Award-winning author Patrick “Packy” Mader has released a book titled Minnesota Gold, and if you’re at all interested in Minnesota history, the Olympic games or sports in general, this book is a must read.
It chronicles the compelling and inspiring stories of 57 Minnesota athletes, including gold medalists Tom Malchow, Lindsay Whalen, John Mayasich, Briana Scurry and Buzz Schneider.
Mader was inspired to write the book when his longstanding fascination with sports and geography came together when he taught a Minnesota history course at Morristown Elementary.
When he first began to seek out local athletes to interview, he found several of the Olympians were approachable and open about their experiences. Some of his goals for the book are to bring to light these athletes’ stories of trial and triumph, cultivate a sense of Minnesota pride in sports and preserve stories not told before.
Until the later part of the 1900s the Olympics were not prominently televised, and people still relied on telegrams and letters to relay information. According to Mader, several of the older athlete’s stories never got shared with the public because of a lack of technology.
Minnesota Gold also illustrates how the Olympics have changed over the course of time. He says, “I saw a photo of the 1952 USA team, and there were only 13 women pictured, a couple of whom may have been coaches or managers.” In the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics, female athletes are projected to approach 50 percent. Milestones continue for the games and our world.