UNDATED - Central Minnesota has a rich history of sending athletes to the Olympic Games. A new book called "Minnesota Gold" highlights 57 former Olympians from around the state. Author Patrick Mader was on the News Noon show today (Friday).

He says St. Cloud's Phil Rogosheske went to the 1972 games...

The military is kind of what spurred it. He was a physical fitness trainer near Washington, D.C. and he saw this rather new sport at the time, kayaking, on the Potomac river. He mastered it rather quickly and three years later he was on the Olympic team.

Mader says Rogosheske still live in St. Cloud today, and was a longtime teacher at St. Cloud Tech.

He says Cold Spring's Ron Backes started dreaming of becoming an Olympian at a young age.

I believe he was offered a football scholarship to the University of North Dakota, but he turned it down because he had a dream of being an Olympian at the age of 12. He walked on at the University of Minnesota, after a year at Hamlin and developed into an All-American.

Backes made the 1992 Olympic team in the shot put. Currently he lives in Chisago Lakes, and he works at the University of Minnesota.

He says boxer Duane Bobick was a Bowles native who graduated from Royalton high school.

He eventually enlisted in the Navy. He became a champion of the Navy in the heavyweight division, then the Armed Services champion, then the National champion. And then, in 1972 he was also in the Olympics. He became a professional boxer and he had an amazing record of 48 wins and only four losses.

Bobick lives in St. Cloud today.

Central Minnesota, and the state as a whole, as many many more former Olympians, these just happened to be a few that Mader chose to feature in this book.

This year's summer games begin next Friday with the opening ceremonies.