Purdue’s 2016 Olympic medalists Amanda Elmore and Steele Johnson were among the 11 Olympians from the state of Indiana in attendance Sunday as the group was recognized with a pair of prestigious honors in conjunction with the Colts’ season opener.
Gov. Mike Pence presented the 2016 Olympians in attendance with Sagamore of the Wabash awards. The Governor, First Lady Karen Pence, and Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, along with the Indiana Olympians Association, Indiana Sports Corp and the Indianapolis Colts celebrated the Team USA members at a private reception before the Colts’ contest vs. Detroit Lions at Lucas Oil Stadium. At halftime of the game, the Olympians were recognized at midfield and presented custom Indianapolis Colts jerseys.
The Sagamore of the Wabash award is bestowed upon Indiana residents who have rendered distinguished service to the state and contributed greatly to Indiana’s heritage. Each Olympian was also honored with an Indiana Bicentennial Commemorative Medal, a special memento to commemorate the state’s 200 years of history.
Elmore won gold with the United States women’s eight rowing team. Johnson took home silver in synchronized 10-meter diving, teaming with fellow Boilermaker David Boudia. The other Olympians from the state of Indiana in attendance Sunday were Amy Cozad, Michael Hixon and Jessica Parratto (diving); Lee Kiefer and Gerek Meinhardt (fencing); Lilly King, Cody Miller and Blake Pieroni (swimming); and Amber Campbell (track & field).
Twenty Olympians who were born, train, or compete in the state of Indiana, represented Team USA in events which included basketball, cycling, diving, fencing, rowing, swimming, tennis and track & field. Indiana is also home to three national governing bodies which competed in the summer games — USA Diving, USA Gymnastics and USA Track & Field. During the 2016 Olympic Games, Olympians with Indiana ties accounted for 19 of Team USA’s total medal count. Boudia also won bronze individually on 10-meter in Rio de Janeiro, his fourth career Olympic medal, but was unable to attend Sunday.
In addition to Gov. Pence and Lt. Gov. Holcomb, Mark Newman, Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Tourism Development; Kalen Jackson, Vice Chair and Owner of the Indianapolis Colts; and Ryan Vaughn, President of Indiana Sports Corp, addressed those in attendance.