The Badger State has approximately 20 athletes with Wisconsin ties competing in the Rio Olympics. In addition to Madisonites competing for Team USA, a few UW alumni are competing for their home countries including Canada, New Zealand, and Lithuania. We’ve compiled a list of some athletes representing Team USA with ties back to Madison. For each of these athletes, Rio will be their first time competing at the Olympics.Read More >>
Kelsey CardHometown: Plainview, Ill.
Education: University of Wisconsin – Madison ‘16
Kelsey set many records before stepping onto the UW campus. In her home state of Illinois, she broke the all-time IHSA Indoor Shot Put and Illinois State Meet record in her senior year. When she came to Madison in fall 2012, she became a rising star as she earned All-American honors in both indoor and outdoor shot put. In her junior year, Card placed second in the NCAAA Outdoor Championships for shot put and discus, and was named the 2015 Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year. Before graduating from UW this past spring, she threw a Big Ten record toss of 63.52 meters, and took first place in the NCAA Championships.
You can watch Card in the Women’s Discus Throw Monday, August 15 at 7:30 p.m. on NBC 15.
Heather Miller-KochHometown: Columbus, Wis.
Sport: Track & Field
Education: St. Cloud State University ‘10
Originally from Madison, Heather Miller-Koch appeared in the USA Outdoor Championships for three years in a row, placing fifth in 2013 and fourth in 2014 and 2015. She also participated in the Pan American Games, and received a silver medal. Miller-Koch will join her teammates Barbara Nwaba and Kendall Williams in Rio.You can catch Miller-Koch in the Heptathlon Saturday, August 13 at 7 p.m. on NBC 15.
Alev KelterHometown: Eagle River, Alaska
Education: University of Wisconsin – Madison ‘15
Men’s and Women’s Rugby has been added to the Olympic schedule for the first time since the 1924 Paris Summer Olympics. At UW, “Chippy” played both ice hockey and soccer. She wasn’t introduced to rugby until she turned 22 years old, when a former high school classmate recommended her to give Rugby a try. Within 2015 alone, she participated in the Pan American Games and received a silver medal. Her Olympic journey began when she along with members of Team USA achieved first place in the NACRA Sevens Championship.
Jesse ThielkeHometown: Germantown, Wisconsin
Education: University of Wisconsin – Madison
While Jesse Thiekle currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado (home of the USA’s wrestling training center), he was born and raised in Germantown. Thielke won four straight WIAA state championships while attending Germantown High School. He attended UW and wrestled for two seasons, before taking an Olympic redshirt for 2015-16. He also trained for the 2012 London Olympics and finished fourth in trials, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
You can catch Thielke wrestle Sunday, August 14 at 8 a.m. on USA and 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
EZOP would like to wish all Wisconsin based Olympians the best of luck in Rio!