Deseret News Archives

The 2016 Summer Olympics kicks off this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In previous Games, several Latter-day Saints from different countries have competed in various events.

Although not all-inclusive, this list features many Latter-day Saint athletes who competed on one of the world's largest stages in the Summer or Winter Games, including triumphs and disappointments. Check back later this week for a list of Latter-day Saints competing in the Rio Olympics.

For an update on Utahns competing in the 2016 Olympics, click here.

Alma Richards
BYU, Harold B. Lee Library

Olympics: 1912 Stockholm (Sweden)
Event: Track and Field
Medal: Gold

But before his final jump, Alma Richards walked to a spot on the infield grass, and in full view of the stadium crowd of 24,000, he took off his hat, kneeled on the ground, and said this prayer: "God, give me strength. And if it's right that I should win, give me the strength to do my best to set a good example all the days of my life." As soon as he said "Amen," he put his "lucky" hat back on, walked to the end of the runway, and, without hesitation, raced for the bar. He cleared it at 6-feet, 4-inches to set a new world record and earn the gold medal. (Source: BYU Magazine)

Corey Engen
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 1948 Switzerland
Event: cross country and nordic combined
Medal: none

Engen was the captain of the U.S. Nordic ski team at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

While Corey Engen did not win any Olympic medals, he was the recipient of 22 gold medals in national competitions. He was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1973.

With his brothers, Engen helped popularize skiing in Idaho and Utah. He taught skiing at Sun Valley in the 1950s and in 1961 helped develop and manage the Brundage Mountain Ski Resort in McCall, Idaho. He later taught skiing at Snowbasin and coached the Weber State ski team.

Robert "Bob" Detweiler
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 1952 Helsinki (Finland)
Event: Rowing
Medal: Gold

Robert “Bob” Detweiler, fourth from the left, attended the Naval Academy and was in the fifth seat on their eight-oared crew that won the 1952 Olympic gold medal.

Detweiler joined the LDS Church after his experience in the Olympics.

Jack Yerman
Associated Press

Olympics: 1960 Rome (Italy)
Event: Track and Field
Medal: Gold

Jack Yerman was the lead-off runner in the 4x400 relay in the Rome Olympics. The U.S. team of Yerman, Earl Young, Glenn Davis and Otis Davis set a world record mark of 3:02.2.

Yerman, an Army lieutenant, also played football for the University of California-Berkeley in the Rose Bowl.

When speaking to youths, he often stressed the importance of living the Word of Wisdom.

Marvin Melville
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 1956 Italy; 1960 Squaw Valley, Calif.
Event: Men's downhill skiing
Medal: none

Melville competed for the University of Utah, winning NCAA titles in 1959 in both the slalom and combined. After retiring from competition, he served a tour in the Army, and then opened a ski school for young racers and helped coach the Utah ski team.

He was also asked to be the assistant coach for the U.S. Woman's ski team for the 1964 Olympics. On the team was Jean Saubert, an Olympic medalist whom Melville introduced the gospel to and baptized.

Melville later served as an LDS missionary, a bishop and in other leadership callings.

Barbara Day Lockhart
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 1960 Squaw Valley, Calif.; 1964 Innsbruck (Austria)
Event: Speed Skater
Medal: none

As a 17-year-old from Chicago, Barbara Day Lockhart was the first woman on the first U.S. speedskating team in the history of the Winter Games. She won the first race in the first Olympic trials for women speedskaters in 1959. She competed in the 1960 and 1964 games.

Lockhart later became a professor at BYU and served on the General Relief Society Board.

Fred Etcher
Whitby Public Library

Olympics: 1960 Squaw Valley, Calif.
Event: Hockey
Medal: Silver

Fred Etcher played hockey for the Whitby Dunlops team that represented Canada in the 1960 Winter Games. His team won the silver medal after falling to the U.S. team, 2-1, in the gold medal game. Etcher was the leading scorer in the Olympic tournament with 12 goals. He also recorded nine assists for 21 points in just seven games.

Etcher later served as bishop for an LDS ward in Ontario.

Jean Saubert
Associated Press

Olympics: 1964 Austria
Event: Giant Slalom, Slalom
Medals: Silver, Bronze

Saubert won two medals in the 1964 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria.

Saubert joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized by her friend and coach, Marvin Melville.

She earned a master's degree at BYU, taught physical education and worked as a ski instructor for several years. She was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. She was chosen to be one of the torchbearers for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. She died in 2007.

Kent Floerke
Associated Press

Olympics: 1964 Tokyo (Japan)
Event: Track and Field (Triple Jump)
Medal: none

Kent Floerke, a member of the Kansas University Hall of Fame, went to three Olympic trials and finally qualified on his last one.

LJ Silvester
Associated Press

Olympics: 1964 Tokyo (Japan); 1968 Mexico City (Mexico); 1972 Munich (Germany); 1976 Montreal (Canada)
Event: Track and Field, discus
Medals: Silver in 1972, Bronze in 1976

Silvester set seven world records in the discus. A native of Tremonton, Utah, he graduated from Utah State, where he also excelled in the shot put. He later earned a master's degree at Utah State and a Ph.D. at BYU. His longevity was remarkable; he remained competitive until he was 39 years old.

Kresimir Cosic
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 1968 Mexico City (Mexico); 1972 Munich (Germany); 1976 Montreal (Canada); 1980 Moscow (Russia)
Event: Basketball
Medals: Silver in 1968, 1972; Gold in 1980

During his career at BYU, the 6-foot-11 Kresimir Cosic became the first non-American named to the All-American basketball team. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 1996.

Cosic was a member of two World Championship teams and three European Champions teams. He coached the Yugoslavian national team between the 1984 and 1988 Olympics and ended his career as the all-time Croatian scoring leader.

Cosic was baptized in 1971 and laid the foundation of the church in Yugoslavia at a time when foreign priesthood leaders were not allowed to minister in the country.

Kenneth Shelley
Shelley Family

Olympics: 1968 Grenoble (France); 1972 Sapporo (Japan)
Event: Pairs figure skating
Medals: none

Kenneth Shelley was a native of Downey, Calif. His great-great-grandfather, Jesse Nathaniel Smith, was a first cousin to LDS Church founder Joseph Smith.

Keith Russell
BYU Athletics

Olympics: 1968 Mexico City
Event: Diving
Medal: none

In 1968, Keith won the NCAA three-meter diving championship while competing for Arizona State. That same year he placed fourth at the Olympic Games in Mexico City. He also participated in the 1972 and 1976 U.S. Olympic trials.

Keith completed an LDS mission to Chile in 1971. He earned all-American honors for placing fourth at the 1972 championships. He graduated from BYU in 1973.

Russell began coaching the men's and women's teams at BYU in 1992. Under his tutelage Vanessa Thelin and Valeria Blau have received All-America diving honors.

Henry Marsh
Associated Press

Olympics: 1976 Montreal; 1984 Los Angeles; 1988 Seoul (South Korea)
Event: Track and field (steeplechase)
Medals: none

Henry Marsh, a 10-time U.S. champion, famously never captured the gold medal on the track in Olympic and world championship competition thanks to a luckless series of ill-timed boycotts, falls and viruses.

Marsh, a 1978 graduate of BYU, served an LDS mission in Brazil.

Paul Cummings
Valiantnc

Olympics: 1984 Los Angeles
Event: 10,000 meter run
Medal: none

Paul Cummings did not always see running as his strength. He wanted to pursue basketball in high school but didn't make the team. When he came in first in his class mile, he began pursuing running.

Cummings was recruited by several universities and chose to attend Brigham Young University, where he was named All-American five years in a row. During his junior year, he became the NCAA champion in the mile.

Cummings trained for the 1980 Olympics on top of working full time, only to find the U.S. would boycott that year's games in Moscow. He made it on the 1984 Olympic team and competed in Los Angeles in the 10,000 meter run.

Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines IV
Associated Press

Olympics: 1984 Los Angeles
Event: Swimming
Medals: three Gold

Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines IV won three gold medals in swimming during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He later gave one to his coach, one to his dad and another to his mother.

Gaines joined the LDS Church in 1998, and on June 3, 2000, the Gaines family was sealed in the Atlanta Georgia Temple.

Doug Padilla
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 1984 Los Angeles; 1988 Seoul
Event: Track and Field
Medal: none

Doug Padilla, right, is on the short list of runners to finish a mile in under four minutes in the state of Utah.

He served an LDS mission to El Salvador from 1976-78 and graduated from BYU in 1983.

Mark Schultz
Associated Press

Olmypics: 1984 Los Angeles
Event: wrestling
Medal: Gold

Mark Schultz, top, was a three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association champion at Oklahoma University. He won two titles at 177 pounds and one at 167 pounds. At the 1982 NCAA championships, he was named the Outstanding Wrestler before going on to win the gold in L.A. in 1984.

Schultz joined the LDS Church in 1991 and coached wrestling at BYU.

Peter Vidmar
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 1984 Los Angeles
Event: Gymnastics
Medals: two gold, one silver

Peter Vidmar captained the U.S. men's gymnastics team to its first-ever Olympic gold medal. He also captured the gold in the pommel horse — scoring a perfect 10. And he won a silver medal while becoming the first American to medal in the individual all-around men's competition. His winning performances averaged 9.89, making him the highest scoring U.S. male gymnast in Olympic history.

Vidmar is a lifelong member of the LDS Church. His Mormon roots go back to his great-great-grandfather, Solomon Chamberlain, who was baptized by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Vidmar is proud of his pioneer heritage and strives to honor their sacrifices by being a good Latter-day Saint.

Ed Eyestone
Associated Press

Olympics: 1988 Seoul (S. Korea); 1992 Barcelona (Spain)
Event: Track and field (marathon)
Medal: none

Ed Eyestone, a BYU Hall of Fame inductee, is the Cougars' men's cross county coach. He served an LDS mission in Spain.

Karl Tilleman
Associated Press

Olympics: 1984 Los Angeles; 1988 Seoul
Event: Basketball (Team Canada)
Medal: none

Born in Ogden, Utah, Karl Tilleman played for the University of Calgary before suiting up for the Canadian Olympic basketball team in 1984 and 1988.

He served in the California Arcadia Mission. Karl and his wife Holly currently preside over the Canada Vancouver Mission.

Antje Misersky Harvey
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Olympics: 1992 Albertville (France); 1994 Lillehammer (Norway)
Event: Biathlon
Medals: Gold (1992), three Silver (two in 1992, one in 1994)

A German native, Antje Misersky Harvey won gold in the 1992 Olympics in the 15 km race and silver medals in the 7.5 km sprint and in the 3 x 7.5 km relay. In 1994, she took silver in the 4 x 7.5 km relay.

As a teenager, she refused to take steroids and was kicked off the national cross-country ski team, dashing her dreams until she discovered the biathlon.

Harvey and her husband joined the LDS Church about 10 years ago.

In 2012, the Heber City, Utah, resident was inducted into the German Sports Hall of Fame.

Laura Berg
Associated Press

Olympics: 1996 Atlanta; 2000 Sydney (Australia); 2004 Athens (Greece)
Event: Softball
Medals: Gold in 1996, 2000, 2004

In Atlanta, Laura Berg, left (No. 44) finished with a .273 batting average (6-for-22, with a double) and scored two runs. She also reached base five times after being hit by a pitch. In 2000, she started all 10 games in center field. She recorded two hits and had an assist on a play at the plate during the round-robin game against Japan.

Berg added a third gold medal to her collection when the U.S. women's softball team stormed undefeated through the Olympic tournament. The team only gave up one run during the competition.

Emily Porter LeSueur
Team USA

Olympics: 1996 Atlanta
Event: Synchronized swimming
Medal: Gold

Emily Porter LeSueur, lower right, of Mesa Ariz., was one of 10 members selected to the U.S. Olympic synchronized swimming team.

Jamie Dantzscher
Associated Press

Olympics: 2000 Sydney
Event: Gymnastics
Medal: Bronze

Jamie Dantzscher, 2002 NCAA all-around champion, performed best on the uneven bars and in the floor exercises, but it wasn't enough to boost the U.S. team to a medal.

However, the U.S. women's team of Tasha Schwikert, Elise Ray, Kristin Maloney, Dominique Dawes, Dantzscher and Amy Chow received the third-place medals that were stripped from China because a member of that team was found to be underage.

Jared Deacon
Associated Press

Olympics: 2000 Sydney
Event: Track and field
Medal: none

Jared Deacon, left, was a member of Britain's 4x400 relay team. Britain reached the final but finished sixth.

Eric Fonoimoana
Associated Press

Olympics: 2000 Sydney
Event: Men's beach volleyball
Medal: Gold

Eric Fonoimoana, left, and his teammate Dain Blanton took the gold in men’s beach volleyball.

Fonoimoana was a member of the Redondo Beach 3rd Ward, Terrance California North Stake.

Rulon Gardner
Associated Press

Olympics: 2000 Sydney; 2004 Athens
Event: Greco-Roman wrestling
Medals: Gold 2000; Bronze 2004

Gardner won the gold medal in the 2000 Olympics in the heavyweight division of Greco-Roman wrestling by defeating the unbeaten, legendary Russian, Alexander Karelin. He won a bronze four years later and retired from the sport, although he attempted a comeback after appearing on the reality TV show "The Biggest Loser" in 2011.

Courtney Johnson
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2000 Sydney
Event: Water polo
Medal: Silver

Courtney Johnson, a Salt Lake native, joined the national team in 1995. The 2000 Olympics were the first games to include women’s water polo as an official team sport. In 2002, Johnson passed the California State Bar Exam and retired from water polo.

Nicknamed "Turbo" by her teammates because of her energy, Johnson has told LDS youths how her strength comes from eating well and retiring to bed early, not from substances such as caffeine.

"I have to read the scriptures, pray and do things that are not popular in order to develop in a way that will lead me home to my Heavenly Father," she said in a 2000 LDS Church News article.

Marsha Mark-Baird
Associated Press

Olympics: 2000 Sydney; 2004 Athens
Events: Heptathlon
Medal: none

Marsha Mark-Baird, a former BYU heptathlete, represented Trinidad and Tobago in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Games. She competed in such events as sprints, hurdles, shot put, javelin, and the long and high jumps.

A convert to the church, she started competing in the heptathlon after enrolling in Ricks College in 1993. Two years later she transferred to BYU in Provo, where she graduated in 1997 and received a master's degree of social work in 1999.

She said it was the hard work she learned as a child that helped her compete in athletics, according to a 2004 LDS Church News article.

Ryan Millar
Deseret News Archive

Olmypics: 2000 Sydney; 2004 Athens; 2008 Beijing
Event: Men's volleyball
Medal: Gold 2008

Ryan Millar said his happiest moment in sports was winning the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. He was on the team's reserve roster for the 2012 Games in London.

The 6-foot-8 athlete also played on BYU's first NCAA championship volleyball team and later helped coach the Cougars.

Leonard Myles-Mills
Associated Press

Olympics: 2000 Sydney; 2004 Athens
Event: Track and field
Medal: none

In the 2004 Summer Olympics, Leonard Myles-Mills, left, qualified and competed for Ghana in the 4x100-meter relay and 100-meter dash. After posting a season-best time of 38.88, his team took sixth after competing together only a few times. In the 100-meters he advanced to the semifinals and ran a 10.22 but barely missed the finals.

In the 2000 Games, he made it to the semifinals of the 100-meter dash, finishing in ninth place overall.

Before taking over as the sprinting coach in the 2001 season, Myles-Mills earned three All-America citations while running at BYU from 1996-1999.

Amy Palmer
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2000 Sydney
Event: Track and field (hammer throw)
Medal: none

At the 2000 Olympic Trials, Amy Palmer finished second in the hammer throw to earn her first Olympic berth.

Prior to turning to the hammer, Palmer was a shot putter. Competing under her maiden name Christiansen, she narrowly missed qualifying for the 1996 Games, placing fifth at that year’s Olympic trials.

Palmer, a BYU graduate, finished eighth in the 2000 games.

Robbie Pratt
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2000 Sydney
Event: Track and field (pole vault)
Medal: none

Robbie Pratt competed for Mexico in the 2000 Games and finished in the semifinals.

He was born in 1980 to Elbert and Anne Pratt in Saudi Arabia, where his father was coaching the Saudi Olympic team following his all-American accomplishments at BYU.

Robbie then spent 10 years living in Mexico where he became proficient in Spanish and the Mexican culture. He possesses dual citizenship and could have competed for the United States, but chose to represent Mexico where he felt his influence for good would be greater.

After competing in the Olympics, he served an LDS mission in Mexico.

Jason Pyrah
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 1996 Atlanta; 2000 Sydney
Event: Track and field
Medal: none

Jason Pyrah, right, participated in the 1500-meter run in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. He did not qualify for the final in 1996, but did qualify in 2000, placing 10th.

The BYU graduate served an LDS mission in Bolivia.

Dinah Browne
Associated Press

Olympics: 2002 Salt Lake City
Event: Luge
Medal: none

Dinah Browne, a member of the LDS branch in St. Croix, Guayama Puerto Rico District, grew up playing under the palm trees on the beaches of the Virgin Islands.

While Browne made Winter Olympic history as the first black female athlete ever to compete in the sport of luge, she finished last in 2002 for the Virgin Islands.

A native of the Caribbean island of St. Croix, Browne was a freshman in college in New Jersey before she saw a snowflake, and 29 years old before she sat on a luge. She became serious about the sport after qualifying for her first World Cup event in December 2000. Taking a leave of absence from her career as an English teacher, she spent winters touring the luge circuit in Europe and North America.

Werner and Chris Hoeger
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2002 Salt Lake City; 2006 Torino
Event: Luge
Medal: none

Werner Hoeger, right, and his son Christopher represented Venezuela in the luge event in the 2002 Salt Lake Games. Werner took up the sport of luge five weeks short of his 45 birthday. He posted his best mark finishing 32nd in Torino.

Werner was born in Merida, Venezuela, to a German father and an Austrian mother. He became a national gymnastics champion by age 16. During an international meet, a gymnastics coach from BYU recruited him and he came to Provo, Utah.

Werner was baptized in January 1976. A few months later he met Sharon Barthule, whom he married in the Oakland California Temple in 1977.

Werner is a professor of kinesiology at Boise State.

Gea Johnson
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2002 Salt Lake City
Event: Bobsled
Medal: none

Gea Johnson, left, was part of the first-ever women's Olympic bobsleigh competition at Utah's Olympic Park in February 2002.

Leading up to competition day, Johnson suffered a hamstring injury that worsened during competition. This resulted in a fifth-place finish.

Joe Pack
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2002 Salt Lake City
Event: Ski jump
Medal: Silver

The state's native son won a silver medal in his home town in aerials. He promptly declared Park City football to be king and said he planned to celebrate by walking the streets of hometown thanking everyone for their support.

At the time, Joe Pack was a member of the Park City Ward, Park City Utah Stake.

Sabine Ruckauer
Associated Press

Olympics: 2002 Salt Lake City
Event: Women's ice hockey
Medal: none

Sabine Ruckauer, of the Waiblingen Branch, Stuttgart Germany Stake, played defender on the German national ice hockey team.

Her team in Germany won four consecutive national ice hockey titles. Her sister, Stefanie Wartosch-Kurten, also played on the national team.

Tamami Tanaka
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2002 Salt Lake City; 2006 Torino
Event: Biathlon
Medal: none

Tamami Tanaka didn't come close to winning a medal but enjoyed meeting members of the LDS Church during the 2002 Salt Lake Games. She is a member of the Moiwa Ward, Sapporo Japan West Stake.

Megan Dirkmaat
Associated Press

Olympics: 2004 Athens
Event: Rowing
Medal: Silver

Megan Dirkmaat, right, was part of the U.S. crew that placed second in the Aug. 22 women's eight finals. The Americans finished 1.86 seconds behind gold-medalists of Romania, according to U.S. Rowing.

Tiffany Lott-Hogan
Associated Press

Olympics: 2004 Athens
Event: Track and field
Medal: none

Tiffany Lott-Hogan qualified for the 2004 Games eight years after suffering a knee injury that prevented her from competing in the 1996 U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials and four years after a fourth-place finish at the 2000 event cost her a trip to the Sydney Summer Games. The BYU graduate finished 20th in the heptathlon.

John Nunn
Associated Press

Olympics: 2004 Athens; 2012 London
Event: Track and field (racewalking)
Medal: none

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. John Nunn, a member of the LDS Church, finished 26th in the 20km racewalk in 2004.

In 1997, Nunn left for a two-year mission to Las Vegas for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While serving and with encouragement from his mission president, he and his companion woke up early and exercised by running around a nearby track.

James Parker
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2004 Athens
Event: Track and field
Medal: none

James Parker, a former all-state football player at Utah's Northridge High School, was eliminated in the hammer throw semifinal of the 2004 Games.

He earned all-America honors in the hammer throw his freshman year at Utah State University before serving an LDS mission in Brazil.

The son of a military man, Parker joined the Air Force when his nine-time all-American career ended at Utah State.

Grant Robison
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2004 Athens
Event: Track and field
Medal: none

Grant Robison, a Stanford graduate, was eliminated in 1,500 meters semifinal.

Robison served an LDS mission in South Africa.

Cael Sanderson
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2004 Athens
Event: Wrestling
Medal: Gold

Cael Sanderson, the pride of Heber City, Utah, is the only undefeated, four-time national champion in NCAA history. The Iowa State graduate is now the wrestling coach at Penn State.

In the 2004 Games, Sanderson won the gold medal in his weight class (74-84kg).

Jodi Tini
Associated Press

Olympics: 2004 Sydney
Event: Women's basketball
Medal: none

Jodi Tini was a member of the New Zealand women's basketball team in the 2004 games. New Zealand finished fifth in group play, winning two games and dropping five.

Justin Wilcock
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2004 Athens
Event: Diving
Medal: none

Justin Wilcock was eliminated during the 3-meter springboard preliminaries.

Wilcock grew up in Utah's Cache Valley, and eventually earned a diving scholarship to BYU. He served in the Belgium Brussels Mission.

Paora Winitana
Associated Press

Olympics: 2004 Athens
Event: Men's basketball
Medal: none

Paora Winitana, left, a returned missionary and member of the Hastings New Zealand Stake, played for the Kiwi's men's basketball team that finished sixth in their group with a 1-5 record.

Winitana is a member of the HBS Bank Hawks. They lost a championship game in 2011 because Winitana didn’t play. He elected not to play because he's a bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and will not to play on Sundays.

Guard Young
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2004 Athens
Event: Gymnastics
Medal: Silver

After being on the team that took the silver medal in the 2004 Games, Gaurd Young went on to coach with the staff at Oklahoma University's gymnastics program.

A graduate of Brigham Young University, Young was a six-time all-American and two-time NCAA vault champion (1999-2000). He was also the NCAA all-around runner-up in 2000.

Young's father, Wayne, was the 1976 Olympic team captain and the head coach of Brigham Young's men's gymnastics team from 1979-1987. Wayne Young was also Guard's first coach, at age 10. All six of Young's siblings were also gymnasts.

Torah Bright
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2006 Torino; 2010 Vancouver; 2014 Sochi.
Event: Snowboarding
Medal: Gold (2010), Silver (2014)

Representing Australia, Torah Bright turned pro at age 14 and finished fifth in snowboarding at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. She won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics in the halfpipe.

At 27, Bright competed in all three snowboarding disciplines — halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboard cross — winning a silver medal in the halfpipe.

Michele Despain
Associated Press

Olympics: 2006 Torino
Event: Luge
Medal: none

With dual citizenship, Michele Despain of Lindon, Utah, competed in luge under the Argentine flag in the Torino 2006 Winter Games and finished 24th of 32 competitors in the women's singles event.

Despain is a graduate of BYU and survived a nasty crash to be able to compete in the 2006 Games.

Steve Nyman
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2006 Torino; 2010 Vancouver; 2014 Sochi.
Event: Downhill, Super G and Combined; Alpine downhill ski team
Medal: none

Nyman has been skiing competitively since he was a boy growing up in Utah County. In 2006, he finished 19th in downhill, 29th in combined and 43rd in super G.

In 2010, the Provo native went into the Olympics at sixth place overall in the alpine skiing downhill event. He finished in 20th place and hit speeds of 69 miles per hour during his run.

Shauna Rohbock
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2006 Torino
Event: Bobsled
Medal: Silver

Born in Provo, Utah, and raised in Orem, Shauna grew up playing soccer and ran track and field as a youngster. As a student-athlete at BYU, she was named all-American in both soccer and in track and field as a heptathlete — twice in both sports.

Shauna competed in the bobsled at the 2006 Winter Olympics and won a silver in the two-woman event with teammate Valerie Fleming.

Lindsey Anderson
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2008 Beijing (China)
Event: Women's 3,000-meter steeplechase
Medal: none

Lindsey Anderson is one of the top runners in Weber State and Big Sky history. In July 2008, she became the first athlete from Weber State to qualify for the Summer Olympics. She finished second overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Trials, posting a personal best time of 9:30.75 to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team in the Beijing Games. She competed well but failed to qualify for the finals.

Anderson is now an assistant coach for the Wildcats, where she works with the distance runners.

Niklas Arrhenius
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2008 Beijing
Event: Discus
Medal: none

Niklas Arrhenius won the 2007 national championship in the discus while competing at BYU and qualified to compete for Sweden in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He finished 32nd in the field of discus throwers.

Arrhenius is the son of Anders Arrhenius, who was a professional shot put competitor in Sweden. Niklas' younger brother, Leif Arrhenius, is also a thrower.
Arrhenius was raised in Utah but has dual citizenship. He served a mission to Sweden.

April Steiner Bennett
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2008 Beijing
Event: Pole Vault
Medal: none

A native of Mesa, Ariz., April Steiner Bennett was a four-time all-American and 2003 SEC Outdoor Champion in the pole vault at Arkansas. She finished eighth in Beijing.

She also had an appearance on the reality TV show "Fear Factor."

Jillian Camarena-Williams
AP Photo/Victoria Will

Olympics: 2008 Beijing; 2012 London
Event: Shot put
Medal: none

Jillian Camarena-Williams competed in the 2008 Olympics and planned to compete in the 2012 Olympics, but a herniated disk kept her from the final.

Camarena-Williams is an American record holder and represented the U.S. in both indoor and outdoor World Championship games. She is a World Outdoor bronze medalist.

She did undergraduate work at Stanford University and graduate work at Brigham Young University.

Jake Gibb
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2008 Beijing; 2012 London
Event: Beach volleyball
Medal: none

In the 2008 Beijing Games, Jake Gibb and partner Sean Rosenthal made it to the quarterfinals before losing to Brazilian duo Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego.

Gibb, raised in Bountiful, Utah, served in the Costa Rica San Jose Mission and broke onto the beach volleyball scene upon his return. Since then, he has enjoyed a successful career on the AVP tour.

Rich Lambourne
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2008 Beijing; 2012 London
Event: Men's volleyball
Medal: Gold

American volleyball players Ryan Millar, left, and Rich Lambourne, right, were part of the gold medal winning squad that defeated defending Olympic champion Brazil in four sets in 2008. Lambourne tied for a team-best 12 digs.

Lambourne, who served a mission in Japan, was an alternate for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

Josh McAdams
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2008 Beijing
Event: Men's 3,000-meter steeplechase
Medal: none

McAdams, who served in the Thailand Bangkok Mission, finished his BYU career in 2006 by winning the NCAA championship in the 3000-meter steeplechase. He followed that with championships in the 2007 USA Outdoor meet and the 2007 Pan American Games.

He finished ninth at the 2008 Olympics.

Lacey Nymeyer
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2008 Beijing
Events: 100-meter freestyle and 4 x100-meter freestyle relay
Medal: Silver

Lacey Nymeyer brought Olympic silver home to Tucson, Ariz., as a member of the runner-up 4x100 freestyle relay team. She swam a time of 54.74 seconds in the first of two 100-meter freestyle semifinals. She finished sixth in the heat and failed to advance to the finals.

Nymeyer has won national and world titles and was named 2009 NCAA woman of the year. Nymeyer said her success was built on a spiritual foundation.

"The gospel has put life in balance. At the end of the day, whether I swam well or not, I was still going to be Lacey, someone who is loved, a daughter of God with divine qualities," she told Mormon Times. "When you have that foundation, you can reach as high as you want."

Hayley Palmer
Associated Press

Olympics: 2008 Beijing; 2012 London
Event: Women’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay team
Medal: none

Hayley Palmer, front, smiling, was a member of New Zealand’s 2008 Olympic swimming team. She competed in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay race.

Charmian Purcell, Natalie Purcell, and Nonila Wharemate
Associated Press

Olympics: 2008 Beijing
Event: Women's basketball
Medal: none

New Zealand's women's basketball team failed to win a medal. At the end of the tournament, Mormon teammates Charmian Purcell, right, and Nonila Wharemate, opted not to play on Sunday, which meant sitting out their country's match against the U.S. women's basketball team. Natalie Purcell, Charmian's little sister, did play against the U.S.

All three went on to play college or professional basketball.

Melanie Roach
Associated Press

Olympics: 2008 Beijing
Event: Women's weightlifting
Medal: none

Roach placed 6th in the 117-pound weight class, her best finish in the international competition. Her combined lifts, totaling 425.6 pounds, broke the American record set in Sydney in 2000 by more than one pound.

David Bisset
Associated Press

Olympics: 2006, Torino; 2010 Vancouver; 2014 Sochi
Event: Bobsled
Medal: Bronze 2010

David Bisset, right, won a bronze medal in the four-man event at Vancouver in 2010 Winter Olympics.

He won a silver medal in the four-man event at the 2007 FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz.

Bissett also competed at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, finishing 11th in the two-man event and 18th in the four-man event. The versatile athlete also claimed silver in the 2007 world championships.

At age 34, the Canadian bobsledder competed in his third Olympics in Sochi.

Bisset is also a former Canadian football star at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Chris Fogt
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2010 Vancouver; 2014 Sochi
Event: Bobsled
Medal: Bronze (2014)

Chris Fogt, second from the left, was brakeman on the U.S. No. 2 four-man bobsled in Vancouver. The sled crashed on the second of four timed runs and did not compete the final day of bobsled racing. But in Sochi, Fogt and his teammates took home the bronze medal.

Fogt, from Alpine, Utah, graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Business Management. While at Utah Valley he ran track and field where he was team captain for two years, and set an indoor school record in the 100-meter sprint (10.53), and in the 60-meter dash (6.92). He also completed ROTC and commissioned into the army as a 2nd Lt. in the military intelligence branch.

Fogt served an LDS mission in the Philippines. Shortly after competing in the Vancouver Olympics, Lt. Fogt deployed to Iraq.

He ran track for Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah.

Christian Niccum
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2006 Torino, 2010 Vancouver; 2014 Sochi
Event: Men's luge
Medal: none

Christian Niccum, left, a luger in the men’s double event, returned to the Olympics for the third time in Sochi. He competed with his doubles partner, Jayson Terdiman.

Noelle Pikus-Pace
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2010 Vancouver; 2014 Sochi.
Event: Women's skeleton
Medal: Silver (2014)

Fans of LDS skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace are likely well aware of the athlete’s deep religious beliefs. The cover page of her blog, TeamPikusPace.blogspot.com, includes a link to LDS Church websites. She famously won the silver medal in Sochi and shared an emotional moment with her family.

Pikus-Pace just missed the podium in the 2010 Winter Games after finishing just one-tenth of a second out of the medal race.

A skeleton World Cup champion, Noelle began her sledding career in 2001. She also competed on the Utah Valley University’s track and field team.

Going into the 2006 season, Noelle was favored to win the gold medal in the Torino Olympics. But an unfortunate accident occurred when she was hit by a runaway bobsled and suffered a broken right leg. She worked hard to come back from the injury but failed to make the 2006 Olympic team.

A former softball player and track athlete, Pikus-Pace is at peace with the painful parts of sports. She credits her family, her friends and her LDS faith for giving her the ability to embrace whatever comes her way.

"My faith had everything to do with my recovery, with coming back to compete," Pikus-Pace told the Deseret News. "The prayers of everybody else around me, my family, friends. ... I really believe it helped me to recover so quickly."

Bill Schuffenhauer
Deseret News Archive

Olympics: 2002 Salt Lake City; 2006 Torino; 2010 Vancouver
Event: Bobsled
Medal: Silver 2002

Bill Schuffenhauer started out as a decathlete at Weber State and made a run for the Sydney Summer Games. But it would take switching to bobsled in 2000 to make that dream come true.

Schuffenhauer helped end the United States' 46-year medal drought in men's bobsled by winning a silver medal.

In 2006, Schuffenhauer and driver Steve Holcomb finished 14th in the two-man event and earned a respectable sixth in four-man.

In Vancouver, Schuffenhauer’s 4-man team placed 13th in bobsled.

Schuffenhauer grew up practically homeless on the streets of Salt Lake City with his parents adrift and addicted to drugs.

Erik Fisher
Associated Press

Idaho native, Eagle Scout and American alpine skier Erik Fisher made an encore Olympic appearance in Sochi.

A hand injury prevented him from contending in that event in the 2010 Olympics.

A natural athlete, Erik, 28, fits the profile of a world-class ski racer — fearless, fast and driven.

Kate Hansen
Deseret News Archive

LDS luger Kate Hansen, 21, went into the Sochi Olympics on a hot streak. The Brigham Young University student and La Canada, Calif., native won her first World Cup event on Jan. 25 in Latvia.

Kate’s win was the first in World Cup singles for the United States since 1997.

“This is something I’ve looked forward to my entire life,” she told BYU Magazine following her selection to the Olympic team. “It’s an honor to be part of Team USA.”

In Sochi, she placed 10th overall.

Jessika Jenson
Associated Press

American Jessika Jenson competed in the first slopestyle event during the Olympic Games in Sochi.

An outdoor adventure lover, Jessika, 22, enjoys riding dirt bikes, wakeboarding and mountain biking when she is not training.

Eric Neilson
Associated Press

Canadian skeleton athlete Eric Neilson came relatively late to his high-speed sled discipline. The 33-year-old first tried the sport when he was 25.

He made the Canadian World Cup team five years ago and has recorded several top-10 World Cup finishes.