Cover Story: MSU's Olympic Heritage
MSU Olympians have established a long, competitive record that will be honored during Homecoming festivities this fall.
At the pinnacle of world athletic competition—the Olympic Games—Michigan State Spartans have forged 13 gold medals, 12 silver, and 5 bronze with their spirited performances.
Another 5 gold medals and 3 bronze medals have been produced by Spartans serving as Olympic coaches.
This fall, MSU will honor its 107 Olympians during Homecoming weekend, Oct. 3-4.
MSU has been represented at every quadrennial Summer Olympiad from 1924 through 2004—18 consecutive Olympics—with the exception of the 1980 Moscow Games, which were boycotted by 65 nations protesting the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Spartan athletes also have competed in 10 winter Olympics—including seven consecutive games from 1984 through 2006.
In all, 107 MSU athletes, coaches, an emergency medical director, athletic trainers, press liaisons, and Olympic officials have earned their way to compete or serve at 29 Olympic Games in 22 different sports. Six Spartans qualified for the 1980 Moscow Games but did not attend because of the boycott.
Given MSU’s longtime leadership in international education and outreach, it’s no surprise that Spartans have represented the Olympic teams of 13 countries besides the U.S.—Australia (two silver medals), Bahamas (one gold, one silver medal), Barbados, Belgium, Britain, Canada (one silver, one bronze medal), Germany, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Puerto Rico, and South Africa.
The Beijing Summer Olympics will open on August 8, 2008 at the 91,000-seat Beijing National Stadium (“Bird’s Nest”) and close on August 24. Some 10,500 athletes from 206 nations are expected to participate in 302 events in 28 sports. A record number of media representatives is expected to descend upon the Beijing Games, and they will operate under the direction of Spartan Olympian Kevan Gosper, ’55, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Press Commission and an IOC vice president (see profile).
Like Gosper, other Spartans have played key Olympic roles, organizing at the regional and national levels, producing telecasts, outfitting various teams, and developing the modular turfgrass fields for Olympic stadiums in Beijing and Athens.
Spartan Olympic Presence: Leadership to Uniforms to Turf
Claire Waters Ferguson, ’57—As president of the U.S. Figure Skating Association from 1992-95, the first woman to hold that position, Ferguson had oversight of all operations related to the U.S. figure skating team when the Olympics were at Lillehammer, Norway. She presided over one of the most notorious scandals ever in her sport—Tonya Harding’s conspiracy to injure rival Nancy Kerrigan to oust her from competition.
Lloyd Ward, ’70—Served as CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) from 2002-2003. Ward was captain of the MSU basketball team his senior year. He was an executive with Proctor & Gamble and Pepsico, and later CEO of Maytag Appliances, prior to his USOC leadership role.
Soichiro Yoshida, MBA ’69—Led a multi-year campaign to win the 1998 Winter Olympics for his hometown of Nagano, Japan. Yoshida built a chain of service stations and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchises in Japan, as well as a bio-diesel plant that converts KFC oil into automotive fuel.
Dennis Lewin, ’65—As vice president for ABC Sports Television, led TV production at eight Olympics—the 1968 Summer Games at Mexico City; 1972-Munich; 1976-Montreal; and 1984-Los Angeles; as well as the 1968 Winter Games at Grenoble, France; 1980-Lake Placid, NY; 1984-Sarajevo, Yugoslavia; and 1988-Calgary, Canada. Lewin produced many memorable telecasts, including figure skater Peggy Fleming’s “gold” performance in 1968; swimmer Mark Spitz’s seven gold medals in 1972; and the USA “Miracle on Ice” victory over Russia in 1980. He was studio producer for all 99 hours of daytime coverage of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games.
Michael Budman, ‘68, and Donald Green – Founders of Roots Canada Ltd., Toronto, designed and provided the uniforms for the U.S. Olympic teams in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games; the 2006 Winter Torino, Italy Olympics; and the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. Their U.S. team berets became the “must have” item at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. They also have outfitted Canadian and British Olympic teams.
MSU turfgrass experts John “Trey” Rogers, III, professor of crop and soil sciences, and doctoral student Alec Kowalewski spearheaded the construction of the modular turfgrass field for the Beijing National Stadium.
MSU Olympic Gold Medal Winners
1928—The first Spartan to win Olympic gold was sprinter Frederick P. Alderman at the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam, Holland, who helped set the world record in the 4x400-meter relay (3:14.2).
Alderman was MSU’s first individual NCAA champion in any sport. He blazed to NCAA titles in the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes at the 1927 NCAA track & field championships in Chicago’s Soldier Field. Along with fellow Spartan sprinters Bohn Grim, Forrest Lang, and Henry Henson, they tied the world record in the 4x110-yard relay at 41.6 seconds in 1927. In 1996, Alderman, then 91, helped carry the Olympic torch to the Atlanta Summer Games.
1952—Clarke C. Scholes, ’52, won Olympic gold in the 100-meter freestyle at the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki (see profile), setting the Olympic record (57.10) in a preliminary heat.
1960—Doug Blubaugh, MSU assistant wrestling coach, won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the Rome Summer Games.
1960—Eugene W. Grazia, ’60,andWeldon H. Olson, ’56, each won gold medals as members of the USA hockey team in the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, CA (see profiles).
1968—Linda Gustavson (McGuire), ’72, won a gold medal in the 4x100 meter freestyle swimming relay in Mexico City.
1968—Harry Kendrick, ’70, and Marvin Knight, ’70, M.A. ’80, were members of the gold medalist U.S. baseball team; MSU legend Danny Litwhiler was the team’s co-head coach. Baseball was a demonstration sport in 1968, but was elevated to official Olympic sport in the five Olympiads from Barcelona 1992 to Beijing 2008.
1968—Kenneth M. Walsh, ’67, won two gold medals at the Mexico City Summer Games—in the 4x100 freestyle relay and the 4x100 medley relay (see profile).
1992—Earvin “Magic” Johnson won gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team (see profile).
2000—Sevatheda Fynes, ’98,member of the Bahamian women’s track team, won a gold medal in the 4x100-meter relay at the Sydney Summer Games (see profile).
2000—Steve Smith won gold at the 2000 Sydney Games as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team (see profile).
MSU Silver Medal Winners
1956—Sprinters Kevan Gosper, ’56, and David Lean, ’58, M.A. ’59, won silver medals as members of the Australian 4x400-meter relay team at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games (see profiles).
1956—Weldon H. Olson, ’55,won a silver medal on the runner-up USA hockey team at the Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Olympics (see profile).
1964—Gary J. Dilley, ’67, won swimming silver in the 200-meter backstroke at the Tokyo Summer Olympics (see profile).
1968—Donald R. Behm, ’68, M.A. ’80,won wrestling silver in the bantamweight class at the Mexico City Summer Olympics (see profile).
1968—Linda Gustavson (McGuire), ’72, won a silver medal in 400-meter freestyle swimming at the Mexico City Summer Games. She set a world record in the 200-meter freestyle (2:07.9).
1968—Pamela Kruse, ’73, Ph.D. ’79 won a silver medal in 800-meter freestyle swimming at the Mexico City Summer Games (see profile). In 1967, she had set world records in the 400-meter freestyle (4:36.8 and 4:36.4) and in the 200-meter freestyle (2:09.7).
1968–Kenneth M. Walsh, ’67—Swimming--Silver in the 100-meter freestyle at the Mexico City Summer Olympics. He was the world record-holder of the event at the time (see profile).
1984–Judi Brown-Clarke, ’83, M.S. ’95,won track silver in the 400-meter hurdles at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics (see profile).
1994—Dwayne Norris won a Silver Medal as a member of Canada’s ice hockey team in Lillehammer, Norway. In 1991-92 he scored 40 goals in 41 games for the Spartans and was named first-team All-CCHA and an NCAA West first-team All-American.
1996—Sevatheda Fynes, ’98,won track silver with the women’s Bahamian 4x100-meter relay team.
2002—Mike York won hockey silver on Team U.S.A. at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics (see profile).
MSU Bronze Medal Winners
1948–Leland G. Merrill won wrestling bronze in the 160.5 pound class at the London Summer Olympics. In the same year, Merrill won the National AAU wrestling title at 160 pounds.
1964–Marcia Jones Smoke, ’64, won the bronze medal in kayak at the1964 Tokyo Summer Games (see profile).
1968—Linda Gustavson (McGuire), ’72,won the bronze medal in 100-meter freestyle swimming at the Mexico City Summer Games.
1968—Marilyn Corson Whitney, ’72, M.A. ‘74—Swimming (4x100-meter freestyle relay)—Canada—Bronze Medal—Mexico City Summer Games.
1976—Stan Dziedzic, M.A. ’77—MSU assistant wrestling coach—Wrestling (freestyle)—Bronze Medal—Montreal Summer Games.
Earning a Position on the U.S. Olympic Team: A High Honor
Winning a position on U.S. Olympic teams is a high honor, stamping an athlete as one of the elite performers in the nation, and the world.
Qualifying for Olympic teams differs for almost every sport. Qualifying for team sports, such as soccer or basketball, usually means surviving the cut at team selection camps. For individual events, such as track and swimming, athletes must earn a position in Olympic Trials that often serve as national championships. In track, for example, the top three athletes in head-to-head competition qualify for an event such as the 100-meter dash.
MSU’s Three-Time Olympians
Six Spartans have participated in three different Olympics.
Chris-Carol Bremer, MSU swimmer in 1993-94, competed as a member of the German swimming team in 1992 and 1996, and made Germany’s 2000 Olympic team as captain. Bremer holds the MSU record in the 200-yard butterfly (1:45.71) and ranks in MSU’s top ten in 200-, 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle and in the 400-yard individual medley.
Ernest Crosbie represented the U.S. in the 50 kilometer race walk at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Olympics; the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics; and the 1948 London Summer Olympics. It’s remarkable that the span of time between Crosbie’s second and third Olympics was 12 years. This resulted from cancellation of the 1940 and 1944 Olympiads due to World War II. Crosbie’s race walking event was not an NCAA track event.
Dr. Adolf Weinacker, ’51,participated in the 50 kilometer race walk at the 1948 London Summer Olympics; the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics; and the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics.
Allan S. Kwartler was a fencer on the U.S. team at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics, the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics and the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics.
Marcia Jones Smoke, ’64, participated in three Olympics, winning the bronze medal in the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games in the 500-meter single kayak event. She finished fourth in the 1968 Mexico City games and seventh in the 1972 Munich games.
Fred Lowe, ’70, was a U.S. weightlifter at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics; 1972 Munich Summer Olympics; and the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. Weightlifting is not an NCAA sport.
MSU’s Two-Time Olympians
Sixteen Spartans have participated in two Olympiads each.
Ralph H. Young–MSU Athletic Director—associate U.S. track coach–1932 Los Angeles Summer Olympics; and assistant treasurer U.S. Olympic team–1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics. Under Young, MSU athletic director (1923-1954), MSU became a national sports power. During the five-year span 1950-1954, MSU had no fewer than five sports teams ranked in the top ten nationally every year. Young initiated the annual NCAA cross country meet, which was held on the MSU campus every year from 1938 through 1964.
MSU’s outdoor track and field facility is named in Young’s honor, as is the athletic fund that helps underwrite MSU’s 25 sports—12 men’s and 13 women’s.
Charles W. Speiser–Boxing–1948 London Summer Games; 1952 Helsinki Summer Games. Speiser won NCAA boxing titles in 1951 at 175 pounds; and in 1952 at 178 pounds.
Kevan Gosper, ‘55– Australian track team–1956 Melbourne, and 1960 Rome Summer Olympics (see profile).
Virginia Baxter McKendrick–Figure Skating–1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy Winter Olympics; 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics.
Weldon H. Olson, ‘55–Ice Hockey–1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy Winter Olympics; 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics.
Ernestine Russell Weaver, ‘60—Canadian gymnastics team–1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics; 1960 Rome Summer Olympics. Russell was inducted into the U.S. National Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1986. She was the University of Florida gymnastics coach and led the Gators to three national team titles, and posted a record of 140 dual meet victories versus just eight losses. In 1955 Russell won a National Amateur Athletic Union title.
Judy K. Goodrich Walker, ‘61–Fencing–1956 Melbourne, and 1960 Rome Summer Olympics.
Joe Puleo, ‘66—Weightlifting—1968 Mexico City, and a member of the 1980 Moscow team. He didn't medal in the Olympics but won five national weightlifting championships (at 165 and 181 pounds) along with gold medals at the Pan American Games of 1963 and 1967. Because of the 65-nation boycott of the 1980 Moscow Summer Games, Puleo competed in a substitute championship held in China and thus became the U.S. weightlifter with the longest international career.
Marilyn Corson Whitney, ’72, M.A. ‘74—Swimming (4x100-meter freestyle relay)—Canada—Bronze Medal—1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich Games. From 1970-72, Whitney, one of MSU’s most accomplished swimmers, won 9 Big Ten swimming championships and two national championships (200 yard individual medley, 1970 and 1972).
Tom Minkel—1980 Moscow, wrestling, and 1992, U.S. Greco-Roman Wrestling coach, bronze medal.
Sally Nogle, Ph.D ‘01–Athletic Trainer–Volleyball–1984 Los Angeles Summer Games; and Athletic Trainer–Rowing–1988–Seoul Summer Olympics.
Eric Zemper, ’67, M.S. ’77, Ph. D. ‘82–Track Official–1984 Los Angeles, and 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.
Mark Konopacke, ‘89—Ski Jumping—1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, 1992 Albertville, France, Winter Olympics. Konopacke was a two-time national ski jumping champion—1988 (Ishpeming, MI) and 1991 (Steamboat Springs, CO—tie with Jim Holland).
Dave Carrier–Athletic Trainer–Ice Hockey–1988 Calgary Winter Olympics; and Athletic Trainer–Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined–1992 Albertville, France Winter Olympics.
Geir Hoff, ‘92–Ice Hockey Norway–1988 Calgary, and 1994 Lillehammer, Norway Winter Olympics.
Sevatheda Fynes, ‘98–Track–Bahamas–1996 Atlanta, and 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.
MSU Olympic Coaches
1932—Ralph H. Young, associate track coach, USA, Los Angeles Summer Games.
1960—Pete Newell, MSU men’s basketball coach from 1950-54, was head coach of the 1960 U.S. men’s basketball team—a powerful squad that some later called the “original Dream Team.” Newell led players like Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Walt Bellamy and Jerry West to an undefeated Olympics, averaging 102 points and a 42.4-point winning margin per game. A “Hall of Fame” coach, Newell is one of only three coaches to have won an N.I.T. championship, an NCAA championship, and Olympic gold.
1968—Danny Litwhiler, MSU baseball coach from 1964-82 and a member of the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, led the U.S. baseball team to a gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Games. Baseball was then a demonstration sport.
1988, 1992—Tom Minkel, MSU wrestling coach since 1991, was assistant coach of the U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling team at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games and head Greco-Roman coach at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games, where he led his team to a bronze medal, the highest finish ever by a U.S. team in Greco-Roman wrestling.
1996—Michele Madison, assistant coach, USA field hockey, Atlanta Summer Games.
2000—Karen Dennis, ’77, M.A. ’79, was the U.S. Olympic Women’s Track Coach in 2000, leading the team to five gold and three bronze medals at the Sydney Summer Olympics. Dennis was a national champion sprinter at MSU, winning the women’s 1975 AIAW outdoor track 220-yard dash in 24.9 seconds and setting a world record as part of a 4-x160-yard relay team. Dennis now serves as women’s track coach at The Ohio State University.
2004—Manabu “Manny” Noguchi, Barbadosswimming coach at the Athens Summer Games.
The Ancient Olympic Games
“The Ancient Olympic Games were initiated in 776 BC in Greece, and were held on the plain of Olympia in Peloponnesos. At the first Olympics, a short sprint was the only event, run by men competing in the nude. The Games were held every four years. The period between Games became known as an ‘Olympiad’. The Greeks used Olympiads as one of their methods to count years.”
“The Games declined in importance as the Romans gained power in Greece. When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the Games were seen as a pagan festival and in discord with Christian ethics. In 394 AD emperor Theodosius I outlawed the Olympics...ending a 1,170-year tradition.” (Wikipedia).
History And Magnitude of the Modern Olympics
The first modern Olympics—designated the Games of First Olympiad—were staged in Athens, Greece in April 1896. Opening ceremonies drew 80,000 spectators, including King George I of Greece and his wife Olga, to Panathenaic Stadium. Two hundred forty-one athletes from 14 nations competed in 43 events in 9 sports. Olympic sports then included athletics (track & field), cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling.
At the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, there were 10,625 competitors from 201 countries. There were 301 medal events in 28 different sports. Swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo are classified as disciplines within the sport of aquatics. For the first time, women’s wrestling was featured.
The 28 Olympic summer sports are archery, aquatics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, football/soccer, gymnastics, handball, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, softball, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wheelchair racing (demonstration event), and wrestling.
U.S. Olympians dominated the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, winning 102 medals—36 gold, 39 silver, and 27 bronze. Other top ten medal winning nations were: Russia-92, China-63, Australia-49, Germany-49, Japan-37, France-33, Italy-32, Great Britain-30, and South Korea-30.
The 2006 Turin, Italy Winter Olympics featured 2,508 athletes from 80 nations. They competed in 84 events in 15 different disciplines—ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, snowboarding, luge, bobsled, skeleton (a type of sledding), curling, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, slalom, downhill (Alpine) skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined (skiing plus ski jumping), and biathlon (skiing and shooting).
The top 11 medal winning nations were—Germany-29, United States-25, Canada-24, Austria-23, Russia-22, Sweden-14, Switzerland-14, South Korea-11, Italy-11, France-9, Netherlands-9.
The 2010 XXI Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the Whistler Olympic Park. Competition will be held in 86 events in 8 sports.
Three Olympic Games were cancelled: in 1916 due to World War I; and in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II.
Olympics: Great Media Events
The Olympics have become one the world’s great news media events. At the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, more than 16,000 journalists and broadcasters were present to report on the Games. An estimated 3.8 billion viewers watched the Games on television. A record number of journalists is expected to attend the Beijing Olympics and Spartan Kevan Gosper, ’55, heads up the IOC Press Commission.
The Olympic Flame
“At the Ancient Olympic Games—held in Greece 2,700 years ago—the tradition of an Olympic flame was ignited, and it burned throughout the games every four years. It symbolized the death and rebirth of Greek heroes.
“The first torch relay was launched at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. A new flame is lit for every Olympiad in the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia, Elis, Greece, using a parabolic mirror to focus the rays of the sun.
“The Olympic Torch Relay begins by touring Greece. The flame is then transported (usually by air) to the nation where the Games will be held. After traversing the nation of the Games, carried by runners, walkers, riding horses, and even camels, the last runner lights the large torch in the Olympic stadium where it burns for the duration of the Games.” (Enchanted Learning.com).
The Olympic Flag
“The flag of the Olympic Games has five interlocking rings–blue, yellow, black, green, and red–on a white background. The rings represent the five sections of the world joined together in the Olympic movement: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
“Baron de Couberin (1863-1937), a French educator, designed the flag in 1913-1914. It was first used at the 1920 Antwerp, Belgium Summer Olympics.
“The flag is paraded during the opening ceremonies of each Olympics and flown during the Games. At the closing ceremonies of each Olympics, the mayor of the host-city presents the flag to the mayor of the next host-city. The flag then remains in the city hall of the next host-city until the opening ceremonies of the Games.” (Enchanted Learning.com)
As the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics approach—August 8-24—the Michigan State family will be pulling for a dozen Spartans to earn positions on U.S. Olympic teams: Jamie Krzyminski in the women's marathon; Christen Brown in rowing; Nicole Bush in track; Sevatheda Fynes in track; Jolene Crooks Moore and Kristen Furseth-Mullaney in racewalking; Jeremy Orr in track; Marcus Poteete in swimming; Nick Simmons in wrestling; and Paul Terek in the decathlon. Spartans will also be pulling for two Canadian athletes—MSU junior Danielle Williams, who is vying to make the Canadian team in three-meter diving, and MSU graduate student Nicole Forrester, Canada’s top-ranked high jumper, who has a great chance to compete for her country in Beijing. If one or all succeed, it will sustain MSU's record of participating in every Summer Olympics from 1924 to 2008—19 consecutive—with the exception of the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.
MSU OLYMPIANS BY YEAR
1924–Colonel William D. Frazer, Paris, France–Pistol.
1928–Frederick P. Alderman–Amsterdam—Track—Gold Medal–4x400-Meter Relay–World Record: 3 minutes, 14.2 seconds.
1932–Ernest Crosbie–50 Kilometer Race Walk.
1932–Thomas C. Ottey–Track.
1932–Ralph H. Young–MSU Athletic Director–Associate Track Coach–USA.
1936–Ernest Crosbie–50 Kilometer Race Walk.
1940 & 1944–Olympic Games cancelled due to World War II.
1948–Ernest Crosbie–50 Kilometer Race Walk.
1948–Charles P. Davey–Boxing.
1948–Lyle E. Garbe–Canada–10 Kilometer Race Walk.
1948–John G. “Jack” Heppinstall–Athletic Trainer.
1948—Dr. Bill Heusner—MSU faculty, Swimming.
1948–George A. Hoogerhyde–Swimming.
1948–Robert G. Maldegan–Wrestling.
1948–Leland G. Merrill–Wrestling–Bronze Medal (160.5 pounds).
1948–Howard F. Patterson–Swimming.
1948–Charles W. Speiser–Boxing.
1948–Dale O. Thomas—MSU physical education staff—Wrestling.
1948–Dr. Adolf Weinacker–50 Kilometer Race Walk.
1952–Warren O. Druetzler–Track.
1952–Allan S. Kwartler–Fencing.
1952–Clarke C. Scholes–Swimming–100-Meter Freestyle–Gold Medal—Olympic Record: 57.4 seconds.
1952–Charles W. Speiser–Boxing.
1952–Dr. Adolf Weinacker–50 Kilometer Race Walk.
1952–Ralph H. Young–MSU Athletic Director–Assistant Treasurer–Team USA.
1956–Virginia D. Baxter McKendrick–Figure Skating.
1956–Judy K. Goodrich Walker–Fencing.
1956–Kevan Gosper–Track–Silver Medal–4 x 400 Meter Relay–Australia.
1956–David Lean–Track–Silver Medal–4 x 400 Meter Relay–Australia.
1956–Allan S. Kwartler–Fencing.
1956–Pearce A. Lane–Boxing.
1956–Weldon H. Olson–Ice Hockey–Silver Medal.
1956–Ernestine Russell Weaver–Gymnastics–Canada.
1956–William Steuart–Swimming–South Africa.
1956–Dr. Adolf Weinacker–50 Kilometer Race Walk.
1960–Virginia D. Baxter McKendrick–Figure Skating.
1960—Doug Blubaugh—MSU assistant wrestling coach—Wrestling (Freestyle)—Gold Medal.
1960–Judy K. Goodrich Walker–Fencing.
1960–Kevan Gosper–Track–Captain, Australian team.
1960–Eugene W. Grazia–Ice Hockey–Gold Medal.
1960–Allan S. Kwartler–Fencing.
1960—Pete Newell—Head coach, U.S. men’s basketball—Gold Medal
1960–Weldon H. Olson–Ice Hockey–Gold Medal.
1960–Ernestine Russell Weaver –Gymnastics–Canada.
1964–Fendley Collins–MSU Wrestling Coach–Manager, U.S. Wrestling Team.
1964–Gary J. Dilley–Swimming–Silver Medal–200 Meter Backstroke.
1964–Marcia I. Jones Smoke–Canoeing—Bronze Medal, 500-meter singles in kayaking.
1964–William A. Smoke–Canoeing.
1968–Donald R. Behm–Wrestling (Freestyle)–Silver Medal.
1968–George Gonzalez–Swimming–Puerto Rico.
1968—Linda (Gustavson) McGuire—Swimming—Gold Medal (4x100 meter freestyle relay); Silver Medal (400 meter freestyle); Bronze Medal (100 meter freestyle)
1968—Harry Kendrick—Baseball—Gold Medal.
1968—Marvin Knight—Baseball—Gold Medal.
1968—Pamela Kruse—Swimming—Silver Medal (800 meter freestyle)
1968—Danny Litwhiler—Coach, U.S. baseball team—Gold Medal.
1968–David B. Thor—Gymnastics.
1968–Kenneth M. Walsh–Swimming–Gold Medals (4x100 meter freestyle and 4x100 meter medley relay); Silver Medal (100 meter freestyle).
1968—Marilyn Corson Whitney—Swimming—Canada—Bronze Medal—4x100 meter freestyle relay.
1968–Peter E. Williams–Swimming.
1968–Marcia Jones Smoke–Singles Kayaking.
1968–Art “Buzz” Demling–Soccer.
1972–Charles “Mac” McCaffree, Jr.–MSU Swimming Coach–Assistant Manager, USA Swimming Team.
1972–Gayle Robinson–Athletic Trainer–Swimming.
1972—Marilyn Corson Whitney—Swimming—Canada.
1972–Marcia Jones Smoke–Singles Kayaking.
1976—Stanley Dziedzic, Jr.—Wrestling (Freestyle)—Bronze Medal
1980—Tom Minkel—Wrestling (Freestyle).
1980–Fred W. Stabley, Sr.–MSU Sports Information Director–Press Liaison.
1984–Dr. Roy T. Bergman–MSU Staff Member–Doctor for U.S. Olympic Committee.
1984–Judi Brown–Track–Silver Medal (400 Meter Hurdles).
1984–Gary Haight–Ice Hockey.
1984–Sally Nogle–Athletic Trainer–Volleyball.
1984–Nick Vista–MSU Sports Information Director–Press Liaison.
1984–Dr. Eric Zemper–Track Official.
1988–Dave Carrier–Athletic Trainer–Ice Hockey.
1988–Michael Green–Swimming–Great Britain.
1988–Geir Hoff–Ice Hockey–Norway.
1988-Mark Konopacke—Ski Jumping
1988–Kevin Miller–Ice Hockey.
1988—Tom Minkel—MSU wrestling coach—Assistant coach, U.S. wrestling team (Greco-Roman).
1988–Sally Nogle–Athletic Trainer–Rowing.
1992–Dave Carrier–Athletic Trainer–Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined.
1992--Mark Konopacke--Ski Jumping
1992—Tom Minkel—Coach, Wrestling (Greco-Roman)—Bronze Medal
1992–Jason Woolley–Ice Hockey–Canada.
1992–Earvin “Magic” Johnson—Men’s Basketball–Gold Medal–“Dream Team I.”
1994–Jason Dungjen–Figure Skating.
1994–Dwayne Norris–Ice Hockey—Silver Medal–Canada.
1994–Geir Hoff–Ice Hockey–Norway.
1994—Claire Waters Ferguson—President of U.S. Figure Skating Association, which ran the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team.
1996–Pam Bustin–Field Hockey.
1996–Dr. Eric Deal–Emergency Medical Director of the Atlanta Olympic Games.
1996–Sevatheda Fynes–Track-Bahamas–Silver Medal–4x400 Meter Relay.
1996–Michele Madison–Assistant Coach–Field Hockey.
1996–Ken Hoffman–MSU Sports Information Director–Press Room Manager.
1996–Dr. Eric Zemper–Track Official.
1998—Soichiro Yoshida—MSU MBA ’69—Led multi-year campaign to win the Winter Olympic Games for his hometown of Nagano, Japan.
1998–Rod Brind’amour–Ice Hockey–Team Canada.
2000—Dr. Norman Graham, associate dean of MSU’s James Madison College and coach of MSU’s archery team, was head of the U.S. Archery Team Olympics delegation
2000—Chris Carol-Bremer—Swimming—Captain, German Olympic swimming team.
2000–Karen Dennis–Coach, USWomen’s Track Team (Four Gold and three Bronze Medals).
2000–Sevatheda Fynes–Track–Gold Medal–Bahamian 4x100 Meter Relay.
2000–Steve Smith–Basketball–Gold Medal–“Dream Team-III.”
2002–Mike York–Ice Hockey–Silver Medal.
2002—Lloyd Ward—CEO of U.S. Olympic Committee.
2004–Manabu “Manny” Noguchi–Swimming Coach–Barbados.
2006–John Liles–Ice Hockey.
2006—Jason Muzzatti–Ice Hockey–Italy.
2006–-Tony Tuzzolino–Ice Hockey–Italy.
Author: J. Bruce McCristal, ’54 (business-economics). As an MSU student, he was a four-year aide to legendary sports information director, Fred W. Stabley, Sr. In the U.S. Air Force, he was a pilot and public information officer. McCristal served General Motors for 30 years—heading public relations operations at Cadillac, GM Hughes Electronics, and Delco Electronics-Milwaukee, and directed GM’s worldwide employee communications. He has served as chairman of MSU’s Development Fund, and on the MSUAA national board. In 2004, he authored The Spirit of Michigan State (spiritofmichiganstate.com), the first comprehensive MSU history published in 50 years (all profits to MSU). He was elected a Distinguished Alumni in 2005. He originated, edited and produced Spartan Champions (by Jack Ebling)—the story of MSU’s 1987 Big Ten football championship year and 1988 Rose Bowl victory.
Dr. Eric Zemper, B.S. ’67, M.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’82, assisted with research for this article. He ran cross country and track for MSU from 1962-67 and was a member of Big Ten championship teams in both sports. He held several MSU course records, including the Ralph Young Field record for the mile. He is a research professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Michigan Medical School. He officiated at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Summer Games.