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August 2015


Dear Abbot Pennings,

The 2016 Olympic Games are already making headlines. Have any of our alumni ever competed in the Olympic Games?

Jonathan Carroll ’17


My dear Jonathan,

I extend my sincerest gratitude to you for sharing this inquiry with me. As it happens, the modern Olympic Games, revived from the ancient tradition, were an exciting innovation in the early days of our beloved college. The Athens Games of 1896 preceded our own founding by only two years. The beautiful spirit of fellowship that they engendered was almost Norbertine, it now seems to me. 

To answer your question, I depended on careful consultation with our athletics department, of course!

We know of at least one alumnus who has participated in the Olympics. This gentleman is Maris Ziedins ’03, who played hockey for his native Latvia in the 2006 Winter Olympics. During that year, he skated in all five of his teams games, even scoring a goal against Sweden; Sweden’s goaltender was NHL star Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Sweden went on to win the gold medal; the Latvian team finished 0-4-1 and did not earn the laurel crown, though it did tie the U.S. team 3-3 in its first game. Maris was inducted into the St. Norbert College Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2014.

It seems to me entirely possible that there are other SNC Olympians that the college might simply not be aware of. Perhaps one of them, or one of their friends, is reading my column right now! If so, we implore you to be in touch so that we may add your name to our pantheon!

Responses to “Ask the Abbot” questions are penned by St. Norbert College staff in the name of Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., who founded St. Norbert College in 1898. 

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