Native American Athletes to Compete in the London 2012

Native American Athletes to Compete in the London 2012 Olympics

By Cheryl Cedar Face · 07/27/2012

From: American Indian Report

Indian Country has an extra reason to celebrate today’s opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics: four Native American women will be competing for a medal in London.

The women are competing one hundred years after Jim Thorpe won two gold medals at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. If they win, they will join Billy Mills (Oglala Sioux), Duke Kahanamoku (a Native Hawaiian), and Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox), as Native American medalists.

Mary Killman, a member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma, will be competing in the Synchronized Duet Technical swimming event. She and her partner Mariya Koroleva qualified by placing 7th at the Federation Internationale de (FINA) Olympic Games Qualification tournament.

Mary Spencer, First Nation Ojibway, will be competing in the 75-kilogram middleweight boxing event for Team Canada in women’s boxing Olympic debut. Spencer has been hailed as one of Canada’s best bets for Olympic gold. According to her official website, Spencer is a three-time world champion and an eight-time national champion.

Tumua Anae, a Native Hawaiian, will be competing as the goalie for the U.S National Water Polo team. She began training with the National Team in 2010. Anae recorded sixteen saves at the 2012 FINA World League Super Final.

Adrienne Lyle, 27, is one of the youngest American dressage riders to compete in the Olympics. Lyle is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She earned a place on the American team after placing in the top four at the U.S. Equestrian Federation Dressage Festival of Champions and USEF Dressage Olympic Selection Trials on June 16th.

All four women are distinguished athletes competing not only for their countries, but for their Indigenous nations. Be sure to watch out for their events!

One thought on “Native American Athletes to Compete in the London 2012

  1. Great announcement, thank you! I want to add that during the 1912 Olympics two other Native American winning competitors were Andrew Sockalexis, Penobscot, and Lewis Tewanima, Hopi. Sockalexis placed fourth in the marathon and Tewanima won the silver medal setting an American record for the 10,000 meter run. Tewanima’s record stood until Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota, won tha gold medal in 1964.

    Jim Thorpe’s historical winning of both the pentathlon and the decathlon has never been achieved again by an Olympic athlete. Thorpe’s unique story is celebrated in both a biography and picture books written by Joseph Bruchac.

    In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Stockholm Games, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has a special exhibit honoring the legacy of these athletes.

    Nancy Bo Flood


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