Olympic Athletes, Coaches Have NMU Ties

Monday 5, 2018

Several athletes and coaches participating in the Winter Olympic Games have ties to NMU. They include an alumna on the U.S. cross-country ski team, a former NMU Olympic Training Site speedskater competing in his fifth Olympics, a former Wildcat hockey player representing Sweden, a former NMU football player competing in snowboardcross, an alumnus coaching an alpine ski racer representing Malaysia, and two former speedskaters serving in assistant coach and team leader roles. The Winter Games are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Former NMU Nordic skier and alumnus Rosie Frankowski was one of 20 cross-country skiers chosen to the United States National Team. She competed for the Wildcats from 2009-2014 and was named an All-American in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, she took second place at the NCAA Championship and was selected for the U-23 World Championships. Frankowski becomes the 12th NMU skier to compete in the Olympic Games. She received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Political Science in 2013 and a Master’s degree in Political Science in 2014.

Shani Davis, former U.S. Olympic Education Center resident athlete and NMU student will become the first U.S. speedskater to compete in five Olympic Games. He will be competing in the 1000 and 1500 meter races. Davis is one of the most decorated Olympic speedskaters, winning back-to-back golds in the 1000 meter and back-to-back silvers in the 1500 meter in 2006 and 2010.

Former Wildcats men’s hockey player Erik Gustafsson was named to the Sweden National Hockey Team. Gustafsson played for NMU from 2007 to 2010.  He was a two-time All-American and ranks seventh all-time at NMU in points for a defenseman. Gustafsson played 91 games in the National Hockey League for the Philadelphia Flyers over the course of four seasons. He is currently playing professionally in Russia for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.

Former Wildcat football player Nick Baumgartner is now a three-time Olympian in snowboardcross. The Iron River native has ranked as high as third in the FIS World Cup Standings over the course of his career, which has spanned more than a decade. He also competed in four World Championships, winning two bronze medals in 2009 and 2015, and was an X Games gold and silver medalist. Prior to attending NMU, Baumgartner was an All-American wrestler, 2000 wrestling state champ (189 pounds), state champion hurdler and All-State football player.

NMU alumnus Ryan Shorter ('02) will travel to South Korea in February to coach 19-year-old alpine ski racer Jeffrey Webb, who will compete for Malaysia in the Winter Olympic Games. As executive director and head coach of the Mission Ridge Ski Team (MRST) in Washington, Shorter has helped multiple athletes make the U.S. Ski Team, race on the World Cup and win U.S. National Championships, NCAA National Championships and World Junior Championships. Webb skis for MRST and qualified to represent his mother’s home country of Malaysia in the giant slalom and slalom. Read a feature story in Shorter's hometown Petoskey newspaper here

Short track speedskating assistant coach Alex Izykowski is a former NMU student and short track speedskater. He competed in the 2006 Olympics and earned a bronze medal in the 5000 meter relay. This is Izykowski’s first Olympics as an assistant coach.

Mike Kooreman, former NMU student and short track speedskater will serve as the Short track speedskating team leader in Pyeongchang. Kooreman is currently the Speed Skating coordinator at the Utah Olympic Training site. 

Doug Lindblom
Student Writer




Shorter (MRST photo)