Supporting the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in advancing United States Olympic ideals and competitions.
Participate on Olympic Day! Sign up at www.teamusa.org/ODAthleteRegistration to be a part of this day, held annually on June 23, which celebrates the birth of the modern Olympic Games and is an international effort to promote fitness and well-being in the spirit of the Olympic ideals of fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. This site includes events in an area near you.
Good luck to Olympian Bonnie Blair (speedskating, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994) and Paralympian Tatyana McFadden (athletics, 2008, 2012) as they serve as speakers for the American Cancer Society Walk & roll event held at Soldier Field in Chicago on April 27. Blair is the most decorated woman Winter Olympian. She the first American woman to win five gold medals and the first American to win gold medals in the same event in three straight Olympic Games. The well-rounded McFadden won three gold medals and a bronze at the Paralympic Games in London and took home three silver medals and a bronze medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. She competes in the full-range of events from the sprint distances to the marathon. This is the second straight year our chapter has been represented at the ACS Walk & Roll. Last year, four-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee served as starter with Nancy Swider-Peltz, Jr. (speedskating, 2010), Simpson and Ron Urick (canoe/kayak, 1988) participating.
Curling skip Erika Brown (1998) with her team of Sarah Anderson, Debbie McCormick (1998, 2002, 2010), Jessica Shultz (2006), and Ann Swisshelm (2002) helped the United States qualify for the 2014 Olympic Games in Riga, Latvia, at the World Championships as the United States fell to Canada 8-6.
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Bart Conner (Gymnastics, 1976, 1980, 1984) has been named as a 2012 Inductee to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame -- the highest honor Oklahomans can receive for contributions to their state. He will be honored along with six other notable Oklahomans who constitute the 85th class in a ceremony at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center on Nov. 15. Conner moved from Illinois to Oklahoma in 1976 to attend the University of Oklahoma. Conner is the only American gymnast to win gold medals at every level of national and international competition. He was an Olympic, World, United States, World Cup, Pan American and NCAA champion during his accomplished career. He was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where he overcame his second torn biceps injury en route to the team title and parallel bars victory. Tim Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics, will speak on Conner's behalf.
Eddie Olczyk (hockey, 1984) has been inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The former Chicago Blackhawks player and current NHL NBC and Chicago Blackhawks TV analyst on Comcast SportsNet and WGN-TV played for the Pittsburgh Penguins--whom he later coached--the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and Winnepeg Jets during his accomplished career in addition to the Hawks. Olczyk played more than 1,000 NHL games and racked up 342 goals and 452 assists for a total of 794 points between 1984 and 2000. Congratulations!
University of Illinois freshman Raymond Martin, 18, has been selected as the Paralympic SportsMan of the Year, after he won four gold medals in every race he entered at the 2012 Paralympic Games. He claimed victories in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters. He received his award on Sept. 21 at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly, along with others winners, including Olympians Michael Phelps (the most decorated Olympian in history), Allyson Felix and the U.S. Women's Eight Rowing Team, as well as the Paralympic Men's Quad Doubles Paralympic and phenom Jessica Long (with 17 medals in three Paralympic Games), as well as Olympic Torch Winner and U.S. Olympians Association Vice President Micki King.
It is with sadness the we mourn the loss of 1972 Olympian Irwin Cohen. Cohen won gold medals at the 1973 and 1977 Maccabiah Games and won the silver medal at the 1975 Pan American Games. Cohen's brother, Steve, competed at the 1988 Olympic Games. Cohen coached numerous national team members, national champions, world team members and Olympians including: Bob Berland (1984, 1988), Hillary Wolf-Saba (1996), Colleen Rosensteel (1996) and Martin Boonzaayer (2000), as well as sons, RJ and Aaron, the 2008 Olympic alternate. He will be missed for his calm-but-willful spirit.
Hats off to the Midwest's Divers Christina Loukas and Kelci Bryant; wrestlers Jake Herbert and Eillis Coleman; swimmers Conor Dwyer, Matt Grevers and Tyler McGill; windsurfer Bob Willis; sitting volleyball players Nichole Millage, Monique Burkland and Kaleo Kanahele; twin rowers Ross and Grant James; Paralympic swimmers Kelley Becherer, Alyssa Gialamas, Anna Eames and Mallory Weggemann and Sarah Zelenka; Para cyclists Greta Neimanas and Joe Berenyi; volleyball player Sean Rooney; gymnasts Gabby Douglas, Anni Li (alternate), Jake Dalton, Steven Legendre (alternate), Sam Mikulak; and basketball players Swin Cash, Sylvia Fowles, Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker. Also congrats Olympic Throws coach Tom Pukstys (javelin, 1992, 1996).
And all the Paralympic Univiersity of Illinois current athletes or alumni:
USOA VP Carol Brown (rowing, 1976, 80, 1984) visited the Prospect Heights Park District and the British School of Chicago in celebration of Olympic Day, while Kate Nelson Nack (gymnastics, 1996) spoke to thousands to open the YMCA Gymnastics National Championships and Summer Fest in Milwaukee. Thanks also to: Michael Bennett, Adolph Kiefer, Twila Majkowski, Michael McCahey, Andy Rein and others at Olympic Day events.
About 500 people including 2012 U.S. Olympian Bob Willie, 17 other Olympians, two Paralympians, coaches, world and national team members participated in the Walk to London 2012 at World Sport Chicago 3rd Annual Family Sports Festival on Saturday, June 16. Alderman James Balcer, and White Sox/Bulls co-owner joined Olympians, Paralympians and others at Armour Square Park just north of U.S. Cellular Field. The event helped send US Olympians Assocation President Willie Banks beyond the more than 5,000 miles needed to make it to London for the upcoming Olympic Games and was one of more than 20 walks held across the nation. Thanks to WSC for its outstanding support and to our athletes including: Banks, Tony Brooks, Carol Brown, Steve Gregg, Coach Frank Burns, Allison Jones, Susan Katz, Diane Bolin Kelley, Twila Majkowski, Stephanie Miller, Gary Morgan, Sheila O'Neil, Tom Pukstys, Bill Scherr, Danielle Slaton, Diane Simpson, Jeff Smoke, Jeffrey Jr., Nancy Jr. and Nancy Sr. Swider-Peltz. Doc Nicholson joined later, along with the Chicago Fire's Kwame Watson-Siriobe.
Membership is an important part of continuing your role as an Olympian or Paralympian. Annual Dues of $30 can be made payable to: "Midwest Chapter of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians," Diane Simpson-Bundy, President, 1849 Winnetka Road, Northfield, IL 60093, or John Vande Velde, Treasurer, 1121 Banbury Lane, New Lenox, IL 60451.
Contact us to learn more about the benefits of membership.