This elite group of athletes has medaled in both Winter and Summer Olympics

A small boat passes by the illuminated Olympic rings during a ceremony held to celebrate the 6-months-to-go milestone for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A small boat passes by the illuminated Olympic rings during a ceremony held to celebrate the 6-months-to-go milestone for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Olympians themselves are absolutely impressive. Then, throw in the athletes who have taken home more than one medal -- that’s certainly something to write home about.

As impressive as they are, there is a small group of athletes who have not only competed in both Summer and Winter games, but they’ve medaled in both, as well.

Talk about impressive.

Here are five Olympians who have reached the podium at both the Summer and Winter games:


1. Eddie Eagan (USA) -- boxing and bobsleigh

You may not recognize Eddie Eagan’s name. He competed for the U.S., but it’s been a few years -- well, closer to a century.

According to the Olympics, Eagan was the first person to win gold medals at both the Summer and Winter games.

His first came in 1920, at the Antwerp Olympics, where he won gold in the men’s light-heavyweight boxing competition.

More than a decade later, in 1932, as the Lake Placid Olympics were approaching, Eagan got a phone call from his old friend, Jay O’Brien, of the United States Olympic Bobsleigh Committee. The team was in need of one more person for the four-man bobsleigh team.

Just like, that Eagan was added to the team, which went on to win gold.


2. Jacob Tullin Thams (NOR) -- ski jumping and sailing

According to the Olympics, Jacob Tullin Thams was “one of the best, if not the best, ski jumpers of the 1920s.”

It’s worth noting that Thams, however, was a poor cross-country skier, so he could never win any Nordic combined events in his country of Norway.

Still, he went to the first Winter Games at Chamonix in 1924, competing and winning gold in the individual large hill competition. He will forever be the first Olympic ski jumping gold medalist.

He went on to compete four years later in the St. Moritz 1928 Winter Games.

After the first round of jumping, some drama and accusations flew that the Norwegians were cowards, and that they were breaking the rules.

Taking it personal, Thams, instead of doing a “normal” jump on his second run -- which, according to the Olympics, would have helped him win another medal -- tried something more drastic: He jumped 73 meters. It would have been a record, but he failed to stick the landing and didn’t make the podium.

However, eight years later, Thams got a chance at the Berlin 1936 Summer Games, competing in Norway’s 8 meter sailing team. He won a silver medal.


3. Christa Luding-Rothenburger (GER) -- speed skating and cycling

Christa Luding-Rothenburger was the first person to medal at the Summer and Winter Olympics in the same year.

Up until 1992, both Games were held in the same year.

As a speed skater, Luding-Rothenburger competed in the Sarajevo 1984 Olympics, where she won gold. In the years before that big win, Luding-Rothenburger’s coach had convinced her to take up cycling during the off-season, according to the Olympics.

She excelled at the sport so much that she won big at track cycling in the 1986 Cycling Championships.

When the 1988 Olympics rolled around, Luding-Rothenburger competed in the Calgary Winter Olympics for the 1000m and 500m speed skating. She would go on to win silver and gold, respectively.

The same year, she competed in the track cycling spring at the Seoul Summer Games. She won silver, becoming the first Olympian to win medals in both games in the same year.


4. Clara Hughes (CAN) -- cycling and speed skating

Clara Hughes would tell anyone that, as a troubled teenager, she would never have envisioned herself an athlete.

That all changed in 1988 when she watched Gaétan Boucher, a fellow Canadian, compete in speed skating at the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics.

Hughes took up the sport, but also picked up competitive track and road cycling after being noticed by a cycling coach, according to the Olympics.

Hughes went on to win bronze in the summer road race and time trial competitions at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

She went on to compete in speed skating at the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics, where she won bronze in the 5000m.

Hughes continued earning medals at the Turin 2006 Games and Vancouver 2010 Games.


5. Lauryn Williams (USA) -- athletics and bobsleigh

Lauryn Williams is the athlete with the most recent winnings at both the Summer and Winter Games.

She earned silver in the 100m at Athens 2004 and gold in the 4x100 relay at London 2012, both Summer Games.

A couple years after her London win, Williams began using her sprinting skills as the brakeman for the U.S.’ two-woman bobsleigh team and competed in Sochi 2014.

She won silver, missing the gold by a tenth of a second.


If you were paying attention, you may have noticed that two out of these five accomplished Olympians represented Team USA. We think that’s quite impressive; what about you?


About the Author:

Dawn is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.