Maryland Athletes Dominate in Rio


Sarah Natchipolsky, Sports Managing Editor

Summer “16 was memorable for many reasons, but one of the most notable was the entire nation coming together to watch the Summer Olympics and cheer on Team USA. The US as a country was incredibly successful, leading the medal count at 46 gold and 121 total medals, but it was Maryland Olympians who truly shone and made their home state proud.
These elite athletes who call Maryland home brought back a total of 18 medals, 14 of them being gold. 24 Olympic athletes in total have ties to the Old Line state. Social media exploded with state pride and made the games even more engaging and thrilling for Maryland residents.
“I think having so many Maryland athletes winning and participating made everyone get more pumped about results and wanted to win even more,” sophomore Charlotte Davis said.
The Olympic swimming team was comprised of six Marylanders, five of whom won gold. These six elite swimmers were Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Jack Conger, Cierra Runge, Allison Schmitt and Chase Kalisz. Kalisz was the only one to have not won gold, however he did bring home a silver medal.
Swimming stars Ledecky and Phelps both shone very bright at the games. Ledecky was the most decorated female Olympian of the Rio Games, and Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time this summer with 28 total Olympic medals. Bethesda native Ledecky is only 19 years old, and went to Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. Phelps hails from Towson and has retired at age 31 following his victories at Rio.
Rockville native and former Magruder HS student Helen Maroulis became the first American female to win gold in freestyle wrestling. Swimmer and Our Lady of Good Counsel graduate Jack Conger grew up in Flower Valley and won his first Olympic gold medal this year in the 4 200 m freestyle.
“My personal state pride was boosted by the success of the many Maryland athletes and I think that state pride was boosted throughout the community,” junior Henry Presman said. “I feel that statewide morale and pride was way up during and directly after the Olympics.”
Most Marylanders will tell you that there has been an enormous sense of state pride found right here since long before the Summer Olympics of 2016, but this pride could not help but intensify after so many local athletes performed on a world stage, representing the state which we all love in such a successful way.