These North Dakotans Have Medaled at the Summer Olympics
North Dakota isn't normally thought of as a summer state, but that doesn't mean that a few Summer Olympic medalists haven't come from the 'Peace Garden State.'
According to Horizontal-Lines, three different North Dakotans have won medals at the Summer Olympics for the United States since they began in the late 1800's: John Bennett, Clifton Cushman, and Virgil Hill.
In the 1956 Summer Olympic Games, Grand Forks' John Bennett won the silver medal in the long jump, which was one of 25 the United States won that year.
Four years later, another North Dakotan won a silver medal at the Summer Olympic games, this time held in Rome, Italy. Clifton Cushman, also from Grand Forks, won the silver medal in the 400 meter hurdles for the United States with a time of 49.6 seconds. Cushman had hoped to return to the Summer Olympic Games in 1964, but stumbled over a hurdle at the final trial meet, according to Wikipedia. Cushman was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1966.
24 years later, boxer Virgil Hill brought home another silver medal for the United States and North Dakota at the 1984 Summer Olympics Games. He missed out on a gold medal after losing a close decision to Shin Joon-Sup. Hill would go on to amass a career record of 50-7. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013.
A fourth North Dakota Olympian, Ethel Catherwood, actually won a gold medal in the long jump at the 1928 Summer Olympic Games in Amsterdam, according to Wikipedia. She did it, however, as a member of Team Canada and not Team USA, due to the fact that she was raised in Saskatchewan. She was born, however, in Hannah, North Dakota.
Are there any medal-winning Summer Olympic Games participants from North Dakota that we missed? Let us know and we'll be sure to add them!
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games take place beginning August 5 in Rio de Jeneiro