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Griffins In The Olympics

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The Griffins have a long and storied history with the Olympic Games. Eight former Griffins participated as players or coaches in the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, after a record 11 alumni played in the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

A Griffins alum has medaled in each of the last four Olympics. In the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, Niklas Kronwall became the first Griffins alumnus to earn an Olympic medal, winning gold thanks to Sweden’s victory over Finland in the championship game. Valtteri Filppula became the second to medal in 2010 in Vancouver, earning a bronze with Finland. Kronwall then became the only former Griffin to win two Olympic medals by taking silver in Sochi alongside fellow Grand Rapids alumni Jonathan Ericsson, Jonas Gustavsson and Gustav Nyquist, completing the Olympic medal spectrum for former Griffins. The 2018 Games in PyeongChang featured two medal winners, as Alexey Marchenko won gold with the Olympic Athletes from Russia* while Chris Kelly scored the game-winning goal for Canada in the bronze medal game.

PyeongChang also saw longtime Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek serve as head coach of the host country’s team in its Olympic debut, while former player Chris Chelios was an assistant coach for the United States squad.

Overall, five players have skated in the Olympics while on Grand Rapids’ active roster, while 25 alumni have donned their nations' colors after concluding their Griffins careers.

Participated While Playing for the Griffins

PlayerCountryYear/SiteFinish
Tomas JurcoSlovakia2014/Sochi11th
Sergei KolosovBelarus2010/Vancouver9th
Niklas KronwallSweden2006/TurinGold
Ole-Kristian TollefsenNorway2010/Vancouver10th
Julien VauclairSwitzerland2002/Salt Lake City11th

Participated After Playing for the Griffins

PlayerCountryYear/SiteFinish
Dick AxelssonSweden2018/PyeongChang5th
Chad BillinsUSA2018/PyeongChang7th
Aigars CiprussLatvia2006/Turin12th
Aigars CiprussLatvia2002/Salt Lake City9th
Pavol DemitraSlovakia2010/Vancouver4th
Pavol DemitraSlovakia2006/Turin5th
Pavol DemitraSlovakia2002/Salt Lake City13th
Jonathan EricssonSweden2014/SochiSilver
Valtteri FilppulaFinland2022/BeijingTBD
Valtteri FilppulaFinland2010/VancouverBronze
Erich GoldmannGermany2002/Salt Lake City8th
Jonas GustavssonSweden2014/SochiSilver
Jimmy HowardUSA2014/Sochi4th
Jani HurmeFinland2002/Salt Lake City6th
Tomas JurcoSlovakia2022/BeijingTBD
Chris KellyCanada2018/PyeongChangBronze
Tomas KopeckySlovakia2014/Sochi11th
Tomas KopeckySlovakia2010/Vancouver4th
Niklas KronwallSweden2014/SochiSilver
Niklas KronwallSweden2010/Vancouver5th
Stefan LivSweden2010/Vancouver5th
Alexey MarchenkoOAR*2018/PyeongChangGold
Andy MieleUSA2022/BeijingTBD
Jan MursakSlovenia2018/PyeongChang9th
Jan MursakSlovenia2014/Sochi7th
Pat NagleUSA2022/BeijingTBD
Gustav NyquistSweden2014/SochiSilver
Rastislav PavlikovskySlovakia2002/Salt Lake City13th
Robert PetrovickySlovakia2002/Salt Lake City13th
Brock RadunskeKorea2018/PyeongChang12th
Patrik RybarSlovakia2022/BeijingTBD
Harri SateriFinland2022/BeijingTBD
Konstantin ShafranovKazakhstan2006/Turin9th
Andrei SryubkoUkraine2002/Salf Lake City10th
Libor SulakCzech Republic2022/BeijingTBD
Tomas TatarSlovakia2014/Sochi11th
Ole-Kristian TollefsenNorway2014/Sochi12th
Julien VauclairSwitzerland2014/Sochi9th
Julien VauclairSwitzerland2006/Turin6th


* Olympic Athletes from Russia - After the International Olympic Committee suspended the Russian Olympic Committee due to doping allegations, clean Russian athletes were invited to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia under a neutral flag at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Participated Before Playing for the Griffins

PlayerCountryYear/SiteFinish
Slava ButsayevUnified Team1992/AlbertvilleGold
Chris CheliosUSA2006/Turin8th
Chris CheliosUSA2002/Salt Lake CitySilver
Chris CheliosUSA1998/Nagano5th
Chris CheliosUSA1984/Sarajevo7th
Erich GoldmannGermany1998/Nagano9th
Jonas GustavssonSweden2010/Vancouver5th
Todd HlushkoCanada1994/LillehammerSilver
Curtis JosephCanada2002/Salt Lake CityGold
Mike KnubleUSA2006/Turin8th
Stefan LivSweden2006/TurinGold
Kevin MillerUSA1988/Calgary7th
Michael NylanderSweden2002/Salt Lake City5th
Michael NylanderSweden1998/Nagano6th
Robert PetrovickySlovakia1998/Nagano10th
Robert PetrovickySlovakia1994/Lillehammer6th
Kevin PoulinCanada2018/PyeongChangBronze
Travis RichardsUSA1994/Lillehammer8th
David RobertsUSA1994/Lillehammer8th
Mikael SamuelssonSweden2006/TurinGold
Konstantin ShafranovKazakhstan1998/Nagano8th


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