Navy Olympians

No female Naval Academy grads have ever made it to the U.S. Olympic Team, but dozens of men have, including gold medalists Carl Osborn (Rifle, 1920), Raymond Bass (Gymnastics, 1932), and David Robinson (Basketball, 1992). The 8-oared rowing teams, made up entirely of Navy men, also took home gold in 1920 and 1952.

It’s not clear if any WAVES were Olympians either before or after their service, but Wimbledon and U.S. Open tennis champ Helen Hull Jacobs was a WAVE commander in Naval intelligence during the war (tennis wasn’t an Olympic sport during the years she competed). And WAVE certainly were in shape via their exercise programs, as indicated by this photo, which comes from Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library.

Enjoy the games!

Tough Training

The Navy is known for its tough training programs – and the Navy SEALs are among the toughest. This year’s U.S. Olympic sailing team received part of its pre-Olympics preps from the SEALs.

As the opening ceremonies begin tonight, think about those Navy trained Olympians.

This image is of World War II-era WAVES training in boot camp at Hunter College in the Bronx. It comes from Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library.

Olympic Feat

Did you know that three Navy women, the Naval Academy’s Laura Gorinski, Toni Paruso, and Rheanna Vaughn, qualified to swim in the recent U.S. Olympic trials? While they didn’t make the Olympic swim team, they deserve a salute as we head to the opening ceremony of the Olympics this week.

This photo shows WAVES celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the WAVES with a spash in the pool. It comes from the National Archives.