Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wisconsin Olympians

With a little competition called the Olympics happening over in Jolly Old, MTC is enthusiastically cheering on our hometown heroes.  This year there is more than a handful of Wisconsinites competing.  Let's get to know them a little bit better.

Wisconsin Natives

First we have 27 year old Gwen Jorgensen.  Gwen is a native of Waukesha and graduated from UW Madison.  She is competing in Triathlon, but the really remarkable thing is that she's only been competing in the sport since 2010!  Her background is in running and swimming, so I guess after she figured out how to  bike, the next thing to do is go to the Olympics.

Women's Triathlon is August 4th.

Next we have Michael McPhail.  Michael hails from Darlington and graduated from UW Oshkosh.  Michael is on the US Shooting Team and qualified for the 50m Men's Rifle (Prone).  Michael is an avid outdoorsman, often spending his time hunting and fishing.  Currently stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia, Michael is part of the US Army Marksmanship Unit being a complete badass.  Michael is an excellent example of Wisconsin's firearms heritage, and traditional German and Swiss Sch├╝tzenfests (target shooting competitions) are held all over the state.

Men's 50m Rifle will compete on Friday, August 3rd.

Ben Provisor was born and raised in Steven's Point and just graduated college in Northern Michigan.  Having just turned 22 this year, Ben is the youngest Wisconsin Olympian this year.  Ben is competing in Greco-Roman wrestling and has trained in Bulgaria and competed all over the world.  His event is on Tuesday, August 2nd.

Elizabeth "Beezie" Madden is a show jumper from Milwaukee and is a seasoned Olympian.  Beezie won the Gold at the 2004 and 2008 Olypmics in Athens and Beijing and will defend her title proudly.  She has been riding since she was three years old and is now training under the direction of her husband John Madden.

Team Jumping s on Sunday, August 4th.

Wisconsin Trained

Evan Jager was born in Algonquin, Illinois and began his training at UW Madison in 2007.  An avid runner, Evan ran multiple events under coach Jerry Schumacher at Madison. Schumacher left the UW to work for Nike as a professional trainer and Evan was offered a contract with Nike.  Because he accepted the offer, he had to leave the NCAA, but this allowed Evan to continue to train under Schumacher.

Evan will compete in the 3000m Steeplechase, an event he already holds the record for, on Friday, August 3rd.

Kristin Hedstrom is rowing Women's Lightweight Doubles.  Kristin is originally from the rowing-centric city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and came to UW Madison where she graduated in 2008.  If you were in Madison during her time here, you probably saw her rowing the waters of Lake Mendota.  She now rows in Oakland, California.

Women's Lightweight Double Sculls is Tuesday, July 31st.

Megan Kalmoe is also rowing this year--in the Quadruple Sculls.  She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but went to High School in Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin.  In High School she ran cross country and played basketball and didn't start rowing until going to Princeton, New Jersey.

Women's Quadruple Sculls compete on Monday, July 30th.

Grant and Ross James are two brothers who continue on the great rowing culture in Wisconsin.  Originally from De Kalb, Illinois, the brothers were recruited by UW Madison due to their 6'5" stature.  They never rowed before arriving in Madison, but quickly excelled at the sport and shared the water with Megan Kalmoe and Kristin Hedstrom.

Men's Eight competes on Monday, July 30th.

Tim Seaman grew up on Long Island in New York but attended UW Parkside to compete in Race Walk.  He has been present at every Olympic Games since 1996 and will compete again this year.  Currently, Seaman coaches Women's Cross Country Cuyamaca College in California.

Race Walk is Saturday, August 4th.

Finally, Matt Tegenkamp is a runner from Missouri that attended UW Madison.  Matt holds the honor of being the first person in Wisconsin to run a mile in under four minutes.  He also the fourth-fastest 5000m runner.  Just like Evan Jager, Matt also trained under Jerry Schumacher and is also now a professional runner for Nike.

Matt has qualified for the Men's 10,000m Distance, which is held on Saturday, August 4th.

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