The Most Famous Olympians From Every State

These sports stars have made their mark by living out their Olympic dreams.

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The Olympic torch has been ignited once again. Only the best athletes from coast to coast can be Team U.S.A. They can't all get the gold or the Wheaties box, but they all get a little hometown glory.

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Alabama: Jesse Owens

Born in Oakville, Alabama, Jesse took home four gold medals for track at the 1936 summer games in Berlin. His accomplishment made him the most successful athlete at the Olympics that year and he is widely considered one of the greatest sports figures of the 20th century. The Jesse Owens Award is handed out every year to the best track and field athlete in the country.

Then and Now: Your Favorite American Olympians »

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Alaska: Tommy Moe

Tommy was 16 when he joined the U.S. ski team in 1986 after training at a ski academy near Anchorage. He went on to compete at the 1994 Lillehammer games where he took home the gold for downhill and the silver for super-G. 

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Arizona: Charlie Hickcox

Charlie was born in Phoenix, but launched his swimming career while studying at Indiana University. He swam his way to three golds and a silver at the 1968 games in Mexico City. He was also dubbed "World Swimmer of the Year" and went on to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1976.

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Arkansas: Kimberly Derrick

Kimberly is a short track speed skater who took home a bronze medal for the 3000 m relay at the 2010 games in Vancouver. She was born in Blytheville, Arkansas.

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California: Shaun White

Shaun is a 10-time ESPY award-winning snowboarder from San Diego. He took home gold medals for the halfpipe at the 2006 games in Turin and Vancouver in 2010.

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Colorado: Gus Kenworthy

Gus was born in England, but his family relocated to Telluride when he was two. He took a year off from high school in 2009 to ski. His time on the slopes led him to the 2014 winter games in Sochi where he took home the silver medal for slopestyle.

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Connecticut: Tucker West

Originally from Ridgefield, CT, Tucker became the youngest man ever to qualify for men's luge at the Olympics when he joined Team U.S.A. in Sochi in 2014 at 18.  He made the team again for the 2018 games in PyeongChang.

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Delaware: Dionna Harris

Wilmington native Dionna took home a gold medal at the 1996 summer games in Atlanta as part of the women's softball team. She played outfield and led the team in batting average.

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Florida: Rowdy Gaines

Born in Winter Haven, Rowdy is a three-time gold medalist for swimming at the 1984 games in Los Angeles. He has since worked for ESPN and NBC as a swimming analyst for the summer games in Beijing (2008), London (2012), and Rio (2016). 

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Georgia: Elana Meyers Taylor

Elana is a Douglasville native who competed as bobsledder at the winter games in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014. She took home the bronze (in 2010) and the silver (in 2014) in the two-woman race.

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Hawaii: Elena Hight

Elena is a Kauai native who took her love of surfing to the slopes and joined Team U.S.A. as a snowboarder at the 2006 (Turin) and 2010 (Vancouver) winter games. She also became the first boarder ever to land a double backside alley-oop rodeo at the 2013 X Games in Aspen.

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Idaho: Picabo Street

It's no surprise that gold and silver medalist Picabo hails from a town called Triumph. She got her gold at the 1998 games in Nagano competing in super-G after winning the silver in downhill at the 1994 Lillehammer games. She has also been a member of the National Ski Hall of Fame since 2004.

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Illinois: Dorothy Hamill

Born in Chicago, Dorothy and her family relocated to Connecticut where she took up figure skating at eight years old. She took home silver medals at the skating world championships in 1974 and 1975 before striking gold at both the world championships and Olympics in 1976 in the ladies' singles competition.

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Indiana: Bridget Sloan

Pittsboro's own Bridget Sloan took home the silver medal at the 2008 summer games in Beijing as part of the women's gymnastic team. She was also the all-around world champion in 2009 as well as the U.S. national champion.

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Iowa: Lolo Jones

Des Moines native Lolo is both a hurdler and bobsledder. She competed at the 2008 and 2012 summer games and the 2014 winter games. Lolo also dabbled in reality TV when she competed on the 19th season of Dancing With the Stars.

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Kansas: Lynette Woodard

Lynette is a Wichita native who won the gold at the 1984 L.A. summer games as part of the women's basketball team. She became the first female member of the Harlem Globetrotters the following year. Lynette also launched her WNBA career at the age of 38 for the league's inaugural season in 1997.

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Kentucky: Tamara McKinney

Leton's Tamara McKinney is an alpine skiier who competed at the 1980, 1984, and 1988 winter Olympics. She was also the only American woman to win the overall World Cup title before Lindsey Vonn did the same in 2008.

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Louisiana: Audrey Patterson

Audrey "Mickey" Patterson was the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal by taking the bronze in the 200-meter dash at the 1948 games in London. She was born in New Orleans and attended Southern University in Baton Rouge.

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Maine: Joan Benoit Samuelson

Maine resident since birth, Joan is known for securing the gold for winning the first-ever women's marathon at the 1984 summer games in Los Angeles. She set records winning the Boston (1979) and Chicago (1985) marathons and still races today.

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Maryland: Michael Phelps

Nicknamed "The Baltimore Bullet," Michael is the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals (including 23 golds) for swimming. He competed in the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 games. 

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Massachusetts: Nancy Kerrigan

Originally from Stoneham, Nancy skated her way to the bronze at the 1992 Albertville games and then upgraded to silver in 1994's Lillehammer Olympics. The '94 medal was especially well-earned following her recovery from the attack by the man hired by Tonya Harding's ex-husband.

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Michigan: Meryl Davis & Charlie White

Both born in Royal Oak, Meryl and Charlie combined forces and snagged Olympic medals as an ice dancing team at the 2010 (silver) and 2014 (bronze and gold) games. They also faced off on the 18th season of Dancing With the Stars, which Meryl won with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

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Minnesota: Lindsey Vonn

Hailing from Saint Paul, Lindsey is a World Cup champion alpine ski racer who took home gold and bronze medals at the 2010 games in Vancouver and competed at the 2002 and 2006 games. Although injuries kept her from skiing in Sochi in 2014, she's back on the slopes in PyeongChang.

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Mississippi: Calvin Smith

Bolton-born Calvin Smith is a world champion runner known for securing the gold in the 4x100 m relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He also won the bronze medal in the 100 m race at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

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Missouri: Steve Cash

Repping St. Louis, Steve took home gold medals in ice sledge hockey at Vancouver (2010) and Sochi (2014) as well as a Bronze from the Torino games in 2006. The Paralympic athlete is going for gold again as goalie for Team U.S.A. at the 2018 games in South Korea.

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Montana: Eric Bergoust

Eric got his start in Missoula before competing in four Olympics including a gold medal performance for aerial ski jumps at the 1998 Nagano games. He was inducted into the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2007.

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Nebraska: Jordan Larson

Jordan is a Nebraska-based indoor volleyball star and two-time Olympic medalist. Her team took home the silver at the 2012 London games and the bronze in 2016 in Rio.

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Nevada: Julia Mancuso

Julia is a Reno-born alpine skier who competed at four Olympic games and took home the gold for giant slalom in 2006 in Torino. She also scored two silvers at the Vancouver games and the bronze at Sochi in 2014. She retired from competitive skiing in 2018 but signed on to report for NBC at the PyeongChang games.

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New Hampshire: Jenny Thompson

Jenny is a Dover-based swimmer and one of the most decorated Olympians in history with 12 medals: eight gold, three silver, and one bronze. She competed in the summer games in Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), and Athens (2004).

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New Jersey: Tara Lipinski

Tara spent her early years living with her family in New Jersey before her Olympic figure skating training kicked into high gear. At 15, she became the youngest person to win the gold in the individual ladies' singles at the 1998 Nagano games. She regularly works with fellow skater Johnny Weir as an Olympic analyst and fashion commentator during awards season.

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