TODAY'S PAPER
70° Good Morning
70° Good Morning
SportsOlympics

Olympic medal winners from Long Island

Team USA's Sue Bird celebrates after winning the

Team USA's Sue Bird celebrates after winning the women's gold medal game against Spain at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on Aug. 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tom Pennington

These athletes, who were either born on Long Island or went to high school here (in some cases, both), reached the pinnacle of international competition by winning an Olympic medal. Note: Athletes are listed in alphabetical order.

Derrick Adkins

High school: Malverne

Sport: Track and field

Olympics: 1996

Best finish: Gold

Derrick Adkins was flawless in Atlanta, winning his heat in the 400-meter hurdles in the first round and semifinals before taking gold in the final. Adkins ran a 47.54 in the final, beating Zambia’s Samuel Matete by .24 seconds.

Raymond Barbuti

From: Lawrence

Sport: Track and field

Olympics: 1928

Best finish: Gold

Barbuti participated in two events in the 1928 Amsterdam Games, taking home gold in both of them. He ran a personal-best 47.8 seconds in the 400-meters, then helped set a world record in the 4x400-meter relay.

Steve Benjamin

Born: Glen Cove

Sport: Sailing

Olympics: 1984

Best finish: Silver

Steve Benjamin and Chris Steinfeld finished second behind the Spanish team of Luis Doreste and Roberto Molina in mixed two-person dinghy in Los Angeles in 1984.

Sue Bird

High school: Syosset

Sport: Basketball

Olympics: 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016

Best finish: Gold

Sue Bird played guard and helped lead Team USA to four straight Olympic golds, going undefeated all four times. Bird attended Syosset High School for two years before transferring to Christ the King in Queens. She was named the College Player of the Year her senior season at UConn, and is an 11-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA champion.

Thomas Bohrer

Born: West Islip

Sport: Rowing

Olympics: 1988, 1992

Best finish: Silver

Thomas Bohrer won silver medals in each of his two Olympic Games in men's coxles fours. East Germany beat the U.S. by 2.42 seconds in the 1988 finals, and the Australian team edged out Bohrer’s team by 1.64 seconds in 1992.

Larry Brown

High school: Long Beach

Sport: Basketball

Olympics: 1964

Best finish: Gold

Brown, who was born in Brooklyn but attended high school in Long Beach, played on the men's basketball team in the 1964 Tokyo Games. A 5-10 point guard, Brown scored 14 points in Team USA's 86-53 win over Brazil in the group stage.

Miles Chamley-Watson

Long Island connection: Graduated from The Knox School in St. James

Sport: Fencing

Olympics: 2016

Best finish: Bronze

Chamley-Watson was born and raised in London until age 8, when he moved to Manhattan and attended the Knox School. He won bronze in the men's team foil at the 2016 Rio Games alongside, from left, Race Imboden, Alexander Massialas, and Gerek Meinhardt.

Tad Coffin

Born: Brookville

Sport: Equestrian

Olympics: 1976

Best finish: Gold

In Montreal, Coffin, then 21, won gold in both the individual and team Mixed Three-Day Event. He was the first American to win individual gold in the event. Coffin now runs a saddle-making business, called "Tad Coffin Performance Saddles."

Carin Cone

Born: Huntington

Sport: Swimming

Olympics: 1956

Best finish: Silver

Carin Cone finished with the same time as gold medalist Judith Grinham in the final of the women's 100-meter backstroke in 1956. Grinham and Cone swam a 1:12.9, a world record at that point. (After a 20-minute delay, officials wound up ruling Grinham the winner.) In 1984, Cone was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in a class that included fellow LI Olympian Lillian Watson.

Howard Davis Jr.

Born: Glen Cove

Sport: Boxing

Olympics: 1976

Best finish: Gold

A four-time Golden Gloves champion, Davis beat Romania’s Simion Cutov in the lightweight gold-medal bout in Montreal in 1976. In an Olympics that included Sugar Ray Leonard and Michael Spinks, Davis was named the Games’ outstanding boxer. Davis turned pro after the Olympics, and finished his career with a 36-6-1 record.

John Davis

Born: Smithtown

Sport: Weightlifting

Olympics: 1948, 1952

Best finish: Gold

John Davis won a gold medal at 27 years old in London, and then one four years later in Helinski in men’s heavyweight weightlifting. Davis, who set two Olympic records, also set 16 official world records, and another eight unofficial, over his career.

Paul Drayton

Born: Glen Cove

Sport: Track and field

Olympics: 1964

Best finish: Gold

Paul Drayton led off for the United States’ 4x100-meter relay team that set a world record in 1964. Drayton, the oldest member of the team at 25, Gerry Ashworth, Dick Stebbins and superstar Bob Hayes ran a 39.06, three-tenths of a second better than Poland. French runner Jocelyn Delecour had said to Drayton before the race that the U.S. couldn’t win, because all they had was Hayes. After “Bullet” Bob Hayes ran the anchor leg in 8.5 seconds for the win, Drayton famously replied, “All you need is Bob Hayes.” Drayton also took home the silver medal in 1964 in the men’s 200-meter, running a time of 20.58.

Sharon Finneran

Born: Rockville Centre

Sport: Swimming

Olympics: 1964

Best finish: Silver

At 18, Sharon Finneran came in second to fellow U.S. swimmer Donna de Varona — who set an Olympic record — in 1964. Finneran swam a 5:24.1 in the 400-meter individual medley final, 8.6 seconds better than her qualifying round time. Finneran set six world records over her career, and in 1985, was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Her brother, Mike, and daughter, Ariel Rittenhouse, also participated in Olympics Games.

Frank Gorman

High school: Bayside

Sport: Diving

Olympics: 1964

Best finish: Silver

Gorman, who was born in Queens Village, took home the silver medal in 3-meter diving in Tokyo in 1964.

Danielle Henderson

High school: Commack

Sport: Softball

Olympics: 2000

Best finish: Gold

Danielle Henderson threw five shutout innings, striking out seven, in the United States’ second game of their 2000 gold-medal run. The U.S. beat Japan, 2-1, to win the gold. Henderson was a three-time All-American at the University of Massachusetts, and finished second on the NCAA’s all-time strikeout list with 1,343.

Sarah Hughes

High school: Great Neck North

Sport: Figure skating

Olympics: 2002

Best finish: Gold

Sarah Hughes’ 2002 gold medal was a come-from-behind victory. In fourth place following the short program, Hughes pulled off a dominating performance in the long program, passing Irina Slutskaya and Michelle Kwan for first. Following the Olympics, she was given the James E. Sullivan Award as the United States’ best amateur athlete. Kwan won the award the year prior. Hughes’ younger sister, Emily, finished seventh in the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Kevin Joyce

From: North Merrick

Sport: Basketball

Olympics: 1972

Best finish: Silver

Kevin Joyce, who graduated from Sacred Heart in 1965, played for the men's basketball team in Munich in 1972. That team fell to Russia in the gold medal game in one of the most controversial finishes in Olympics history; down on the final possession, officials gave the Russians three chances to win the game, with Russia executing on the third opportunity. Joyce also played in the ABA for the Pacers, Sails and Colonels.

Billy Koch

High school: West Babylon

Sport: Baseball

Olympics: 1996

Best finish: Bronze

Former MLB closer Billy Koch appeared in three games for the United States during their bronze-medal run in the 1996 Olympics. He pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs, and finished 0-1. It was the first official Olympic baseball medal for Team USA, which won silver in 1984 and gold in 1988 when it was a demonstration sport.

Mitch Kupchak

High school: Brentwood

Sport: Basketball

Olympics: 1976

Best finish: Gold

An All-American at North Carolina, Kupchak played for Team USA the summer before his rookie season in the NBA. The U.S. went 7-0 in the Games, culminating in a 95-74 win over Yugoslavia. Kupchak scored in double figures four times throughout the Olympics, including a 19-point, 7-rebound game in the United States’ 106-86 win over Italy. The power forward averaged 12.5 points and 5.7 rebounds for the Games. Kupchak went on to play nine seasons in the NBA, averaging 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds. He is now GM of the Charlotte Hornets.

Robert Livingston

Born: Lawrence

Sport: Ice hockey

Olympics: 1932

Best finish: Silver

Robert Livingston made one appearance during the U.S. men’s ice hockey silver-medal run in Lake Placid. The United States finished 4-1-1 in the four-team round robin, tying gold-medal-winning Canada in the final match of the tournament.

Noel Loban

Represented Great Britain

High school: Copiague

Sport: Wrestling

Olympics: 1984, 1988

Best finish: Bronze

Loban, who was born in Great Britain, attended Copiague High School and wrestled for Clemson University. An NCAA champion in 1980, Loban defeated Canada's Clark Davis in the bronze medal match in Los Angeles in 1984.

Devin Logan

From: Baldwin/Oceanside

Sport: Skiing

Olympics: 2014

Best finish: Silver

Logan grew up in Baldwin and Oceanside before moving to Vermont. She scored an 85.40 in the women's slopestyle skiing finals to finish second behind Canada's Dara Howell in Sochi in 2014. She competed in the women's slopestyle and halfpipe in PyeongChang in 2018, finishing 10th and 15th, respectively.

Shannon MacMillan

Born: Syosset

Sport: Soccer

Olympics: 1996, 2000

Best finish: Gold

Shannon MacMillan took home gold in 1996 and silver in 2000 as a member of the women’s national team. MacMillan led the team with three goals on 16 shots in the 1996 games, including a score in the United States’ 2-1 win over China in the gold-medal game. She hit the back of the net once in 2000. She also played for the United States in the World Cup in 1999 and 2003, winning the tournament in 1999, and is in the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.

Robert Minton

Born: Lawrence

Sport: Bobsleigh

Olympics: 1932

Best finish: Bronze

With partner Jack Heaton, Robert Minton took home the bronze medal in 1932 in Lake Placid. Racing for the United States’ second team, Minton and Heaton finished with a time of 8:29:15, 13 seconds slower than Switzerland, and 15 seconds slower than the U.S. first team.

John Morgan

Born: Oyster Bay

Sport: Sailing

Olympics: 1952

Best finish: Gold

As the youngest member (21) of the six-man mixed 6 meter team, John Morgan teamed with Emelyn Whiton (36), fellow Long Island native Eric Ridder (34), Everard Endt (59), Herman Whiton (48) and Julian Roosevelt (27) to beat out Norway for gold in Helinski. Morgan is the grandson of J.P. Morgan.

John Michael Plumb

Born: Islip

Sport: Equestrian

Olympics: 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1992

Best finish: Gold

Plumb appeared in eight Olympic Games and medaled six times: two golds, four silvers. He was 20 years old in his first appearance in Rome in 1960, and 52 in his last appearance in Barcelona in 1992. In 2008, Plumb, who holds the U.S. record for most Olympic Games, was the first equestrian athlete inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Plumb’s wife, Donnan, participated in the 1968 Games.

Al Oerter

High school: Sewanhaka

Sport: Track and field

Olympics: 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968

Best finish: Gold

For four straight Olympics, Al Oerter owned the discus throw, the first to win gold in the same field event four straight times. In 2005, along with Greg Buttle, Gene Mayer and Freeman McNeil, Oerter was inducted into the Nassau Sports Hall of Fame.

Eric Ridder

Born: Hewlett

Sport: Sailing

Olympics: 1952

Best finish: Gold

Both Eric Ridder and fellow Long Island native John Morgan were on the mixed 6 meters sailing team that took gold at Helinski. Ridder was a descendant of Herman Ridder, one of the founders of the Knight-Ridder publishing company. Among the papers published by Knight-Ridder were The Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury News, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram and the Akron Beacon Journal. Knight-Ridder was purchased by The McClatchy Company in 2006.

Bob Samuelson

Born: Port Jefferson

Sport: Volleyball

Olympics: 1992

Best finish: Bronze

Bob Samuelson was the inspiration for the 1992 men’s volleyball team going bald in Barcelona in 1992. Bald at 18 because of a skin condition, Samuelson was called for a penalty in the opening-round game against Japan that cost defending gold medalist Team USA a win. As a show of support, the rest of the United States team shaved their heads. The U.S. proceeded to reel off five straight wins before falling to Brazil in the semifinals. They eventually beat Cuba in the bronze medal game.

Julia Smit

High school: Mt. Sinai

Sport: Swimming

Olympics: 2008

Best finish: Silver

Julia Smit won a pair of medals at Beijing in 2008; silver with the 4x100-meter freestyle team, and bronze with the 4x200-meter freestyle team. Smit was a dominant swimmer at Stanford University.

Jerome Steinert

Born: Hicksville

Sport: Cycling

Olympics: 1912

Best finish: Bronze

Jerome Steinert participated in two events in the 1912 Stockholm Games. He finished 56th in the individual men’s road race, and took bronze in the team event.

Christian Taylor

Born: Uniondale

Sport: Track and field

Olympics: 2012, 2016

Best finish: Gold

After fouls on each of his first two attempts in the triple jump finals, Taylor jumped 56 feet, 3 1/4 inches on his third attempt, then the gold-medal length of 58-5 on his fourth attempt in London in 2012. Taylor defended his Olympic title in Rio with a season-leading mark of 17.86. Taylor was born on Long Island, but attended school in Georgia, and trains in Florida.

Alan Valentine

Born: Glen Cove

Sport: Rugby

Olympics: 1924

Best finish: Gold

A forward, Alan Valentine earned gold with the U.S. men’s rugby team in Paris in 1924. A round-robin pool including France and Romania, the U.S. beat Romania 37-0, and France 17-3 for first. Later on, at just 34, Valentine became the president of the University of Rochester.

Lillian Watson

Born: Mineola

Sport: Swimming

Olympics: 1964, 1968

Best finish: Gold

Lillian “Pokey” Watson participated in three Olympic events in her career, winning all three events. At just 14, Watson won a pair of golds in Tokyo in 1964, including a world-record time (4:03.8) in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. Four years later, Watson earned her first individual medal, winning the 200-meter backstroke in 2:29.2, an Olympic record. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984 with fellow LI native Carin Cone.

Frank Thomas Winter

Born: Bay Shore

Sport: Swimming

Olympics: 1960

Best finish: Gold

Thomas Winter swam in the qualifying round of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay for the United States en route to their gold medal in the 1960 Rome Games. With Winter, the U.S. swam a time of 8:18.0, beating Australia by six seconds, and earning a spot in the final. In the final, without Winter, the U.S. set a world record, 8:10.2, beating Japan by three seconds.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports