred worked hard to return to this year's Olympic games.  Athletes from communities across America and around the world have similar stories of determination and perseverance.  These examples of strength and triumph serve to inspire fellow Americans and people around the world.       

As I cheer on our Olympic athletes and share in congratulating them on their achievements, I am reminded of the remarkable work it has taken each of them to reach their goals.  Without a doubt, they have extraordinary talents, but they have also worked hard to excel in their fields.  This capacity to marshal their physical and mental will to push forward beyond daily

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