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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Northern athletes tied to Olympic accolades

The opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics was held at the Bird’s Nest. On August 8, 2008, athletes and coaches from all corners of the globe flocked to this venue to represent their country and walk in the parade of nations.

Amongst the athletes at the event representing the United States, more than a dozen had ties to NMU’s United States Olympic Education Center – two of whom picked up bronze medals.

“I think this was a very successful Olympics for us,” USOEC Director Jeff Kleinschmidt said.

2006 NMU graduate Adam Wheeler received a bronze in the 96 kg weight class of greco-roman wrestling. Wheeler’s degree is in criminal justice, with a minor in psychology.

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Freestyle wrestler Randi Miller was awarded a bronze in the 63 kg weight class. Miller had a two-year stint at NMU majoring in outdoor recreation before going on to train at the USOC training facility in Colorado Springs.

In the Olympics, there are three styles of wrestling: men’s Greco-roman, men’s freestyle and women’s freestyle. The only two medals earned by the U.S. in greco-roman and women’s freestyle came from athletes associated with Northern’s USOEC.

Junior Spenser Mango also competed on the Olympic greco-roman mat, finishing with a 1-1 record.

“Spenser, for being a young guy, did really well and the coaches were very proud of him,” Kleinschmidt said.

Greco-roman was the only sport to send a competing athlete and current NMU student to Beijing. Kleinschmidt said Mango’s accomplishment should help the program because most wrestlers reach their prime in their mid 20s or late 30s, and the USOEC is sending athletes to the Olympics who are in their early 20s.

Current greco-roman head coach Ivan Ivanov served as an assistant coach with the U.S. team and former USOEC athletes Willie Madison and R.C. Johnson contributed as training partners for the U.S. team at the Olympics.

“It really is a tribute to the athletes and the program but also the coaches,” Kleinschmidt said. “We have some of the finest coaches in the world training the athletes here, and they are the ones who make the difference, and they’re the ones who help the athletes make the Olympic team.”

Other USOEC athletes involved in the Beijing Games:

– Amy Borgnini was also a former resident and training partner with the women’s free-style team in Beijing.

– Two boxers, senior Greg Carter and David Clark a graduate in criminal justice were alternates with the U.S. team and made the trip.

– Larry Nicholson a former assistant boxing coach with NMU’s USOEC and Ma Jianping a past weightlifting coach attended the games.

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