More than 50 Washington State University athletes have competed in the Olympic Games over the past eight decades, representing 16 nations and winning medals in nine events. Most competed in track and field but Cougars also have boxed, swam, wrestled, rowed, ridden horses and played ball.
Dawn Allinger ’91; handball. 1996. USA.
John Avognan ’83; track. 1976. Ivory Coast.
Laslo Babits ’83; javelin. 1984. Canada.
Aron Baynes ’09; basketball. 2012. Australia.
Don Bertoia ’63; 800-meter run. 1964. Canada.
Chantal Brunner ’93; long jump. 1996, 2000. New Zealand.
Long before the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team’s Miracle on Ice, there was Pete Rademacher ’53.
The tenacious 6-foot-1 boxing heavyweight stunned the world during the 1956 summer games with his one-round knockout of previously undefeated Soviet champion Lev Moukhine for the gold medal.
The decisive, triple-knockdown bout in Melbourne, Australia transformed Rademacher into a Cold War hero and international inspiration. Hungarian athletes, still reeling from the Soviet invasion of Budapest just a few weeks earlier, joined the U.S. team in hoisting Rademacher onto their shoulders in celebration.
“It was very emotional,” recalls Rademacher, 87, now a retired business executive living in Ohio and the … » More …
More than 50 of Washington State University’s top athletes have made it to the Olympics since 1920. Here’s a look at the eight who took home medals:
Paul Enquist ’77, rowing; Los Angeles 1984, gold; USA. Part of the two-man double sculls team that edged out Belgium to become the first U.S. team in two decades to win gold in an Olympic rowing event.
Mike Kinkade ’96, baseball; Sydney 2000, gold; USA. Played third base for Team USA which beat perennial powerhouse Cuba in a three-hit shutout for the gold medal.
Peter Koech ’86, 3,000-meter steeplechase; Seoul 1988, silver; Kenya. Kenya nearly swept this event, taking gold and … » More …
As long as he can remember, Chip Hanauer has loved motorsports. “There wasn’t even much in the media back then,” says the hydroplane pilot from his perch at a coffee shop near Green Lake. “There was Wide World of Sports and they would run the Monte Carlo and the Daytona 500. I looked forward to those more than Christmas.”
During a weekend trip to Crescent Bar in central Washington, a 9-year-old Hanauer saw a notice for outboard hydroplane races for kids ages 9 to 12. He went home, got a paper route, babysat, mowed lawns, and saved $250. “I found a classified ad in The … » More …
In March, alumni and team members of men’s crew, the oldest sport club at WSU, gathered for Cougar Crew Days, as they do each year. But this year’s celebration had special significance: 40 years of rowing competitions.
Rich Stager ’74 and Ken Abbey, vice president of business affairs, formed the crew team in 1969, built the Cougar Shell House on the Snake River, and appointed landscape architecture professor Ken Struckmeyer as the first coach. The team entered competition in 1973.
The Cougar Crew Days included a banquet, auction, and the annual race between team members and alumni. According to Doug Engle ’80, they raised … » More …
A pack of seventh grade soccer players huddles around a makeshift batting cage inside WSU’s Sports Science Laboratory one Friday last March. One by one, they step inside the black netting to stand under bright lights and high-speed cameras.
“3 … 2 … 1,” a voice calls out.
An air-pressurized cannon shoots a soccer ball 30 feet across the cage and the 13-year-old tries to head the ball back in the direction from which it came.
The purpose of such madness? Kasee Hildenbrand, associate professor in the College of Education, is exploring the roll the neck plays in the incidence of concussions.