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This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration Theme: MN at the Olympics


This week’s focus is Minnesotans at the Olympics!

More than 20 athletes are competing in the 2021 Summer Olympics who have a connection to Minnesota, either by birth, college, or professional sports teams. The team includes many native Minnesotans who have already won big at the Olympics. Many athletes competed for the University of Minnesota or play for Minnesota teams, such as the Lynx. We wanted to highlight a few of these amazing athletes and their Olympic accomplishments.

Sunisa Lee

A native of Saint Paul, 18-year-old Suni Lee has already made history at the Olympics by winning the individual all-around gold, the team all-around silver, and a bronze medal in the uneven bars. Lee is the first Hmong American gymnast to qualify and win at the Olympics. In the fall, she will continue competing in gymnastics for Auburn University.

Regan Smith

A native of Lakeville, the 19-year-old made a name for herself in 2019 when she broke two world records at the Swimming World Championships. She has already won silver for both the 200m butterfly and the 4x100m medley relay while also winning bronze for the 100m backstroke. After deferring a year to train for the Olympics, Smith will attend and swim for Stanford University.


Jordan Thompson

Thompson is a native of Edina and played collegiately at the University of Cincinnati, later becoming a standout player for the US national team in 2019. She has been the leading point scorer in Tokyo, helping the US Women’s Volleyball team earn a spot in the quarter-finals. During the regular season, she plays for Eczacıbaşı VitrA, a professional volleyball club in Turkey.

Here is a list of the other Minnesotans competing at the Summer Olympics: Grace McCallum (Gymnastics), Shane Wiskus (Gymnastics), Kyra Condie (Climbing), Megan Kalmoe (Rowing), Lara Dallman-Weiss (Sailing), Mason Ferlic (Track and field), Joe Klecker (Track and field), Joseph Fahnbulleh (Track and field), Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Tennis), Payton Otterdahl (Track and field), Gable Steveson (Wrestling), Patrick Sunderman (Shooting), Alise Willoughby (BMX racing), Michael Rostampour (Basketball), TeTori Dixon (Volleyball), Hannah Tapp (Volleyball), Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Volleyball).


Check out this MPRnews story to find out more about each of our MN olympians - https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/07/20/meet-the-summer-olympians-from-minnesota

This week to celebrate Minnesota and team USA, can you create a project honoring one of these local athletes? Maybe try coding a simulator of your favorite new Olympic sport in Scratch!

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