Texas Olympians

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Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Hope C. '17, Inside Page Editor

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They say the stars shine bright in Texas and this definitely proved true for the Texan athletes who competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After bringing home a total of 42 medals, not including those won by athletes with Texas ties, the Lone Star state ranked eighth in the total medal count and tied for third with China for the gold medal count.

Many of the Texan medal winners were female athletes of different races and sizes who with their participation and medal wins in the games helped to inspire girls all across the globe and raise awareness for gender and racial equality and promote body confidence.

With Márta Károlyi, the national team coordinator for USA gymnastics and coach to past Olympic champions Mary Lou Retton, Kerri Strug, and Nadia Comaneci, retiring after these Olympic Games, gymnastics was the event no one wanted to miss. Two of the Final Five members for USA’s gymnastics team hailed from Texas and captivated everyone’s attention throughout the games.

Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast, resides in Spring, Texas and won three Golds for the all-around at the Worlds and four gold medals and one bronze during her first Olympic debut in Rio. Madison Kocian was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and attended Spring Creek Academy in Plano.

Kocian is the 2015 world champion for uneven bars and won a silver medal for the same event during her Olympic debut along with a gold for team. With two strong, female powerhouses representing our great state it’s hard not to be proud. Both athletes further represented their state by throwing the first pitches at the Astros and Rangers baseball games. Not only did they throw the first pitch, but they also decided to add a little flare to their form by including a few acrobatic moves.

Another female powerhouse is Michelle Carter, who won gold in shot put and holds the American record for the event with a distance of 20.63 meters. She not only won the Olympic gold and beat other females in that event, but also her own father, Michael Carter, who won the silver medal in the same event during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Michelle attended college at the University of Texas at Austin and currently resides in Red Oak, Texas. Carter and the other female athletes in this event showed girls around the world that size doesn’t matter, and anyone can achieve whatever they desire with hard work and determination.

Everything’s bigger in Texas and these athletes proved how true that statement is. With confidence and grace these women made our state proud and we hope to see them succeed in the next Summer Olympic Games.

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