The 2016 Olympics may be over, but the state of North Carolina comes out with quite a few bragging rights! Our state sent a number of Olympians to Rio de Janeiro, and several came home with tales of glory. Here are some athletes with ties to North Carolina who brought home a little bit extra in their suitcases this summer:
Kathleen Baker is, perhaps, one of the most memorable. This 19-year-old swimmer not only brought home a silver medal in the women’s 100 meter backstroke, but she did so in spite of the fact that she suffers from Crohn’s disease, a debilitating gastrointestinal disease. She was also one of the four women in the 4×100 meter medley relay that won gold for the United States.
Ryan Held is an NC State student who competed with the famous Michael Phelps in the men’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay for his first Olympic gold medal. He certainly made the Wolfpack proud with his performance!
Ibitihaj Muhammad is a Duke graduate who made headlines for being the first athlete from the United States to compete using a hijab. However, even more impressive was the fact that she brought home gold in sabre, a sport that’s often overlooked in the US during the Olympics.
Anthony Ervin may not be from North Carolina, but since he trains with the Charlotte-based SwimMAC Carolina, he definitely has a connection to our state. Anthony was part of the 4×100 meter freestyle relay gold medal-winning team, and he also brought home gold in his other event, the men’s 50 meter freestyle.
After playing one season at Duke, Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers to their NBA championship by hitting the winning shot in game 7, and he also helped lead the US men’s basketball team to victory in Rio!