© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Going for Wisconsin Gold' Tells the Story of Badger State Olympians

Buda Mendes/Getty Images
A general view of the Olympic and Paralympic Village for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Barra da Tijuca.

The 2016 Summer Olympics are about to open in Rio de Janeiro. Among the hundreds of US Olympians who will compete for gold are a host of athletes from Wisconsin, and many athletes with ties to Wisconsin universities. 

Credit Bonnie Blair family
Olympian Bonnie Blair, competing in the speedskating.

Wisconsin has a rich Olympic tradition. In a new book, Milwaukee writer and sports journalist Jessie Garcia shares the stories of some well-known, and some lesser-known, Olympians who have called Wisconsin home. The book is called Going for Wisconsin Gold, and Garcia say it was born out of her own enthrallment with Olympic athletes.

"I've always been fascinated by the Olympics because of the global nature of it and the fact that you are the best on the entire planet," she says. 

The book tells the stories of Olympians who have varying connections to the Badger State, many who trained and honed their skills in Wisconsin and describes the journeys athletes go through to compete in the Olympic Games.

"I really want this to be a book for adults. I don't want it to be the kind of book you would find in a middle school library that would just sort of be like, 'I did it and you can too. Work hard,'" says Garcia. "I wanted it to be very real, because I knew so many of the real stories." 

Garcia will talk about the book and sign copies on August 2 in Madison, on August 4 at the Pewaukee Public Library, and on August 10 at the Shorewood Public Library. Several former Wisconsin Olympians are scheduled to appear as well.