The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games welcomes the largest U.S. delegation of athletes in history. Team USA is comprised of 230 American athletes from all across the United States, 105 women and 125 men are competing this year in Russia. Michigan is represented by 13 skaters and snowboarders.
More than a third of the U.S. Figure Skating Team is made up of Michiganders. Evan Bates, Meryl Davis, Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, and Charlie White all call the mitten home. Three NHLers from Michigan, Cam Fowler, Ryan Kesler, and Ryan Miller, represent our state on the U.S. Hockey Team. Karly Shoor, Danny Davis, and the Upper Peninsula’s Nick Baumgartner are Michigan snowboarders in Sochi. Short track speed skater Jessica Smith, and long tracker Jilleanne Rookard join the U.S. Speed Skating team, both from Michigan.
Shani Davis, Chris Creveling, Jordan Malone, Kyle Carr and Anthony Lobello (Italy) trained at the United States Olympic Education Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI.
Retired Olympian, Apolo Anton Ohno, learned how to dance in Marquette. During the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2009, Ohno won the overall meet title and defended his national title at the Berry Events Center. Before winning the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars, Kristin Frak, owner of Superior Dance Academy in Marquette, MI, taught the celebrity athlete to tango.
The 18+ athletes who in some way or another call Michigan home, make up one of the largest compilations of U.S. athletes in the country. Inevitably, the largest state in the union, California contributes the most athletes with over 37 million residents rooting for 20 athletes. Compared to its population, Michigan ranks fifth in state-natives competing in the games, just behind Wisconsin (15), Minnesota (19), and Colorado (15). The three million-resident state of Utah tops the list with 15 athletes. On average, Midwest states rank third in contributing U.S. Olympians.
- Utah – 15 athletes / 2.9 million population
- Colorado – 19 athletes / 5.3 million population
- Minnesota – 19 athletes / 5.4 million population
- Wisconsin – 15 athletes / 5.7 million population
- Michigan – 13 athletes / 9.8 million population
- Evan Bates, Figure Skating
- Nick Baumgartner, Snowboarding
- Danny Davis, Snowboarding
- Meryl Davis, Figure Skating
- Cam Fowler, Ice Hockey
- Ryan Kesler, Ice Hockey
- Ryan Miller, Ice Hockey
- Jilleanne Rookard, Speedskating – Long Track
- Alex Shibutani, Figure Skating
- Maia Shibutani, Figure Skating
- Karly Shorr, Snowboarding
- Jessica Smith, Speedskating – Short Track
- Charlie White, Figure Skating
- New York – 18 athletes / 19.6 million population
- California – 20 athletes / 37.69 million population
2014 Michigan Roster
Evan Bates, Figure Skating
Evan Bates was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he still lives and trains. He graduated from Huron High School in 2007 and from the University of Michigan in December of 2013.
Nick Baumgartner, Snowboarding
He attended West Iron County High School where he was an Upper Peninsula champion hurdler and All Upper Peninsula Class ABC football player.
Danny Davis, Snowboarding
Danny Davis (born June 22, 1988 in Highland, Michigan) is a professional snowboarder. He was voted 2006 Rookie of the Year in the Transworld Snowboarding Riders Poll Awards, 2006 Rookie of the Year for Snowboarder Magazine and 2008 Snowboarder Magazine Top 10 Riders of the Year.
Meryl Davis, Figure Skating
Meryl Davis (born January 1, 1987) is an American ice dancer. With partner Charlie White, she is a two-time (2011, 2013) World champion, the 2010 Olympic silver medalist, two-time (2010, 2012) World silver medalist, five-time Grand Prix Final champion (2009–2013), three-time Four Continents champion (2009, 2011, 2013) and six-time U.S. national champion (2009–2014). They won a bronze medal in the team event at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Davis and White teamed up in 1997 and they are currently the longest lasting dance team in the United States. They are the first American ice dancers to win the World title. At the 2006 NHK Trophy, they became the first ice dancing team to earn level fours on all their elements.
Davis and White are the current world record holders for the short dance, free dance, and total combined score.
Cam Fowler, Ice Hockey
Fowler was born in Windsor, Ontario, the son of Perry and Bridget. Perry was a native of Newfoundland and Bridget is a native of Michigan, making Cam a dual citizen. An employee of the Ford Motor Company, Perry moved his family to Farmington Hills, Michigan before Cam’s second birthday. His younger sisters, Payton and Emily, were both born in the United States.
Fowler attended Farmington High School where he played baseball in addition to hockey. He also played travel baseball for the South Farmington Blues and had great potential to be a Division One College pitcher. Describing himself as being one of the weaker players on the team as a youth, Fowler’s potential as a hockey player did not emerge until his teenage years. He was recruited by numerous National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I schools from the age of 14. Fowler signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of Notre Dame in November 2008 during the early signing period. The USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USNTDP) also recruited him to their organization.
Ryan Kesler, Ice Hockey
Ryan Kesler was born in Livonia, Michigan. In the off-season, his family returns to Kesler’s hometown in Michigan. He keeps a Ford Mustang at his parents’ home in Livonia, which he enjoys racing. Ryan James Kesler (born August 31, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey center for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He serves as an alternate captain for the Canucks during home games. Selected in the first round, 23rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Kesler has spent his entire ten-year NHL career with the Canucks. He is best known for being a two-way forward, winning the Selke Trophy in 2011 after having finished as a finalist the previous two years, as well as for his agitating style of play.
Ryan Miller, Ice Hockey
Miller grew up in East Lansing, Michigan. In youth hockey, Miller originally played as a forward. However Miller became frustrated with the poor play of his team’s goalie, so he begged his coach as well as his father, Dean Miller, to let him try it out. His father told him that if he could get two goals and three assists the next game he would buy Ryan a catching glove. Miller finished the game with two goals and three assists in the win. His brother Drew Miller is currently a forward for the Red Wings and three cousins (Kelly Miller, Kip Miller and Kevin Miller) all played in the NHL. All five attended Michigan State University.
Jilleanne Rookard, Speedskating – Long Track
Jilleanne Rookard (born January 9, 1983 in Wyandotte, Michigan) is an American speed skater who has competed since 2006. She was named to the U.S. team for the 2010 Winter Olympics. She reached the 12th place in the 3000m in a time of 4:13.05 and 8th place in the 5000m with a time of 7:07.48.
On December 27, 2013, Rookard won the 3,000-meter women’s speedskating event at the Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team competing in Sochi in February.
Maia and Alex Shibutani, Figure Skating
Alex Hideo Shibutani and his sister Maia Shibutani, are 2011 World bronze medalist, 2011 Four Continents silver medalists, 2011 NHK Trophy champions, 2009 World Junior silver medalists, and four-time U.S. national medalists. They were named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team.
They were born to Chris and Naomi Shibutani, who met as Harvard musicians and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2007.
Alex completed high school at Huron High School and entered the University of Michigan in the fall semester of 2009. Maia graduated from Huron High School in Ann Arbor in 2012. She entered University of Michigan in the fall of 2012.
Karly Shorr, Snowboarding
Karly Piper Shorr (born May 18, 1994) is an American snowboarder. She competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where she placed sixth in women’s slopestyle.
Shorr was born in Commerce Township, Michigan and graduated from Milford High School in 2012
Jessica Smith, Speedskating – Short Track
Jessica Smith was born October 14, 1983 in Dearborn, Michigan to parents Rick and Reina Smith. She began roller skating at age one, competing in her first race at age two. In addition to skating, Smith took ballet and tap dancing lessons, and modeled as a young girl. Staying scrap and injury free proved while skating to be too much of a burden, so she dropped those activities but took up ice hockey. After playing hockey and inline skating competitively simultaneously for several years, she decided to concentrate on inline to see how far she could take it. “I like to do a sport that’s not so team-oriented,” she explained.
Smith grew up in Melvindale, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. She graduated from Cabrini High School in Allen Park, Michigan.
Charlie White, Figure Skating
White was born in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, Michigan, the son of Jacqui and Charlie White, Sr. He attended Roeper School in Birmingham, Michigan from nursery school through high school where he played violin in the school string quartet and was involved with the student government. He graduated in 2005. White formerly competed as an ice hockey player and helped his team to a state championship.
White lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is a student at the University of Michigan, studying political science.