Top 12 Famous Olympic Players in Marshall Islands of All Time

Matt Reynolds

The Marshall Islands have produced some of the best Olympic athletes in the world. From their small population, they have managed to send athletes to the Olympic Games since 1976.

Although they have yet to win a medal at the Olympic Games, the Marshallese athletes have consistently shown great dedication and determination. These athletes have gone on to compete in a wide variety of sports, including track and field, swimming, judo and weightlifting.

In addition, their athletes have also competed in the Commonwealth and South Pacific Games. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best Olympic athletes from the Marshall Islands.

1. Haley Nemra

Haley Nicole Nemra is an impressive young athlete from Marysville, Washington who has made history. Born in America to Marshallese parents, Haley is an inspiring example of a young person succeeding despite the odds.

She is the first woman to represent her home country of the Marshall Islands at the Olympic Games. Haley started her track career in high school, where she excelled in various running events.

She earned a full-ride scholarship to college and went on to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

As the first woman to represent the Marshall Islands in the Olympics, Haley proudly carried her country’s flag during the opening ceremony. Though she did not win any medals at the Games, Haley’s accomplishment of competing at the Olympics is a remarkable achievement.

She has been a role model for young people in her community and throughout the Marshall Islands. Her success has inspired many to strive for greatness and to never give up on their dreams.

2. Richson Simeon

Richson Simeon is an extraordinary athlete who has had the opportunity to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics. He is an American-Marshallese sprinter who was born in the Marshall Islands but now resides in Sacramento, California.

Simeon has earned a great deal of recognition for his accomplishments as a sprinter, and his Olympic appearance was a great testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Simeon competed in the men’s 100-meter event.

He was amongst some of the best sprinters in the world, and although he did not come away with a medal, his performance was still impressive. The experience of competing at an Olympic level was a great honor for Simeon and something that he will never forget.

Richson Simeon is an inspiring athlete who has achieved great success despite his humble beginnings. He has worked hard to hone his craft and is a great example of how anything is possible with dedication and hard work.

Simeon’s story is truly inspirational and serves as an example for others who may be looking to achieve their goals.

3. Roman Cress

Roman William Cress is an accomplished track athlete from the Marshall Islands. Cress was born to a father from the United States and a mother from the Marshall Islands. He attended South High School where he was involved in the Track team as a student.

After completing his studies at South High School, Cress went on to attend MCTC. He then transferred to St. Thomas for his bachelor’s degree, where he continued to participate in Track as a student-athlete. During his time as a student athlete at St.

Thomas, Cress has had many successes. He has achieved numerous individual and team accolades, including winning multiple conference championships and earning multiple All-American honors. Cress has also represented the Marshall Islands in international competitions.

His hard work and dedication to the sport have helped him to become one of the most successful track athletes from the Marshall Islands.

4. Colleen Furgeson

Colleen Furgeson is a swimmer from the Marshall Islands. She made history in 2016 by competing in the Summer Olympic Games in the women’s 50 metre freestyle event.

Despite her efforts, she finished in 58th place with a time of 28.16 seconds and was not able to advance to the semifinals. Four years later, Colleen Furgeson once again made history by competing at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, this time in the Women’s 100 m freestyle.

She was one of the few athletes from the Marshall Islands to qualify for the Olympics, showcasing her talent and determination to reach the highest level of competition.

Despite not advancing to the semifinals, Colleen Furgeson made a lasting impression in the international swimming community and is an inspiration to many young athletes around the world.

5. Mattie Sasser

Mathlynn “Mattie” Langtor Sasser-Robert is an inspirational figure to many people around the world. Born in the Marshall Islands, she is a world-class weightlifter who currently represents her native country.

She has achieved great success in her sport, competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the women’s 58 kg event, where she placed eleventh.

This remarkable accomplishment is a testament to her dedication and hard work. Moreover, Mattie was honored to be the flag bearer for the Marshall Islands at the Parade of Nations.

This honor is a testament to her commitment to her country and the respect she has earned from her fellow Marshallese. She is an example of what can be achieved when dedication and hard work meet opportunity.

Her inspiring story is an example of how, with determination, anything is possible.

6. Timi Garstang

Timi Hilly Garstang is an impressive athlete who has made history by representing the Marshall Islands in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was born in America but proudly represented his country of origin in the event of Men’s 100 meters.

Despite the challenge of competing against some of the world’s best athletes, Timi managed to finish last in the qualifying heats with a time of 12.81 seconds. This was a remarkable achievement and certainly a momentous occasion for the Marshall Islands.

It demonstrated the commitment and determination of the Marshallese people and highlighted the importance of representing one’s country at the highest level of international competition.

Timi Hilly Garstang’s participation in the Olympics is a testament to the power of perseverance, and a reminder that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

7. Waylon Muller

Waylon Muller is a renowned wrestler from the Marshall Islands. He was given the honor of being the flag-bearer for the Marshall Islands during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

This is a great achievement for Muller and the Marshall Islands alike, as it shows the world the pride and spirit of the small island nation. Muller is a highly-skilled wrestler, having competed in numerous events both in the Marshall Islands and internationally.

He has won numerous accolades for his impressive performances, including several medals at the South Pacific Games and the Pacific Games. His commitment to excellence has been noted across the world, and his appointment as flag-bearer was an acknowledgement of this.

As flag-bearer, Muller was given the responsibility of carrying the Marshall Islands’ flag during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This was a great honor for him, and an opportunity to show the world the pride and spirit of the Marshall Islands.

His strong performance was met with great acclaim, and he has since become a symbol of excellence and pride for the nation. Overall, Waylon Muller’s appointment as flag-bearer for the Marshall Islands during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was a great achievement for him and the nation.

His commitment to excellence and hard work has been recognized and celebrated, and his performance at the opening ceremony was a testament to his skill and dedication.

8. Jared Heine

Jared J. Heine is an impressive athlete with a unique background. He is an American-Marshallese swimmer, which means he has dual citizenship in the United States and the Marshall Islands.

He specialized in backstroke events, and his impressive talent and dedication allowed him to participate in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He placed himself among the top 45 swimmers in the 100 m backstroke, a remarkable achievement.

Heine’s story is a testament to hard work and dedication and is a great example of how determination and perseverance can pay off. He has achieved a great deal in his career and is an inspiration to swimmers everywhere.

9. Julianne Kirchner

Julianne Kirchner is an accomplished swimmer who specializes in sprint freestyle events. She is a dual-citizen of both the United States and the Marshall Islands.

Kirchner has a long and successful history in competitive swimming, having competed in events such as the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo, the 2019 World University Games in Naples, and many more. Kirchner’s expertise in the sprint freestyle events have led to her impressive performance in many of these competitions.

She won bronze in the 50m freestyle at the 2017 FINA World Championships and placed fifth in the same event in the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.

Her highest finish came at the 2019 World University Games where she placed second in the 50m freestyle. Kirchner’s success in the pool is a testament to her dedication and hard work.

She has been swimming competitively since she was young and has continually refined her technique in order to stay at the top of her game.

In addition to her success in the pool, Kirchner is also a great ambassador for the sport, having served as an inspirational role model for aspiring swimmers. Her success shows that hard work and dedication to one’s craft can lead to great achievements.

10. Mariana Cress

Mariana Cress is an inspiring athlete who has achieved great success in a relatively short period of time. She is a dual citizen of both the United States and the Marshall Islands and is currently the holder of the Marshallese records for the 100 metres and 200 meters.

Her incredible athletic ability was showcased in the 2016 Summer Olympics, where she competed in the women’s 100 metres event. Despite the tough competition, Mariana was able to hold her own and demonstrate her skills to the world.

She is an excellent example of hard work and dedication paying off, and her success has been an inspiration to many young athletes around the world..

11. Giordan Harris

Giordan Kariara Harris is an incredible sports figure who has accomplished so much in the world of competitive swimming. He hails from the remote Ebeye Island in Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

He is a two-time Olympian, having competed in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics. His list of accomplishments go beyond that, as he is also a multiple national record holder, NJCAA All-American, and NJCAA & NCAA school record holder.

Harris has had a long and successful career in the sport, beginning at a young age. He has been a part of many elite swim teams, including the Marshall Islands National Swim Team, where he served as the Head Coach for several years.

He is currently the head coach for the Marshall Islands National Swimming Team, and he has been for the past five years. Harris is also a highly sought after swim coach, with clients ranging from high school swimmers to international competitors.

Harris has made a lasting impact on the world of competitive swimming, and it’s clear that his accomplishments have been far-reaching. His commitment to the sport and to his community is admirable, and he continues to inspire future swimmers and coaches alike.

He has become an excellent example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish, and it’s no wonder why he is so highly respected in the swim world.

12. Anju Jason

Anju Jason made history when he became the first Marshallese sportsperson to qualify for the Olympics in 2008. He was competing in the sport of Taekwondo and finished in 27th place, unfortunately receiving no official recognition for his achievement.

Jason was born in the Marshall Islands, but due to his parents’ work he moved to Hawaii at the age of six. He has since relocated to Yakima, Washington, where he continues to practice Taekwondo and pursue his Olympic dreams.

His hard work and dedication to the sport is an inspiration to all Marshallese people and he continues to strive to make history.


The Marshall Islands boast some of the best Olympic athletes in the world and continue to produce top-level performances in a variety of Olympic disciplines.

From track and field stars to weightlifters and swimmers, the Marshall Islands have a successful history of producing world-class athletes.

With the continued support of the Marshallese government and the dedication of the athletes themselves, the Marshall Islands will continue to be a major contributor to the international Olympic movement.

Photo of author

Matt Reynolds

As a sports journalist and news reporter, my passion lies in covering Olympic sports and bringing the excitement of these events to readers around the world. With extensive experience in sports reporting, I have developed a deep understanding of the intricacies and dynamics of various Olympic disciplines. My goal as a journalist is to provide accurate, insightful, and engaging coverage of Olympic sports. From capturing the triumphs and challenges of athletes to analyzing their performances and strategies, I strive to deliver comprehensive stories that resonate with sports enthusiasts. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to journalistic integrity, I aim to go beyond mere reporting by delving into the human stories behind the athletes. By highlighting their journeys, sacrifices, and aspirations, I seek to create meaningful connections between readers and the world of Olympic sports. Whether it's track and field, swimming, gymnastics, or any other Olympic sport, I am dedicated to delivering timely news updates, captivating features, and thought-provoking analysis. Through my writing, I aim to inspire readers with the incredible feats accomplished by athletes on the global stage. Join me on this exhilarating journey as we dive into the world of Olympic sports together. Let's celebrate athleticism at its finest while uncovering compelling stories that showcase both triumphs and tribulations. Together, we can experience firsthand the thrill of sporting excellence in all its glory through my dedicated coverage as a passionate sports journalist and news reporter specializing in Olympic sports.