As we shift our attention from Super Bowl XLVIII and another football season to Sochi, Russia and the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics, it’s time to take a look at our latest #WNSTSweet16 list that recognizes the greatest local Olympic sport athletes to represent the area.
Some names may have garnered little more than 15 minutes of fame with their athletic glory while a few have become heroes who will never be forgotten in the local community as well as in the entire country. Athletes who were either born in the state of Maryland or resided here for a significant period of time during their triumphs were considered for the list.
As WNST.net’s Glenn Clark previously pointed out, winning a medal and even participating in the Olympics weren’t requirements, but the list of Marylanders to triumph in either the Winter or Summer Games is extensive, meaning Olympic triumph carried heavier influence in paring down the candidates. Other guidelines that were considered were career longevity as well as a preference to recognize individual success before team competitions.
Here’s the list of the WNST Sweet 16 Greatest Local Olympic Sport Athletes:
16. Pam Shriver, tennis
The McDonogh grad may never have won a Grand Slam singles title, but her remarkable doubles career included 21 championships in Grand Slam tournaments and an Olympic gold medal playing with Zinna Garrison in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. The pair topped Jana Novotná and Helena Suková in the doubles final to take the gold.
Because this list doesn’t require Olympic triumph or participation, the argument could be made to move Shriver much higher on the list, but tennis wasn’t reintroduced as an Olympic medal sport until 1988 — after a 64-year hiatus– when her best years were winding down. Shriver did not appear in another edition of the Summer Games, but her triumph in Seoul coupled with even her late-career success made her a worthy inclusion.
Continue to next page for No. 15