Meet the Olympians: Michigan and Ohio

By: Scott McMahon

Here at Outdoor Athlete, we were fortunate enough to interview some of the athletes that represented Michigan and northern Ohio. Their athletic abilities range across the entire spectrum of sports, far outside the realm of their individual events. Each athlete provided their basic biographical information and also answered some questions from our staff. Enjoy!

Tom Peszek 

(No picture available)

Sport: Rowing

Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI

Born: January 4, 1985

First-time Olympian in 2012

What drew you to your sport?

“I got into rowing my sophomore year at the University of Michigan thinking it would be a good way to stay in shape and have a bit of fun. I had no idea I’d continue rowing through to this level.”

How did you know that you had hit it big?

“I knew I hit it big… when my rowing partner, Silas Stafford, and I won the Olympic trials. Until then, everything has been a long, slow climb with a lot of emotional ups and downs.”

Outside of the Olympic Village, how will you be spending your free time in London?

“In London, I will be entirely focused solely on my racing, which will last for about the first half of the Olympics. After that, though, I plan on attending just about every sporting event I can possibly get into.”

Daryl Szarenski

(Pictured in Feature Image)

Photo credit: ISSF

Sport: Shooting

Hometown: Saginaw, MI

Born: March 14, 1968

Four-time Olympian in 2012

What drew you to your sport?

“I got into my sport by taking up pistol shooting to help out my rifle shooting while on a rifle scholarship at Tennessee Tech University.”

How did you know that you had hit it big?

“It actually has happened so slowly that I never really knew that I had hit it big until I turned around one day and realized I had been on top for some time.”

Outside of the Olympic Village, how will you be spending your free time in London?

“After my event my wife is arriving and staying with me until closing ceremonies. Until then it will be relaxing around the village and trying not to let the hoopla of the Olympics get to me.”

Anna Tunnicliffe

Photo credit: Amory Ross/US Sailing

Sport: Sailing

Hometown: Perrysburg, OH

Born: October 17, 1982

Two-time Olympian in 2012

What drew you to your sport?

“[I] got into sailing through my family. [It] was the main sport we all did.”

How did you know that you had hit it big?

“I got quite good in college. I learned so much and had [the] opportunity to train with a great coach and a great team.”

Outside of the Olympic Village, how will you be spending your free time in London?

“Outside of the village, I will probably be relaxing. Our event runs over the whole time so I have to stay fresh and relaxed for the whole time. My guess is a lot of movies!”

Jacob Wukie

Photo credit: Teresa Iaconi

Sport: Archery

Hometown: Oak Harbor, OH

Born: May 11, 1986

First-time Olympian in 2012

What drew you to your sport?

“My family does a lot of hunting so I had a bow growing up that I shot a little. A friend of mine started shooting in tournaments so I tagged along and enjoyed it so I kept it up and became competitive in the IBO 3D tournaments. When I went to college at James Madison University I switched to the Olympic style.”

How did you know that you had hit it big?

“It has been a slow process to get to this level, a lot of hard work and not knowing if I was able to get to the level that I wanted, but for years I have learned to trust the Lord with the results and I go out and give it my best. When we finished the last round of Olympic trials it was extremely close between me and another guy for 3rd, and it wasn’t until the award ceremony when they announced the team that I knew I’d made the Olympic Team.”

Outside of the Olympic Village, how will you be spending your free time in London?

“In London I will be concentrating on training until we are finished competing, and after that I plan on going to as many other sporting events as I can to watch my fellow Americans compete.”

Congratulations again to all of the United States Olympians, and especially those who represented our region so well.

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