Oregon is represented by 11 athletes at the 2012 Summer Olympics, a number that is about twice the average of per capita representation from the 50 United States. That's no surprise, the state is home to Eugene's Hayward Field, the preeminent track and field facility in the country. Oregonians love the Olympics and enjoy the great spirit of competition in the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Watch Ashton Eaton out of Bend do great things in the Decathlon. Look for Rachel Yurkovich and Cyrus Hostetler, both of Newberg, in the javelin throw. Mariel Zagunis was disappointed in fencing, but don't be surprised to see her on a podium in Rio. Galen Rupp landed a sliver medal in the 10,000 meters, the first American to medal in the event since 1964.
Here's a look at five past Summer Olympic greats from Oregon
Mac Wilkins, Eugene
Wilkins won Olympic gold at the 1976 Montreal Games in discus. Then 25 years old, 1976 was an incredible year for him in addition to the Summer Games. He bettered the world record four times that year, three times coming in one match.
Dan O'Brien, Klamath Falls
O'Brien was one of the best decathletes of the 1990s. He won three consecutive world titles before claiming Olympic gold in the 1996 Games. Here's a video of O'Brien talking about the U.S. Olympic Trials from Eugene just prior to the London Games.
Dick Fosbury, Portland
Dick was born in Portland but it was at Medford where he attended high school and established something that bears his name to this day. Ever heard of the Fosbury flop? It's the method most high jumpers use, and it won him the gold at the 1968 Games in Mexico City.
Don Schollander, Lake Oswego
He was the first Olympian swimmer to win four gold medals at one Summer Games. Schollander won the 100m freestyle, the 400m freestyle, the 4x100 relay, and the 4x200 relay. He picked up all four medals at the 1964 Games in Tokyo at the age of 18.
Steve Prefontaine, Coos Bay
The legendary runner saw his career cut short by tragedy in a car crash when he was just 24. He went to the Munich Games in 1972 and didn't medal. He was preparing for the 1976 Montreal Games when he was lost before all of the promise could be fulfilled. Had he gone to Montreal, he would have come away even more associated with exceptional running. The Prefontaine Classic is held in his honor. "Pre" will always have a special place in the memories of Oregon track and field fans.
Jeff Musall is a longtime fan of the Olympic Games and track and field events. He follows the exploits of local Olympians intensely and hopes for more gold from the Oregon team.
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- 2012 Summer Olympics