DemDaily: Olympians in Politics

February 12, 2018

Since the Olympic Games started last Friday, Congress passed a budget deal after a five-and-a-half hour government shutdown, the President blocked the Democratic response to the Republican Russia investigation memo, and two White House staffers have resigned amid scandal and rumors of firings abound.

Rather than report on the details of a normal weekend under the Trump Administration, however, we are punting to the achievements of our USA athletes in South Korea - plus a little political history!

2018 Stars: The USA's Jamie Anderson successfully defended her gold medal in women's snowboard slopestyle, 17-year-old Red Gerard took gold in men's slopestyle and Chris Mazdzer's silver in the first men's singles luge medal in US history. Skaters Mirai NagasuAdam Rippon and sibling partners Maia and Alex Shibutani helped the US secure bronze in the team competition.

Now, for the history buffs, a few former Olympians who channeled their athletic energy into politics.

Metcalfe's Historic Berlin Run

Past Stars: Olympians Turned Politicians
Democrats have been well-represented in this category.


McMillen on 1972 Olympics Basketball Team

Two-time Olympian Ralph Metcalfe won gold, silver & bronze medals in both Los Angeles in 1932 and in Berlin in 1936, including Metcalfe's historic part in the gold medal-winning 4x100 relay team.

Metcalfe represented the South side of Chicago on the city council from 1955-1970 before being elected in 1971 to the US Congress from Illinois, where he served until his death in 1978.

Maryland native Tom McMillen was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in high school,
played at the University of Maryland, in the NBA, and on the 1972 Olympic basketball team.

McMillen was elected to Congress in 1987 and served three terms before losing his seat to redistricting.  In 1993 President Clinton appointed him, along with Olympic gold medalist Florence Griffith Joyner, as Co-Chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness.

Bill Bradley played basketball at Princeton, internationally, and pro-ball with the New York Knicks before winning the gold in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He was elected New Jersey's US Senator in 1978, serving for 20 years before his unsuccessful 2000 bid for president.

Republicans that made the leap:
Bob Mathias won Gold for the Decathalon in 1948 London & 1952 Helsinki Olympics and served in the California Senate in 1966-1978. Former US Senator from Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (D turned R) captained the 1964 Olympic Judo Team.

Jim Ryan '64 Olympian

Jim Ryun competed as a runner in the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics, and represented Kansas in the US House from 1996-2006, and Oregon State Rep Matthew Lindland won a silver Greco-Roman Wrestling in the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Mitt & Ann Romney: The former GOP Presidential candidate served as president and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. Ann's dressage horse Rafalca competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

The 2018 Olympics Medal Count! 
DemList will provide a current top (5) medal count at the end of each Dailythrough the Olympics.

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
USA 2 1 1 4
Germany 4 1 2 7
Netherlands 3 2 2 7
Norway 2 4 3 9
Canada 2 4 1 7
Olympic Schedule: Official Site
NBC Live Streaming:

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: NBC, CBS, Wikipedia

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