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The 25 Most Talented Olympic Families

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIMay 8, 2012

The 25 Most Talented Olympic Families

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    While many families populate their mantels with brass statuettes from Little League, plaques from all-county track meets and blue ribbons from 4H, only the sporting haut monde can bless the family trophy case with a radiant Olympic medal.

    But of these elite, we can cull a yet more exclusive group: the multiple-medal family. And a rare, rare breed they are.

    Click on to see 25 families blessed with the recessive gene of Olympic greatness.

25. The Fernández Ochoas

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    Who are they? Francisco, Blanca, Luís, Juan Manuel and Dolore

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? Spain

    Sport: Alpine Skiing

    Family Medal Count: 1 gold, 1 bronze

    Olympic Years: 1968 Grenoble, 1972 Sapporo, 1976 Innsbruck, 1980 Lake Placid, 1984 Sarajevo, 1988 Calgary, 1992 Albertville 

    Of Note: Francisco is the only Spaniard to have won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics.

24. The Dods

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    Who are they? Lottie and William

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? England

    Sport: Archery

    Family Medal Count: 1 gold, 1 silver

    Olympic Years: 1908 London

    Of Note: Lottie was first and foremost a tennis player, with an astounding five Wimbledon titles to her name (the first being won at age 15). Guess she was bored of dominating, so she took up archery.

    Lottie and William were the first brother-sister pairing to both win Olympic medals. 

23. The Mahres

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    Who are they? Phillip and Steve

    Related how? Twin brothers

    From where? USA

    Sport: Alpine Ski Racing

    Family Medal Count: 1 gold, 2 silver

    Olympic Years: 1980 Lake Placed, 1984 Sarajevo

    Of Note: In 2002, Phillip was named the Greatest U.S. Skier Of All Time (keep in mind this was before Bode Miller and Lindsay Vonn hit the scene).

22. The Buchans

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    Who are they? William Earl and William Carl

    Related how? Father (WE) and son

    From where? USA

    Sport: Sailing

    Family Medal Count: 2 gold 

    Olympic Years: 1984 Los Angeles

    Of Note: William Earl ("Bill") is also a ship builder. He built the "Long Beach," which was the boat that brought him Olympic gold.

21. The Schultzes

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    Who are they? Dave and Mark

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? USA

    Sport: Wrestling

    Family Medal Count: 2 gold

    Olympic Years: 1984 Los Angeles

    Of Note: In 1996, Dave, age 36, was murdered by the team sponsor John E. du Pont, heir to the du Pont chemical fortune. No motive was discovered for the murder.

    A movie of the brothers' lives and the bizarre murder is in the works. Mark Ruffalo is on board to play Dave, Tatum Channing will play Mark. Steve Carrell will play the deranged John E. du Pont.

20. The Sedins

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    Who are they? Daniel and Henrik

    Related how? Twin brothers

    From where? Sweden

    Sport: Ice Hockey

    Family Medal Count: 2 gold

    Olympic Years: 2006 Turin

    Of Note: The brothers have played their entire careers together. They currently play for the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL.

19. The Millers

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    Who are they? Reggie and Cheryl

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? USA

    Sport: Basketball

    Family Medal Count: 2 gold

    Olympic Years: 1984 Los Angeles, 1996 Atlanta

    Of Note: Reggie claims that his childhood one-on-one games against Cheryl were key in developing his trademark rainbow jump shot.

18. The Searles

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    Who are they? Jonny and Greg

    Related how? Brothers

    From where? England

    Sport: Rowing

    Family Medal Count: 2 gold, 2 bronze

    Olympic Years: 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta

    Of Note: Greg has come out of retirement and qualified for the London 2012 Games. He will compete on August 2nd, which is the exact date he won his Olympic gold in 1992.

17. The Lopezes

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    Who are they? Mark, Diana, Steven

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? USA

    Sport: Taekwondo

    Family Medal Count: 2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze

    Olympic Years: 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing

    Of Note: Diana and Steven qualified for 2012 Olympics in London and may well add to the family medal count.

16. The Jenkins

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    Who are they? Charles and Chip

    Related how? Father (Charles) and son

    From where? USA

    Sport: Men's Athletics

    Family Medal Count: 3 gold

    Olympic Years: 1956 Melbourne, 1992 Barcelona

    Of Note: In other sports endeavors, it is not uncommon to have a child follow in a parent's footsteps. But in track and field, it is very rare.

    Chip and Charles were the first parent-child Olympic track and field stars since decathlete Ross Hodge ('64 Games) and his high-jumper mother Alice Arden ('36 Games).

15. The Christians

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    Who are they? Bill, Roger, Gordon and Dave

    Related how? Bill, Roger and Gordon are brothers, Dave is Bill's son.

    From where? USA

    Sport: Ice Hockey

    Family Medal Count: 3 gold, 1 silver

    Olympic Years: 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo, 1960 Squaw Valley, 1980 Lake Placid

    Of Note: Dave was part of the 1980 Miracle team that achieved one of the most impossible victories in sports.

14. The Linsenhoffs

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    Who are they? Liselott, Ann-Kathrin

    Related how? Mother (Liselott) and daughter

    From where? Germany

    Sport: Equestrian

    Family Medal Count: 3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze

    Olympic Years: 1956 Stockholm, 1968 Mexico City, 1972 Munich, 1988 Seoul

    Of Note: Matthias Rath (Ann-Kathrin's son) rides Totilas, which is known to be the best dressage horse in the world. He is an Olympic hopeful.

13. The Howards

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    Who are they? Sherri and Denean

    Related how? Sisters

    From where? USA

    Sport: Athletics

    Family Medal Count: 2 gold, 3 silver

    Olympic Years: 1992 Barcelona, 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul

    Of Note: They are two of six sisters.

    In high school, Sherri, Denean and sister Tina set four national records in four weeks as a mile-relay team.

    Sherri went on to an acting career. She portrayed Queen Isis in The Scorpion King.

12. The Sheas

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    Who are they? Jack, Jim, Jimmy

    Related how? Jack is Jim's father and Jimmy's grandfather.

    From where? USA

    Sport: Speed Skating (Jack), Nordic Combined and Cross-Country (Jim), Skeleton (Jimmy)

    Family Medal Count: 3 Gold

    Olympic Years: 1932 Lake Placid, 1964 Innsbruck, 2002 Salt Lake City

    Of Note: Jack was a strong contender for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, but a rabbi from his hometown of Lake Placid asked Jack not to compete in Hitler's Germany. Jack agreed.

11. Venus and Serena Williams

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    Who are they? Venus and Serena

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? USA

    Sport: Tennis

    Family Medal Count: 3 gold

    Olympic Years: 2000 Sydney, 2004 Greece, 2008 Beijing

    Of Note: Serena, who missed out on the 2004 games as a result of an injury, is determined to fill her medal gap in London 2012: women's singles.

10. The Evers-Swindells

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    Who are they? Georgina Earl and Caroline Meyer (both formerly Evers-Swindells)

    Related how? Twins

    From where? New Zealand

    Sport: Rowing

    Family Medal Count: 4 gold

    Olympic Years: 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing

    Of Note: Caroline married Carl Meyer, himself an Olympian and Rowing world champion gold medalist; Georgina married Sam Earl, also a former rower.

9. The Azarians

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    Who are they? Albert, Eduard

    Related how? Father (Albert) and son

    From where? Armenia (representing USSR)

    Sport: Gymnastics

    Family Medal Count: 4 gold, 1 silver

    Olympic Years: 1956 Melbourne, 1960 Rome, 1980 Moscow

    Of Note: Albert originated the famous Azarian Cross exercise on the rings.

8. The Kellers

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    Who are they? Erwin, Carsten, Andreas, Florian, Natasha, Anke

    Related how? Erwin is Carsten's father and Andreas, Floria and Natasha's grandfather; Anke is Andreas' wife.

    From where? Germany

    Sport: Field Hockey

    Family Medal Count: 4 gold, 4 silver

    Olympic Years: 1936 Berlin, 1960 Rome, 1968 Mexico City, 1972 Munich, 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing

    Of Note: With Andreas' gold in the 1992 Games, the Keller family became tri-generational medal winners.

7. The Szivoses

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    Who are they? István Szívós, István Szívós, Jr., Marton Szívós

    Related how? István is István Jr.'s father and Marton's grandfather.

    From where? Hungary

    Sport: Water Polo

    Family Medal Count: 4 gold, 2 silver,  2 bronze

    Olympic Years: 1948 London, 1952 Helsinki, 1956 Melbourne, 1968 Mexico City, 1972 Munich, 1976 Montreal, 1980 Moscow, 2008 Beijing

    Of Note: Marton is part of Hungary's 2012 squad and may add to the family medal count.

6. The Swahns

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    Who are they? Oscar and Alfred (Oscar pictured at center in above photo)

    Related how? Father (Oscar) and son.

    From where? Sweden

    Sport: Shooting

    Family Medal Count: 6 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze

    Olympic Years: 1908 London, 1912 Stockholm, 1920 Antwerp, 1924 Paris

    Of Note: Oscar won his first Olympic gold medal AT AGE 60. He competed in two further Olympic Games after that.

5. The Hochschorners

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    Who are they? Pavol and Peter

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? Slovakia

    Sport: Canoe Slalom

    Family Medal Count: 6 gold

    Olympic Years: 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing

    Of Note: The brothers are "the most dominant Olympians of the past 11 years."

    The brothers also have six gold medals each from the World Championships and eight gold medals each from the European Championships.

4. The Heidens

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    Who are they? Eric and Beth

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? USA

    Sport: Speed Skating

    Family Medal Count: 5 gold, 1 bronze

    Olympic Years: 1980 Lake Placid

    Of Note: Eric swept the speed skating events in the 1980 Games. He won an astounding five individual gold medals, set one world record and four Olympic records... all in just one Olympiad.

    After speed skating, Eric transitioned to cycling and won the 1985 U.S. Professional Cycling Championships.

    Today he works as an orthopedic surgeon at UC Davis' Sports Medicine Clinic. 

3. The Gereviches

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    Who are they? Aladár Gerevich and Pal Gerevich, Albert Bogen and Erna Bogen.

    Related how? Aladár is Pal's father, Albert is Erna's father, Aladár and Erna are husband and wife.

    From where? Hungary

    Sport: Fencing

    Family Medal Count: 7 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze

    Olympic Years: 1912 Stockholm, 1932 Los Angeles, 1936 Berlin, 1948 London, 1952 Helsinki, 1956 Melbourne, 1960 Rome, 1972 Munich, 1980 Moscow

    Of Note: Aladár Gerevich, who is responsible for all the gold in this family, is considered the greatest Olympic swordsman of all time. He is the only athlete in history to win the same Olympic event six times, and the only one to win gold medals at six different Olympic Games.

2. The Joyners

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    Who are they? Jackie, Al and Florence

    Related how? Jackie and Al are siblings, the late Florence was Al's wife

    From where? USA

    Sport: Athletics

    Family Medal Count: 7 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze

    Olympic Years: 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta

    Of Note: Sports Illustrated named Jackie the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century

    Al became the first American in 80 years to win the gold for the triple-jump.

1. The Nadis

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    And sitting on the golden throne of Olympic royal families are Aldo and Nedo Nadi, the greatest swordsmen brothers that ever were.

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? Italy

    Sport: Fencing

    Family Medal Count: 9 gold, 1 silver

    Olympic Years: 1912 Stockholm, 1920 Antwerp

    Of Note: The only silver in the family came in individual saber competition during the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp. Aldo received the silver when he lost to Nedo.

Honorable Mention: The Hodges

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    Who are they? Alice Arden and Russ Hodge

    Related how? Mother (Alice) and son

    From where? USA

    Sport: Athletics

    Family Medal Count: None

    Olympic Years: Berlin 1936, Tokyo 1964

    Of Note: The only mother-son Olympians in American history.

    Russ, who was a decathlete, credits working on the family dairy farm in his youth in helping him to become big, strong and fast.

Honorable Mention: The Smarts

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    Who are they? Keeth and Erin

    Related how? Siblings

    From where? USA

    Sport: Fencing

    Family Medal Count: 2 silver

    Olympic Years: 2008 Beijing

    Of Note: Keeth and Erin took up fencing reluctantly. Their parents urged them to take up the sport at a young age to beef up their college résumés. They eventually grew to love—and excel at—the sport.

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