Olympians among us

(L-R) Dr. Jacky Baltes at the opening ceremonies for the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary; Venla Hovi brings her Bison pride, and gloves, to the ice in Pyeongchang. // Photo by @VenlaHovi on Twitter. (L-R) DR. JACKY BALTES AT THE OPENING CEREMONIES FOR THE 1988 OLYMPIC GAMES IN CALGARY; VENLA HOVI BRINGS HER BISON PRIDE, AND GLOVES, TO THE ICE IN PYEONGCHANG.

As you make your way through campus to class or wait in line for a cup of coffee, you may have passed or stood beside two athletes of the highest calibre without even knowing.

Venla Hovi [CTESL/17] and Professor Jacky Baltes are two Olympic athletes who call the U of M home.

Hovi, a fourth-year Bison and three-time Olympian, is currently in Pyeongchang competing for her native Finland in women’s hockey. The Bison forward scored the first and only goal for the Finns during Sunday’s game against team USA.

Before his days in the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Baltes was a speed skater in his home-country of Germany. A three-time German national champion, he competed for West Germany during the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo and Calgary in 1988.

UM Today spoke to both Olympians about their experience and how the Games have influenced their University life.

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