By Jessie Garcia
U-S-A, U-S-A is a familiar refrain heard in every Olympics, but truly it could be Wis-con-sin, Wis-con-sin! Since pioneering hurdler Alvin Kraenzlein got his Olympic start in the Badger State in the 1890s, Wisconsin has nurtured, trained, or schooled more than 400 Olympic athletes in a vast array of sports—from weightlifter Oscar Osthoff to speedskater Dan Jansen and from gymnast Paul Hamm to runner Susy Favor Hamilton. Wisconsin’s varied landscape and climate accommodate serious athletes whether they compete on ice, water, or terra firma, and thriving university and youth sports cultures have produced many homegrown Olympians.
Author and sportscaster Jessie Garcia provides insights into lives of Wisconsinites who made an Olympic journey, sharing some of their most captivating tales, from legendary feats to unlikely brushes with glory. Featuring the athletes’ personal stories and pictures from private collections, Going for Wisconsin Gold satisfies 2016’s immediate Summer Olympics cravings, but more importantly the book provides a new and deeper understanding of the sacrifices, joy, pain, heartbreak, and complete dedication it takes to reach the Olympics.