The peak of most athletic events is to represent your country in the Olympics. Basically, you're SO good at what you do, that your home country is like, "Hey, you're so good, we wanna show literally every other human on the planet how good you are at this thing."

In one sport, the Olympic Decathlon, one of those incredibly good athletes is Heath Baldwin, a Michigan State Athlete, and native to Kalamazoo.

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This past week, the Olympic trials have been happening all across the country to pick the best of the best to compete on a world level in Paris this July.

For reference, depending on your sport, a VERY small percentage of those who compete in high school end up with college scholarships. From there, even fewer become professionals, and an even smaller number become Olympic athletes.

Heath Baldwin is now a member of that very small number of people after flat out winning the U.S. Decathlon Olympic Trials on Saturday. Baldwin actually had to opt out of the 2024 NCAA Outdoor Championships so he could prepare for the Olympics, and it paid off. He posted a personal best of 8,625 points, which is also the sixth best score in the world, and third all-time on the all-dates collegiate list.


@teamusa Ten events. Three tickets punched. 📺: @NBC & @Peacock #decathlon #trackandfield #teamusa #olympics #mtusa #parisilympics #heathbaldwin #zachziemek #harrisonwilliams #trackfieldtrials24 ♬ original sound - Team USA

Baldwin becomes the first Michigan State Spartan to make the Olympics since 2004, and is the first ever athlete from Hackett Catholic High School in Kalamazoo to qualify for the world stage.

He'll join Zach Ziemick from Itaska, Illinois, who competed in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and finished sixth place; and Harrison Williams from Houston, Texas.

Michigan Athletes At The Winter Olympic Games

Ten Michigan residents will compete for medals at the 2022 Winter Games.

Gallery Credit: jojogirard

LOOK: 20 Fascinating Photos From the First Modern Olympic Games in 1896

To celebrate the history of international sports cooperation, Stacker took a look back at that groundbreaking event in Athens, when the modern Olympics were born in 1896. Keep reading to learn more about the athletes, spectators, and sports at that iconic event.

Gallery Credit: Caitlin PenzeyMoog

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