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2004 Athens Olympics

The following Mormons competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics:


Tiffany Lott Hogan Mormon OlympianLaura Berg

Following her Olympic showings in 1996 and 2000, Laura Berg played softball for her third Olympic Games in a row. In Atlanta, she finished with a .273 batting average (6-for-22, with a double) and scored two runs. She also reached base five times after being hit by a pitch. In 2000, she started all 10 games in center field. She recorded two hits and had an assist on a play at the plate during the round-robin game against Japan.

Berg added a third gold medal to her collection when the U.S. women’s softball team stormed undefeated through the Olympic tournament. The team only gave up one run during the competition. Source: Deseret News

Megan Dirckmaat

From San Jose, California, Sister Dirkmaat was part of the U.S. crew that placed second in the 22 Aug women’s eight finals. The Americans finished 1.86 seconds behind gold-medalists of Romania. Source: LDS athletes mine Oly ‘metals’, LDS Church News Archives, 28 Aug 2004.

Tairia Mims Flowers

Team USA went undefeated, giving up only one run during the Games. Sister Mims Flowers is from Tucson, Arizona. Source: LDS athletes mine Oly ‘metals’, LDS Church News Archives, 28 Aug 2004.

Rulon Gardner

Rulon E. Gardner is an American Olympian who competed in the 2000 Olympic games, winning the gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling upon defeating Russian Aleksandr Karelin, who was undefeated in 13 years of international competition. Source: Wikipedia

Tiffany Lott-Hogan

In 1997, she flew past five hurdles and 55 meters in 7.30 seconds (faster than Jackie Joyner-Kersee has ever done it) to claim the world best title.  In 2004, she finished 20th in the women’s heptathlon in Athens. Source: LDS athletes mine Oly ‘metals’, LDS Church News Archives, 28 Aug 2004.

Marsha Mark-Baird

Marsha Mark-Baird, a former BYU heptathlete, represented Trinidad and Tobago in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Games. She competed in such events as sprints, hurdles, shot put, javelin, and the long and high jumps.

A convert to the church, she started competing in the heptathlon after enrolling in Ricks College in 1993. Two years later she transferred to BYU in Provo, where she graduated in 1997 and received a master’s degree of social work in 1999. Source: Deseret News

Ryan Millar

Ryan Millar said his happiest moment in sports was winning the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. He was on the team’s reserve roster for the 2012 Games in London.

The 6-foot-8 athlete also played on BYU’s first NCAA championship volleyball team and later helped coach the Cougars. Source: Deseret News

Leonard Myles-Mills

In the 2004 Summer Olympics, Leonard Myles-Mills, left, qualified and competed for Ghana in the 4×100-meter relay and 100-meter dash. After posting a season-best time of 38.88, his team took sixth after competing together only a few times. In the 100-meters he advanced to the semifinals and ran a 10.22 but barely missed the finals.

In the 2000 Games, he made it to the semifinals of the 100-meter dash, finishing in ninth place overall. Source: Deseret News

John Nunns

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. John Nunn, a member of the LDS Church, finished 26th in the 20km racewalk in 2004. In 1997, Nunn left for a two-year mission to Las Vegas for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While serving and with encouragement from his mission president, he and his companion woke up early and exercised by running around a nearby track. Source: Deseret News

Lucia Fernanda Palerma

She was eliminated in lightweight double skulls heats. Source: LDS athletes mine Oly ‘metals,’ LDS Church News Archives, 28 Aug 2004.

James Parker

He served a mission from 1996-1997.  At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, he was eliminated in the hammer throw semifinal.

Grant Robison

He was eliminated in 1,500 meters semifinals.

Mosiah Rodriguez

He was eliminated during qualifying rounds of various individual events.

Cael Sanderson

He is the only undefeated, four-time wrestling champion in NCAA history.  He graduated from Iowa State University.  He is the all time NCAA record holder in Division I with a career record of 159-0. He won the gold medal in his weight class (74-84kg). Cael is the youngest, the tallest and the most successful wrestler of this Mormon trio. Source: Iowa State Cyclones

Rachelle Smith-Kunkel

From West Valley High School. She started diving in high school.  She dove for Brigham Young University. Professionally, she works as a labor and delivery nurse.

Jodi Tini

Jodi Tini was a member of the New Zealand women’s basketball team in the 2004 games. New Zealand finished fifth in group play, winning two games and dropping five.

Justin Wilcock

An Olympic diver, Wilcock was eliminated during 3-meter springboard preliminaries. Source: LDS athletes mine Oly ‘metals’, LDS Church News Archives, 28 Aug 2004.

Paora Winitana

Paora Winitana was born in Hastings in 1976. Paora had spent his childhood playing rugby, but at the small church, he learnt how to play basketball and fell in love with the game. After sacrificing the 2000 Sydney Olympics to go on a mission, Paora competed on the New Zealand basketball team for the 2004 Olympics. Source: New Zealand Olympic Committee

Guard Young

He is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  His father, Wayne Young, was also an Olympian.  He has five sisters and one brother.  He is BYU’s only all around champion gymnast.


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