Looking to Paris 2024: Marin Olympians Past & Present, Plus a Family of Star Athletes

Oui, Oui, Paris! Bonjour to another Summer Olympics, beginning this month in Paris, France. To get ready for the games, we’re celebrating our county’s Olympic contenders: first, a family of extraordinary athletes who make Marin home, and secondly, have a look at the Olympians that have shaped Marin from past to present.

A Family of Olympic Hopefuls

Marin County has many accomplished athletes who call the area home or grew up under the shadows of Mount Tamalpais. 

However, one family is taking the water polo world by storm from the quiet streets of San Anselmo. Dylan, Quinn and Ella Woodhead have accumulated numerous accolades in the pool by variously representing Archie Williams High School, Sacred Heart Preparatory, Stanford University and Team USA over the last decade. 

Dylan, the eldest, represented his family and his country on the men’s water polo team at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021. Quinn helped the American team take first place at the 2023 Pan American Games. Ella, 20, is a redshirt sophomore at Stanford and has already been a part of a NCAA national championship team in 2023. 

Ella Woodhead
Ella Woodhead

Ella first popped up on Marin Magazine’s radar in 2011, when the then-seven-year-old swam the length of the Golden Gate. In an interview, we asked the young swimmer why she chose to swim that course. Her response: “Because my older brothers Quinn and Dylan hadn’t done it yet.” 

The trio grew up in San Anselmo, raised by their mother Laura, a Stanford swimmer, and father Jeff, a rower at Cal Berkeley. After the brothers graduated from Archie Williams and Ella from Sacred Heart Prep, all three siblings took their talents to Stanford and followed mom’s footsteps, leaving dad as the family’s sole Golden Bear. 

“I don’t know if he ever told me, but my mom said, ‘You know, it really hurt him,’” Dylan said about his decision to be the first sibling to pick Stanford, in an interview with Associated Press. “I think he’s OK with it now.” 

The impressive trio hopes to continue their efforts in the pool going forward and ultimately all three join Marin County’s lengthy list of Olympians.

Marin’s Olympians

Olympians Ryan Murphy Cory Miller Michael Phelps Nathan Adrian Rio de Janiero August 2016
Marin’s Nathan Adrian (far right) with fellow Olympic Swimmers Ryan Murphy, Cory Miller and Michael Phelps in Rio de Janiero, August 2016

Let’s celebrate all the Olympians who have called Marin home. Bonne chance to all present and future competitors. To those who have finished their races, we’ll be waiting for you on the couch, tv remote in hand. Don’t forget the snacks: French onion dip, baguettes, French fries. Allons-y

Water Polo

Dylan Woodhead water polo american flag

Rowing

Swimming

Track & Field

  • Archie Williams, Fairfax, Berlin 1936
  • Ken Flax (Hammer Throw)
  • Michael Johnson, San Rafael

Sailing

More Sports

  • Andre Agassi, Tiburon —  Tennis, Atlanta 1996 
  • Jennifer Azzi, Basketball —  Mill Valley, Atlanta 1996
  • Kate Courtney, Kentfield —  Mountain Biking 
  • Brad Gilbert, San Rafael — Tennis 
  • Matt Hazeltine, Mill Valley — Rugby
  • Jake Highland, Novato —  Volleyball, Tokyo 1964
  • Mary McConneloug, Fairfax —  Mountain Biking, Athens 2004 
  • Jonny Moseley, Tiburon —  Freestyle Skiing, Nagano 1998 
  • Joe Ryan, San Anselmo — Baseball, Tokyo 1964