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10 Best Wisconsin Athletes

Wisconsin, otherwise known as the Badger state, is famous for its cheese, dairy, and beer. Sports is also a big deal in the state, as Wisconsinites have a flaming love for football and athleticism.

10 Best Athletes To Ever Come From Wisconsin

globe logo for wisconsin articleThe state ranks well in athletic programs in the U.S. It has also produced some of the best athletes in the country.  Indeed, these athletes have featured in some of the most renowned competitions for which amazing betting opportunities are provided on

We have curated a list of the ten best athletes to ever come from Wisconsin. This list comprises athletes from track and field sports, as well as men and women athletes who are from Wisconsin.

1. Al Simmons

Al Simmons was an exceptional pro baseball player who played from 1924-1944, with a distinguished 20-year career. Simmons started his professional play as a slugging left-fielder for the Philadephia Athletics. The team was quite successful between 1929-1931. 

Simmons was sold to the Chicago White Sox in 1932 and continued his outstanding play with the team. Throughout his 20-year career, Simmons played with several teams, including the Boston Red Sox, the Washington Senators, and the Detroit Tigers. 

He was a career hitter, averaging a .344 batting level, and has gone down as one of the best hitters in baseball league history. He won several awards, including 3x All-Star, AL RBI Leader, and 2x World Series Champion. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953, and it is safe to say Simmons has earned his place on this list. 

2. J.J Watt

Justin James Watt is a professional football player in the NFL who plays the defensive end. JJ Watt began playing with the Houston Texans in 2011 and played with the team for ten years up to 2021. 

After leaving the Texans, J.J. moved to the Arizona Cardinals, where he currently plays. J.J. is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL and is renowned for his agility which is not readily seen in defensives. 

During his 10+ years of play, J.J. has created some records, such as winning 3x NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 5x Pro Bowl, and Walter Payton Man of the Year. 

3. Eric Heiden

Heiden is another athlete from Wisconsin who had a distinguished career. He was a long-track speed skater who represented the U.S. internationally and won 5 Olympic gold medals.

Heiden did not only compete as a speed skater; he was also a road and track cyclist. He won the first U.S. Professional Cycling Championship in 1985. 

Aside from the Olympics, he was also a 3x World Championship Winner and a 4x World Sprint Championship Winner. He also made it a habit of breaking world records. He was inducted into the Olympics Hall of Fame for the U.S. and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

4. Molly Seidel

Seidel is a distinguished U.S. long-distance runner who started her professional career in high school. She won several awards, including the Gatorade National Female Cross Country Runner of the Year. 

She participated in NCAA 1 Division Athletics competitions at Notre Dame, where she had her college. From 2015, she won several titles, including NCAA 1 National Champion and National Indoor Track and Field Champion.

She has also made more achievements after college, including participating in the Olympics. In addition, Seidel is one of the best marathon runners and has achieved a lot due to her discipline and self-care.

5. Gwen Jorgensen

Gwen Jorgensen is a 2x ITU World Triathlon Champion. She is a distance runner who has performed internationally for the U.S., especially in the Olympics. 

Although Jorgensen was a professional athlete right from college, she didn’t play internationally until after graduation and got a job as an accountant.

She featured for the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics and also in 2016. In 2016, she became the first athlete from the USA to win a gold medal in the competition.

She also performed in other international competitions, including the World University Triathlon Championships, World Cup, and Premium Pan African Cup, to mention a few. Jorgensen has retired from being a triathlete and is focusing on track sports. 

6. Dan Jansen

Jansen is renowned for breaking a 10-year record at the Winter Olympics of 1994. He started speed skating in high school and was already setting records. He came in fourth at the 1984 Winter Olympics for the 500 meters category.

Although he was slated for wins in the 1988 Winter Olympics, he could not win any medals due to a personal tragedy. However, he made up for it at the 1994 Winter Olympics, and in the same year, he won his second World Sprint Championship Title.

He won the James Sullivan Award in 1994 and was selected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame the following year.

7. Jim Otto

Jim Otto was a professional football player who played as a starting center. He played for 15 seasons in the AFL and NFL and appeared in 308 games. 

Interestingly, Jim started his play at the Oakland Raiders and played 15 seasons with the team. Otto is known to have played his games with a high skill level, distinguishing him from other AFL players. He was instrumental in helping the Raiders rise to prominence from being underdogs.

Some of his awards include 2x All-NFL, 9x First Team All-NFL, and AFL All-Time Team. In addition, he is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which we can say, he richly deserves. 

8. Arike Ogunbowale

Arike Ogunbowale is a professional basketball player of Nigerian-American origin who was born in Milwaukee. Arike played high school basketball and was ranked the ninth-best player in the world as of 2015.

At college, she helped the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame NCAA women’s basketball tournament in 2018. She was picked for NBA Draft by the Dallas Wings in 2019 and has accrued many awards throughout her career. 

This includes 2x WNBA All-Star, NCAA Champion, and ACC Athlete of the Year, to mention a few. 

9. Megan Gustafson

Gustafson is another pro female basketball player from Wisconsin who is a great athlete. She currently plays for the Phoenix Mercurys, although the Dallas Wings initially selected her.

Megan’s college career at Iowa started with a bang, and in 2019, she was the best female basketball player in the U.S. This earned her the Honda Sports Award. She is also a 2x Big Ten Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. 

Other career awards she has amassed include the A.P. Player of the Year and Naismith Player of the year, amongst others.

10. Tyler Herro

Currently playing with the Miami Heat, Tyler Herro has earned a spot in the best athletes from Wisconsin list. 

In his college basketball days, Herro was named the All-Freshman First Team and the Southeastern Conference Rookie of the Year. 

Herro joined the NBA in 2019 after only spending one year in college. The Miami Heat selected him in the 13th overall pick. 

Overall, he has been a great addition to the team. He is the fourth player ever to score 30+ points before 21.

He is also the youngest player ever to start an NBA final game at age 20. However, he has broken several records, and even though he is young, we look forward to seeing more of his excellent play.

There you have it! The ten best athletes to ever come from Wisconsin. Curating this list was definitely not an easy task because we have a long list of athletes to come from the Badger state. 

Wisconsin is one state with promising past and current athletes who have done their homeland proud.

However, we hope you enjoyed our picks, and if you have any comments, please let us know

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