Cascadians at the 2016 Olympics in Rio

The summer games of the 31st Olympiad have wrapped up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 11,303 athletes from 207 recognized nations or organizations competed in 306 different events across 28 different sports. While Cascadia is not (yet) a recognized nation participating in the Olympics, 103 Cascadian athletes competed in these summer games, almost all of which represented team Canada or team USA.

Thanks to Reddit user SeattleDave0, you can read a full overview of how team Cascadia did. In this article, we’ll highlight Cascadia’s medalists and medal total compared to other recognized nations.

Cascadian Gold Medals

Ashton Eaton – Track & Field

ashton eaton, rio 2016

Event: Decathlon – “World’s Greatest Athlete”

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Portland, OR

Nathan Adrian – Swimming

nathan adrian, rio 2016

Events: 4×100 Freestyle Relay, 4×100 Medley Relay

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Bremerton, WA

Kristin Armstrong – Cycling

kristin armstrong, rio 2016

Event: Time Trial

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Boise, ID (born in Memphis, TN)

Sue Bird – Basketball

sue bird, rio 2016

Event: Team Tournament

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Seattle, WA (born in Syosset, NY)

Matthew Centrowitz, Jr. – Track & Field

matthew centrowitz jr, rio 2016

Event: 1,500m

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Eugene, OR (born in Beltsville, MD)

Ryan Crouser – Track & Field

ryan crouser, rio 2016

Event: Shot Put

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Boring, OR

Cascadian Silver Medalists

Paul Chelimo – Track & Field

paul chelimo, rio 2016

Event: 5,000m

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Beaverton, OR (born in Iten, KEN)

Lindsay Jennerich & Patricia Obee – Rowing

lindsay jennerich patricia obee, rio 2016

Event: Lightweight Double Sculls

Recognized Team: CAN

Hometown (both): Victoria, BC

Travis Stevens – Judo

travis stevens, rio 2016

Event: 81kg

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Tacoma, WA

Cascadian Bronze Medalists

Nathan Adrian – Swimming

nathan adrian bronze medal, rio 2016

Events: 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Bremerton, WA

Hilary Caldwell – Swimming

hilary caldwell, rio 2016

Event: 200m Backstroke

Recognized Team: CAN

Hometown: White Rock, BC (born in London, ON)

Jasmin Glaesser, Georgia Simmerling, & Laura Brown – Cycling

jasmin glaesser, georgia simmerling, laura brown, rio 2016

Event: Team Pursuit

Recognized Team: CAN

Hometown (all): Vancouver, BC (Glaesser born in Paderborn, GER; Brown born in Calgary, AB)

Kimberly Hill & Courtney Thompson – Indoor Volleyball

kimberly hill, courtney thompson, team usa indoor volleyball, rio 2016

Event: Team Tournament

Recognized Team: USA

Hometowns: Portland, OR & Kent, WA (born in Bellevue, WA)

Kayla Moleschi – Rugby

kayla moleschi, rio 2016

Event: Team Tournament

Recognized Team: CAN

Hometown: Williams Lake, BC

Catharine Pendrel – Cycling

catharine pendrel, rio 2016

Event: Mountain Bike Cross Country

Recognized Team: CAN

Hometown: Kamloops, BC (born in Fredericton, NB)

Galen Rupp – Track & Field

galen rupp, rio 2016 trials

Event: Marathon

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Portland, OR

Sophie Schmidt & Christine Sinclair – Soccer

sophie schmidt, christine sinclair , team canada womens soccer, rio 2016

Event: Team Tournament

Recognized Team: CAN

Hometowns: Abbotsford, BC (born in Winnipeg, MB) & Burnaby, BC

Mariel Zagunis – Fencing

mariel zagunis, rio 2016

Event: Team Sabre

Recognized Team: USA

Hometown: Portland, OR

Cascadian Medal Count

Cascadian athletes earned 7 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 10 bronze medals for a total of 20 medals won. If we were to attribute medals to a hypothetical recognized Cascadian team, using only medals from individuals or from teams which were entirely Cascadian, Cascadia would have earned 4 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 5 bronze medals for a total of 12 medals won. This would have put Cascadia in 22nd place in terms of total medals.

cascadia medal count, rio 2016

For a hypothetical nation of just over 18 million people, which would be ranked about 62nd in the world, we’re already punching above our weight. Imagine what a united Cascadian Olympic team with a dedicated organization could do.

One day, we’ll see the Doug Flag rise slowly while our anthem plays and our athletes celebrate victory. But, for now, we cheer on our fellow Cascadians regardless of which team they play for and congratulate this year’s medalists.

On to PyeongChang 2018!

Interested in learning more about Cascadia? You can buy your copy of Towards Cascadia today:

Cascadia: The Thin Green Line

Reverence of our lands, mountains, rivers, forests, and seas is in our civic DNA as Cascadians. They sustain us and give us our sense of shared identity. We get to wake up each morning and veer out to the mountain peaks in the distance knowing we’re privileged to live in a special place. We’re inspired by temperate sunny days and gray rainy skies alike. We thrive in the evergreen forests, in the high desert, on the banks of the river gorge, on the plateaus and in the valleys.

It should come as no surprise then that sustainability and conservation are pillars of our shared civic religion as Cascadians. Regardless of political party or location, there’s a significant and noticeable bias toward protecting our wondrous home region:

  • Oregon enacted the first of its kind bottle recycling law in the US more than 40 years ago to reduce pollution.
  • British Columbia leads Canada with a carbon tax policy that has drastically reduced greenhouse gas emissions per capita since its implementation in 2008.
  • Oregon, Washington, and Idaho consistently rank in the top 10 in terms of states which have lowest carbon dioxide emissions per capita.
  • Idaho has led the US in percent of electricity produced from renewable sources in recent years.

Despite these examples, Cascadia stands at a crossroads—both metaphorically and literally—when it comes to the integrity of our home region. Right now, there are oil pipelines, fossil fuel trains, and export facilities transporting dangerous and dirty fuel sources from the Prairies to the Pacific through Cascadia, all so large energy corporations can sell to markets in Asia. Furthermore, there are several similar projects being pushed for expansion right now by these same companies.

The existing fossil fuel infrastructure already puts us at risk of permanent damage to our home and our livelihood; expansion would increase these risks exponentially. Many of our region’s inhabitants are understandably angry at this prospect and want to do something about it. Indeed, some already have. What many people don’t yet realize, however, is that we have an opportunity as a region to unite as Cascadians and overturn this trend.

A few years ago, the Sightline Institute—a non-profit think tank devoted to environmental issues and sustainability in the Pacific Northwest—came up with this concept of the “thin green line.” It states that Cascadia has the opportunity act as a barrier to the furthering of climate change and to the increased risks to our region. They created this short video to explain how:

While the video focuses on British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington, we’re already seeing examples of unity and action across all of Cascadia:

  • British Columbia’s provincial government has formally opposed both major oil pipeline projects.
  • First Nation tribes in British Columbia have exerted their legal rights to block expansion of new oil pipelines.
  • Some permits have already been denied in the state of Washington for coal and oil terminal expansions.
  • Several councils and similar public bodies in Oregon and Washington have opposed expansion of fossil fuel traffic through their cities and towns.
  • Protests and vocal opposition have grown in eastern Cascadia—places like Sandpoint, Idaho, Missoula, Montana, Boardman, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington—to further coal-by-rail and oil-by-rail traffic.

Cascadia is beginning to unite in defense of our home, our livelihood, and our planet. More importantly, it’s working. To quote Sightline’s policy director Eric de Place, “There is not one single [fossil fuel] project that has faced an opposition movement that has been able to proceed so far.”

There’s every reason to believe that this unity in Cascadia will not only strengthen, but result in victory over current and future exploitation. You can be a part of this movement too.

I’d like to extend a very special thank you to the Sightline Institute for all they do and providing a wealth of great information. For more on their current efforts, visit the links below:

List of cities, governments, and organizations the oppose oil trains

Initial victories achieved in the Thin Green Line effort

Recent interview with Sightline on KBOO radio

How coal and oil trains will block traffic in eastern WA

Video: overview on coal and oil trains in Spokane

Interested in learning more about Cascadia? You can buy your copy of Towards Cascadia today: