Which Summer Olympian are you most closely connected to?

+12 votes

This week we're featuring Summer Olympians in the Connection Finder starting with Johnny Weissmuller, medalist in swimming and water polo events (and Tarzan movie star).

Featured alongside him are other Summer Olympians:

Who are you most closely connected to? If you're one of the 23,095,000 of us who are connected to each other on our big tree you can check with the Connection Finder.

You can check for shared ancestors with the Relationship Finder. Are you a cousin to any of them? Your Relationship Finder Quick Links page (see your profile pull-down menu under "Relationships") has quick links for several notable groups.

New special feature: Check out how you're connected to other Olympians by searching one of the Olympians categories such as Gold Medalists using the green MyConnections button in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Let us know how you're related below! If you want to share your connection on social media with cousins and friends, click the "get shareable image" below the results, e.g. Johnny Weissmuller and Michael Phelps. Then just upload it along with the URL of your direct connection. (Please refrain from sharing your connection on the featured profiles themselves, though. It clutters conversations on research and collaboration. Thanks!)

P.S. Help us choose and improve profiles for next week's feature: Sculptors!

WikiTree profile: Johnny Weissmuller
in The Tree House by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (534k points)
edited by Chris Whitten
18th cousins, once removed to Shannon Miller.  19th cousins, 4X's removed to Michael Phelps

10 Answers

+5 votes

I have been waiting all week for this!! laugh

 I am 15 degrees from Yvette Williams - probably because she was a Kiwi (NZL) like me and also because I created and linked her profile. However I am not related to her - yet. She defnitely needs more ancestors to make that kind of connection!!

Everyone else on this list is 21 degrees or higher from me.

Funnily enough, I am related to Shannon Miller (USA Gymnast). We are 15th cousins - but 24 degrees apart!!

by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
I'm 21 degrees from Yvette, through my maternal line (a surprise) -- and 24 from Edwin Flack, who didn't make the cut for this week.  A shame, because he was the first Australian Olympian, even if we weren't yet officially Australia -- and he took 2 golds home.  BUT, that said,  I would not have wanted to be the one deciding who to not include, because it would mean other, equally deserving folk, would have been left off.  (I'd probably have dropped Phelps, just because.)
Maybe in 3 years when the next Olympics rolls around, they can do this again with a different list of deserving medal winners.

I mean, Jack Lovelock from New Zealand, and Marylou Retton (USA Gymnast) are just as deserving. And Dawn Fraser (Aussie swimmer) as well. I think she won Olympic medals, right?
Yeah.  I used to think Dawn was really terrific!

As I said, I would not want to have to choose just ten supporters.  It's got to be difficult enough deciding on the focus profile.
At the time Shannon Falconetti was competing in the Olympics (1992 & 1996) she used her maiden name of Miller, and that is the only name I know her by.

But I am referring to Shannon Falconetti as my 15th cousin and 24 degrees from me.
+7 votes
I am most closely connected to Yvette Williams, Michael Phelps and Betty Cuthbert at 26 degrees.
by Samantha Thomson G2G6 Pilot (156k points)
+3 votes

I am most closely connected to Shannon (Miller) Falconetti.

by Tommy Buch G2G6 Pilot (919k points)
edited by Tommy Buch
+6 votes
21 degrees from Shannon Falconetti (17th cousins, 1x removed)
22 degrees from Michael Phelps (13th cousins, 1x removed)
23 degrees from Johnny Weissmuller
23 degrees from Eric Liddell
23 degrees from Wilma Rudolph
26 degrees from Betty Cuthbert
29 degrees from Alfred Tysoe
31 degrees from Yvette Corlett
33 degrees from Fanny Blankers
34 degrees from Gillian Rolton
43 degrees from Mina Wylie
by Mike Wells G2G6 Mach 7 (73.3k points)
edited by Mike Wells
+6 votes
I've long wondered whether there was a family relationship with Michael Phelps since my 2nd great-grandmother is Melissa Phelps. We are 10th cousins 1 time removed with our common ancestor, immigrant Ann (Dover) Phelps (1601, Somerset, England - 1689 Harford, Connecticut).

Looking forward to the Olympics this year despite all the complications the competitors have had to face.
by Marilyn Kenyon G2G6 Mach 1 (18.1k points)
+6 votes

None of these folks are under 20 degrees for me, but we do have an olympian in my family! Eugene Oberst was my great-great uncle. He won a bronze medal in javelin at the 1924 Paris games, making him the first American to medal in javelin. The olympics were not as well-known then as they are now, and the lore has it that when he got back to Kentucky, someone saw him get off the train and asked where he'd been! 

The legend is that one day he walked by track & field practice at Notre Dame, where he played football, and was asked to throw a stray javelin back. The coach, none other than Knute Rockne, promptly recruited him for the track team. (Eugene gave his son the middle name Knute.)

He went on to coach football at multiple high schools and colleges, passing in 1991. A fascinating guy! 

by Taylor Satterthwaite G2G2 (2.9k points)
+4 votes

1) Michael Phelps: 19 degrees; 9th cousins through MRCA Hanna (Newell) Olmstead North

2) Shannon Falconetti: 22 degrees; 20th cousins 1x removed through MRCA Lucy (Hellesby) Thornton

3) Johnny Weissmuller and Wilma Rudolph: 23 degrees

4) Betty Cuthbert and Eric Liddell: 27 degrees

5) Yvette Corlett: 28 degrees

6) Alfred Tysoe: 29 degrees

7) Fanny Blankers: 32 degrees

8) Gillian Rolton: 33 degrees

9) Mina Wylie: 40 degrees

Hope all goes well in Tokyo. Gambate! (Go for the gold)!

by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (655k points)
+6 votes
Having recently had some of my posted questions 'adjusted' I'm now pleased to have the opportunity to post an 'answer'.

As to specifics, regarding the currently posted question, please be advised as follows:

My father was an Olympian,

as was a cousin of his,

as was the cousin's son-in-law,

as was the son-in-law's son.

My thanks in advance for any response.
by Phil Grace G2G6 Mach 1 (14.4k points)
+1 vote
I'm 10th Cousin direct to Michael Phelps via his 6th Great Grandfather, Abel Phelps. His mother was Rebecca North, niece to Sarah North Woodruff 7th Great Grandmother married to Nathaniel Woodruff.  

Hello!! To all my cousins on here related to Michael Phelps!
by Jennifer Bristol G2G1 (2.0k points)
0 votes

I am 12 degrees from Frederick Kelly on the connection finder. (The new MyConnections feature is very handy!) He was born in Australia, but competed for Great Britain at the 1908 London Olympics, winning gold in the men's eight rowing event. He was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme during WW1.

by I. Speed G2G6 Mach 5 (58.9k points)

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