As the countdown to the 2024 Paris Olympics intensifies, North Dakota reflects with pride on its most celebrated Olympians.

These athletes have not only competed on the world’s grandest stage but have also brought home medals, showcasing the state’s rich sporting heritage.

Cliff Cushman


Hailing from Grand Forks, Cliff Cushman is among the most revered figures in North Dakota’s Olympic history. Cushman excelled in track and field, particularly the 400-meter hurdles.

At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Cushman secured a silver medal, demonstrating extraordinary athleticism and determination.

Cushman’s heroic life and untimely death in the Vietnam War have cemented his status as a true North Dakotan hero.

Virgil Hill

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From the small town of Glenburn, Virgil Hill emerged as a boxing powerhouse.

Hill clinched a silver medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

His Olympic success paved the way for a stellar professional career, where he won world titles in both the light heavyweight and cruiserweight categories.

Hill’s enduring success and longevity in boxing have made him a legendary figure in the sport, bringing immense pride to North Dakota.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando


The Lamoureux twins, Jocelyne and Monique, have made monumental contributions to U.S. women’s ice hockey.

Raised in Grand Forks, the sisters have been instrumental in multiple Olympic campaigns. Their Olympic medals include:

  • Gold Medal: 2018 PyeongChang Olympics
  • Silver Medals: 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics

Jocelyne’s game-winning goal in the shootout and Monique’s pivotal performances are etched in Olympic lore.

Carissa Gump


In weightlifting, Carissa Gump, originally from Vermont but a long-time resident and representative of North Dakota, competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Gump’s dedication to her sport and her representation of North Dakota at the Olympics have inspired many in the region’s weightlifting community.

Like Smock, Gump did not medal but remains a significant figure in North Dakota’s Olympic history.

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(Very) Honorable Mention

Katie Ledecky


Katie Ledecky, while not a native of North Dakota, has family roots in the state, making her a cherished figure for North Dakotans.

Ledecky is one of the most decorated swimmers in Olympic history. Her Olympic medals include:

  • Gold Medals: 2012 London (800m freestyle), 2016 Rio (200m, 400m, 800m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay), 2020 Tokyo (1500m and 800m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay)
  • Silver Medals: 2020 Tokyo (400m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay)

Her dominance in freestyle events from 200 meters to 1500 meters is unparalleled, and her connection to North Dakota adds a local pride to her global achievements.

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As we look forward to the 2024 Paris Olympics, these athletes’ stories of perseverance, dedication, and triumph continue to inspire new generations.

North Dakota’s legacy at the Olympics is a testament to the remarkable talent and determination that flourish in the state.

These Olympians have set a high standard and serve as a source of immense pride for North Dakota, embodying the spirit of the Games.

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