Olympic Athletes

Since 1896, the U.S. has sent more than 9,000 athletes to the Winter and Summer Games. As illustrated by this map, which breaks down where those competitors were born by county per capita, every state has made a measurable contribution
December 27, 2004

Hot and Cold Spots

Minnesota has several talent-rich counties. But neighboring Hennepin, which includes Minneapolis, and Ramsey, with St. Paul within its borders, have produced a whopping 108 Winter Olympians combined. Hennepin's 60 tied for the most of any county (with Middlesex in Massachusetts). Essex County, N.Y., home of two-time Winter Games host Lake Placid, has produced 32 Winter Olympians. That dark blue spot in New Mexico is tiny Lincoln County, where 2002 women's skeleton gold medalist Tristan Gale was born.

Every state has produced at least one Summer Olympian, including Alaska, which has had seven athletes: three rowers, including 1984 gold medalist Kris Thorsness, a runner, a discus thrower, a wrestler and a team handball player. The county that has produced the most Summer Olympians is Los Angeles County in California (population: 9.5 million), with 425.

KEY Shades of blue correspond to a high proportion of Winter Olympians from each county and shades of red a high proportion of Summer Olympians. The purple shades indicate a close ratio of Winter to Summer athletes in counties that have sent competitors to both Olympiads. White indicates no Olympians.

COLOR MAPSOURCE: USOC (THE BIRTHPLACES OF SOME 2,000 OLYMPIANS WERE UNAVAILABLE)International Mapping COLOR CHART PER CAPITA High
‚Üë
Low Winter‚ÜíSummer RATIO
COLOR CHART   Predominantly Winter athletes
Nearly equal Summer and Winter athletes
Predominantly Summer athletes
COLOR PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (POWERS) ROSS POWERS
VERMONT
COLOR PHOTOIAN WALDIE/GETTY IMAGES (GATLIN) JUSTIN GATLIN
NEW YORK

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)