Candace Costie – born 12th March 1963 in Seattle, Washington
An Olympic synchronized swimming champion, Candace was more commonly known as Candy and formed a dominant duet with Tracy Ruiz. Candy and Tracy first teamed up when they were ten years old. During their ten-year partnership, only twice did they ever finish lower than first place in the duet event, taking silver medals in the 1980 US Nationals and 1982 World Championships. They were gold medallists at the 1983 Pan American Games and also won an NCAA title together at the University of Arizona as well as four US national championships.
Their long-time coach, Charlotte Davis, attributed the duo’s success to three things: “Both have a feeling for music, they are so strong they can make moves others can’t and, most important, they are really smart.” Candy is reported to have invited those that suggested that she took part in water ballet to come along and watch a training session, then people would realise just how athletic a sport it is.
When synchronized swimming made it Olympic debut in 1984, Candy and Tracy were clearly the best pair and easily won the gold, crowned first Olympic synchronised swimming champions. They competed for a few years in professional water shows as a synchronized pair. Shortly after her historic Olympic experience, Candy retired.
Though her athletic career has passed, her name lives on through the many products she has endorsed, her appearances as a sports commentator, and her video, “The Water Workout.” Candy is remembered for helping to raise synchronized swimming to new levels of popularity. Even after retirement, she continued to find new goals, but her stokes on longer landed in the water but on canvas as she explored her artistic talent at her art studio “The Desert Fish” in Arizona. She married US water polo Olympian Doug Burke in 1985, although they later divorced. She re-married, to Fred Merrill, with whom she started a real estate company, Merrill Companies. She also became involved in art, and started her own studio, the Desert Fish, in Arizona. Candy was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995.
Colleen Rosensteel – born 13th March 1967 in Greenburg, Pennsylvania
Colleen was a heavyweight judoka who competed at the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympics, her best result being a ninth-place tie in Sydney in 2000. Affiliated to Cohen’s Judo club she twice won medals at the Pan American Games, taking a silver in 1999 and a bronze in 1995. She was a US Champion five times, in 1994-96 and 1998-99. Internationally she won bronze medals in 1999 at the Austrian Open and the Czech Open.
However, Judo was not her first sport, Colleen started out as a discus thrower in track & field athletics. In 1984, as a 17-year-old she won a silver medal at the Pan American Junior Championships. In high school at Greensburg Central Catholic in Pennsylvania, she was a four-time state discus champion, and a three-time shot put champion.
She attended the University of Florida, graduating in 1990 with a degree in education, and later (1994) earning a Masters in exercise and sports science from Florida. Although hampered by throwing the discus left-handed, she competed in track & field for all four years at Florida, as a member of the Florida Gators track and field team. finishing fifth, fifth, and ninth in the discus, respectively, at the NCAA Championship in 1987-89, and she was eighth at the 1989 TAC Meet in the discus. She was inducted into the Pennsylvania State High School Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1998. Colleen was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a “Gator Great”. After retirement, Colleen went onto work at the South Fayette Township School District as the Athletic Lifting and Conditioning Trainer.
Patricia “Pat” Maria Spratlen – born 14th 1956 March in Colombus, Ohio
Pat who was introduced to the rowing crew at the University of Berkeley after she registered in 1975. At Berkeley she was appointed to the stroke seat of the varsity eight in 1977 and during the next two years she helped the CalBears to titles at the Bay Area Rowing Festival, the Western Collegiate and the NWRA Regional and a pair of Pacific Coast Championships, following her graduation, she earned a gold medal at the Lucerne International Regatta in Switzerland and two silver and one bronze medal at the World Rowing Championships in 1979, ’81, and ’83. She made the 1980 and 1984 Olympic teams, only the second African-American woman to do so, after Anita DeFrantz. The US did not compete in Moscow, but she was a member of the coxed-fours that finished fourth in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. In 2007, she received one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the spurned athletes. Pat also has a Masters degree in public health as well as being a consultant in the health field and was the first woman inducted into the Cal-Berkeley hall of fame in rowing.
Pat married Richard Etem and they have three children: Martin who rowed for four years for Syracuse University where he was team captain his senior year. After graduation he became an elite rower who trained to compete for the US National Rowing Team, and he finished third in the men’s double in the Olympic trials prior to the 2012 London Games. Elise who has had a successful athletic career. She was nationally ranked in the butterfly from 10 years old and was Wilson High School’s Most Valuable Swimmer her senior year. She swam for one season at University of California, Berkeley and then walked on to the Women’s Rowing team at the university ultimately becoming captain of the Pac-12 champion team her senior year. Finally Emmerson, who plays ice-hockey, he began his career at Shattuck-Saint Mary School and then in 2008 moved to Michigan to play for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Programme after which he was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2010 draft. He currently plays for the San Diego Gulls.
Pat’s work brings sports issues into social studies classes for inner-city youth and blends it with the law. She grew up during the Civil Rights era in a family of professors and advocates, who championed the progressive policies that provided equal access to opportunities for underrepresented groups. She recalls the 1984 Games and how the coach, who was the head coach for Washington, didn’t seem too fond of Cal rowers, which made for some interesting dynamics. The team were just beaten by the Australians and, in a small world, her daughter rowed for two years at Cal with the daughter of one of the women in that Aussie boat.
Mary Anne Schweitzer – born 15th March 1961 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Growing up, Mary Anne Schweitzer’s two older brothers loved to shoot with rifles, so it only made sense that she would also gravitate toward firearms. She started shooting when she was nine years old and competing in national competitions by 12. “I remember watching the Olympics in 1968 on our black-and-white television — seeing Olga Korbut compete and win, and thinking that I wanted to be an Olympian, too” she recalls. It was a little unusual for a girl to shoot but she was drawn to it because shooting is one of those sports in which men and women compete on a level playing field. In fact, there was no separate women’s event in shooting until the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She trained at home by practicing “dry firing” (repeating position and follow-through without actually firing a shot), and went to the range every week, and competed in local competitions every Friday and regional or national events at weekends.
.She medalled in a 1984 international rifle competition in Cuba and at a world championship match in Mexico and competed in the inaugural Olympic air rifle event for women, finishing 18th. Although she failed to win a medal she was thrilled to have met diver Greg Louganis, gymnast Mary Lou Retton, singer Joan Jett and President Reagan. In 1986, she married her college sweetheart, Scott Lewandowski, who was also a shooter.
They continued to shoot competitively for a few years, but their interests drifted toward cars and Corvettes especially and are interested in all facets of automotive excellence from racing to restoration. As members of the National Corvette Museum, they strive to show their support, promoting the museum whenever they can. Their ambition is to find time in their busy work schedules to have the chance to actually race a Corvette on a high-performance race track
Francine Anne Fox – born 16th March 1949 in Washington DC
Competing from the mid-1960s, Francine was affiliated to the Washington Canoe Club and had a relatively short but highly successful career in her sport – kayaking. Her first national championship came in 1962 when she stroked to victory in the K-1 event, aged only 13 years, the youngest to do so and after only about six months in the sport.
However most of her successes came in the pairs and fours events, partnered by Gloria Perrier. With Perrier she won the US title in the K-2 from 1963 until 1965 and paddled with her in a K-4 boat to win the 1965 title in the same discipline. At the 1964 Olympics, Francine and Gloria Perrier paddled to a silver medal, trailing a German pair by two seconds. The pairing was interesting for the disparity in ages, as, in 1964, Fox was a 15-year-old school student, while Perrier was 20 years older. Francine was also, at the time, the youngest athlete to win a canoe/kayak Olympic medal.
Known as an intense competitor, Francine, who went on to graduate in German from the American University and later become a teacher of German in Fairfax Virginia, trained by running and swimming in the winter months, concentrating her kayak training by both interval and distance paddling. She competed in the US Olympic trials for the ’68 Games but failed to make the final team. She carried on competing until the mid-70s when she then seems to fade from the records.
Caitlin Kelly Bilodeaux – born 17th March 1965 in Boston Massachusetts
Fencer Caitlin (also known as Katy) was a star high school athlete at Concord-Carlisle High School in Massachusetts, where she earned All-American honours in lacrosse and she was also an All-State player in soccer and twice won the US junior Fencing Championship while still in high-school After high-school she moved on to Division One fencing powerhouse Penn State, but transferred to Columbia to train under her favourite coach, Hungarian Aladar Koglar, after he defected to the United States. Caitlin was a four time All-American at Columbia, and is in the Guinness Book of Records as one of only two women ever to win the NCAA fencing championship twice. She was also voted a Columbia Athlete of the Decade. Amazingly, Katy also played varsity soccer at Columbia for two years until a broken nose and sprained ankle Convinced her (and Coach Koglar) to concentrate on fencing.
Caitlin’s love for competition and drive for success were evident at an early age. As one of the youngest of a large, athletic family, it was easy for her to develop the needed competitive edge. With three older brothers, Tom, Chris, and Sean (All-American at Southern Connecticut) involved in wrestling, she had no choice but to learn how to fight. However, it was her two older sisters, Becky (three-time All-American at Cornell) and Mary (All-American at Temple) who sparked her interest in fencing. And in an incredible coincidence, it was Caitlin’s future stepfather, and fellow 1994 Hall of Fame inductee John O’Connell, who convinced Eliot Lillian to establish the CCHS fencing program in the late 70’s. Little did he know that CCHS’s most successful fencer would later become a member of his own family!
She competed at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, as Caitlin Bilodeaux in 1988 and as Caitlin Banos in 1992, after marrying Canadian Olympic fencer Jean-Marie Banos. She participated at the 1987 and 1991 Pan American Games, winning four medals, with gold in individual foil in 1987, and team foil in 1987 and 1991. She also won bronze in individual foil in 1991.
Caitlin was named Columbia’s Athlete of the Decade for Fencing in 1991, and their Athlete of the 20th Century for Fencing in 1999. She was the first recipient of Columbia’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Athletics in 1987, and in 1988 received the college’s John Jay Award for Distinguished Achievement. Ranked as number one foil fencer in the US between 1985 and 1992, she was inducted into the US Fencing Hall of Fame in 2002 and in 2006 was named to the inaugural class of the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame. Caitlin later settled in Quebec, Canada with her husband, and two children, where she later became human resources manager for IKEA in Canada
Marian Emma Twining – born 18th March 1924 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It was in 1945 that Marian Twining won her first National Championships in gymnastics on the vault and uneven bars. But in 1941, before she made a name for herself in gymnastics, she won her first national championship – in the basketball throw event at the women’s indoor track & field championships, a feat she repeated in 1945, 1946 and 1951. In 1947 she married and continued to compete as a gymnast under the name Barone or sometimes Twining-Barone.
Like all the US Olympic 1948 team members, she worked during the day and trained at night. At the Games she became one of the first American females to win an Olympic gymnastics medal when she and team-mates Ladislava Bakanic, Consetta Carruccio-Lenz, Dorothy Dalton, Meta Elste-Neumann, Helen Schifano, Clara Schroth-Lomady and Anita Simonis, were beaten by the Czechs and Hungarians, winning the bronze medal in London. After her 1948 success, she won two more US titles, again on the vault and uneven bars, and also competed at the 1952 Olympics.
Overall, Marian won more than ten national titles and was also selected as an Honorary 1944 Olympian along with seven others including Helen Schifano-Sjursen, Clara Schroth-Lomady, and Erna Wachtel by the National Collegiate Gymnastics Alumni Association (NCGAA) Magazine in consultation with former Honourees and Olympians.
After Marian’s retirement from the sport, she coached at Marshall University and Temple University, eventually graduating with a degree in Physical Education from Temple University, where she attended classes in the evenings. A multi-faceted athlete, Marian mastered the various disciplines needed in gymnastics with fortitude and overwhelming ability, she passed away aged 72 on 14th May