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If you’re anything like us, you spent most of August glued to the TV, watching the best America has to offer compete for Olympic glory. It should come as no surprise that many of those great athletes hail from right here in South Jersey, and they went above and beyond to make their country, and their hometowns, proud.

JordanBurroughsJordan Burroughs

Hometown: Sicklerville
Sport: Wrestling
Event: Men’s freestyle 74kg (163 lbs)

Hometown boy, husband and father Jordan Burroughs headed to Rio with his sights set on gold. The wrestler is arguably the most famous name in the sport, the returning gold medalist from the 2012 London games. Burroughs went into the games as the favorite to win gold, but the wrestler had a difficult loss to rival Aniuar Geduev of Russia and ended the games without a medal.

Kelsi Worrell

Hometown: Westampton
Sport: Swimming
Event: 4x100m medley relay 

Kelsi Worrell, 22, went into the Rio games holding a record. She’s the first female athlete to swim the 100-meter butterfly in under 50 seconds, a feat she performed again in the women’s 4×100 medley relay to bring home the gold for her relay team.

Matt Emmons

Hometown: Browns Mills
Sport: Shooting
Event: 50m rifle three positions

Matt Emmons may not have medaled in Rio, but he’s still got plenty of bling at home. The 35-year-old rifleman has a gold medal from the 2004 Olympics in Athens, a silver from Beijing’s 2008 games and a bronze from London in 2012. In addition to his shooting achievements, Emmons is a cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2010 with thyroid cancer.

 

CarliLloydCarli Lloyd

Hometown: Delran
Sport: Soccer 

Our favorite South Jersey soccer player did what she does best in Rio, but unfortunately, this time around it wasn’t quite enough. For the first time, the four-time Olympic gold medal team failed to advance to the semi-finals, falling to Sweden on penalty kicks, 4-3.

Watch Carli Lloyd make a header to help the United States beat New Zealand.

 

English Gardner

Hometown: Voorhees
Sport: Track and field
Event: 100m and 4x100m relay 

Eastern High School grad sprinter English Gardner placed 7th in her first Rio event, running the 100 meter in under 11 seconds. Though she didn’t end up with the individual medal, Gardner and her 4×100 relay team grabbed the gold. The foursome overcame an initial disqualification after they dropped the baton in the qualifying race, but officials deemed them not at fault, and let them re-run the race to qualify for the finals, where they dominated.

 

Schmetterling1Lauren Schmetterling

Hometown: Moorestown
Sport: Rowing
Event: Women’s eight

Rower Lauren Schmetterling and her team dominated the competition in Rio, nabbing a gold medal in the women’s coxed eight race. It’s no surprise from Schmetterling, who once rowed – alone – alongside a college men’s First Varsity Eight team for 1,250 meters.

 

Joe Maloy

Hometown: Wildwood Crest
Event: Triathalon 

Joe Maloy, 30, finished the Olympic Triathlon with a time of 1:48:30. That incredibly impressive time earned him 23rd place, proving that the 2014 Triathlon Elite National Champion had some serious competition – and he definitely kept up.

 

Frank Molinaro

Hometown: Barnegat
Sport: Wrestling
Event: Men’s freestyle 65kg (143 lbs)

Wrestler Frank Molinaro won the U.S. Olympic Trials this year, meaning he could attempt to qualify for an Olympic spot at a competition in Istanbul. Though he initially failed to qualify, Molinaro landed a place at the games when other wrestlers were disqualified due to doping offenses. Molinaro finished the Rio Olympics in 4th place overall, after losing the bronze medal match to Italy’s Frank Chamizo Marquez.

Watch Frank Molinaro get bitten by an opponent during a match!

FrankMolinaro

 

Marielle Hall

Hometown: Haddonfield
Sport: Track and field
Event: 10,000m 

Runner Marielle Hall was the first New Jersey track and field athlete to qualify for the 2016 games. She ran the 10,000-meter final in 32:39:32, finishing in 33rd place overall.

 

 

Nia Ali

Hometown: Pleasantville
Sport: Track and field
Event: 100m hurdles

Pleasantville High School graduate Nia Ali was a part of history in Rio, winning a silver medal in the women’s 100m hurdles final. She was one of three American medalists – Brianna Rollins won gold and Kristi Castlin took the bronze – in the first-ever U.S. sweep of that event.

 

Sam Ojsekis

Hometown: Linwood
Sport: Rowing
Event: Men’s eight 

Rower Sam Ojsekis and his team missed the podium in the men’s eight coxed race, but not by much. They placed fourth, less than three seconds behind the bronze medal team from the Netherlands.

 

 

Steve Kasprzyk

Hometown: Cinnaminson
Sport: Rowing
Event: Men’s eight 

We don’t know what it is about South Jersey, but we seem to produce a lot of world-class rowers. Steve Kasprzyk joined teammate (and almost-neighbor) Sam Ojsekis as the men’s eight team placed fourth.

 

Rachel Dawson

Hometown: Berlin
Sport: Field hockey

Rachel Dawson has more than 250 international appearances under her belt, so the Eastern High School grad was cool, calm and collected as the women’s field hockey team took to the turf in Rio. The three-time Olympian helped lead her team to three victories – against powerhouse teams Argentina, Australia and Spain – before they were knocked out by the Germans. 

 

Michelle Vittese

Hometown: Cherry Hill
Sport: Field hockey

If there’s one thing we know in South Jersey, it’s how to build a field hockey dynasty. Michelle Vittese joined teammate Rachel Dawson as the team clinched three victories before being ousted before the semi-final round.

See Rachel Dawson and Michelle Vittese play in the Rio Olympics.

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