Three athletes with Charlotte connections who performed well in the Olympics:
Kathleen Baker: Only 19, Baker showed both poise and talent beyond her years at these Olympics. She comes home to North Carolina with both a gold medal in a relay – Baker was part of the foursome that won the 1,000th gold medal for the U.S. in all Summer Olympics – and a silver in the women’s 100 backstroke.
“I just love everything about this meet and I’m sort of sad it’s over,” Baker said after her last race. “But it was so much fun.”
Baker also became an eloquent spokesperson for Crohn’s disease during these Olympics – she has been fighting the disease for years. Originally from Winston-Salem, she has lived in Charlotte since 14 to train. She will return for her sophomore year at Cal-Berkeley later this month. It really was a fine Olympics for her. She even lost an earring in the pool during one of her races, and somebody later came along and found it for her.
Katie Meili: An Ivy Leaguer who is originally from Texas but who went to college at Columbia, Meili had never been on a national swimming team of any type through college. She spent the past three years in Charlotte, honing her breaststroke and working harder than anybody. It paid off in a surprising bronze medal in Rio – and a relay gold as well.
David Marsh: The leader of SwimMAC Carolina and its Team Elite component, Marsh had a record number of swimmers from the club qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. Of the six who made it, all but one won at least one medal. And that one, Cammile Adams, finished fourth in a personal-best time in her event. Marsh also was the head coach of the U.S. women’s swim team in Rio, and that squad had a huge Games.