Champion Connection

Clermont is known as the "Choice of Champions" because of its international reputation as the training ground for elite athletes. The combination of pristine lakes, rolling hills and warm climate make it an ideal location to train for triathlons, track-and-field events, water sports and more. In fact, Clermont is home or training grounds for 20 Olympians from the 2016 Summer Olympics who brought home a total of 10 medals.

Choice of Champions also recognizes the championship spirit in all. Here are some of the many "champions" who live(d) or train(ed) in Clermont.


  • Noah Lyles, World Record-Holding Sprinter, Youth Olympic Gold Medalist and 2019 World Champion 200m
  • Tori Bowie, 100m and Long Jump International Medalist
  • Tyson Gay,100m American Record-Holder, World Champion 100m, 200m and 4x100m Relay
  • Justin Gatlin,100m Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Damu Cherry,100m Hurdles, Olympic medalist married to Dennis Mitchell
  • Dennis Mitchell, Two-time gold medalist, track, married to Damu Cherry. President and coach of Star Athletics
  • Kellie Wells, 100m Hurdles, Olympic Medalist
  • Nina Kraft, Oldest Professional Woman Ironman Winner
  • Churandy Martina, Three-Time Olympic Sprinter
  • Gwen Jorgensen, 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Triathlete, first USA woman to win World Champion in Triathlon
  • Shaunae Miller-Uibo, 400m Olympic champion in 2016; 200m gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games; 400m silver medalist at World Championships in 2015 and 2019; 200m bronze in 2017
  • Jason Couch, Professional Bowling Association Hall of Fame
  • Norm Duke, Professional Bowling Association Hall of Fame
  • Dr. Dot Richardson, Two-time Olympic gold medalist softball champion; original NTC director
  • Ryan Dungey, Motocross world champion
  • Shane Greene, Major League Baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Previously pitched for the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. Named and All-Star in 2019
  • Lance Bauman, NTC's PURE Athletics track team coach; coached women's 4x100 Olympic team in 2016
  • Kaylin Whitney, Clermont East Ridge star, broke a 16-year-old national high-school record for the 100-meter dash at the 2014 USA Track and Field Junior Championship

Other Champions

  • Michaela McLean, first Miss Florida from Clermont: Miss Florida 2019 and 2020 and Miss Florida Citrus 2019
  • Kate DiCamillo, Newbery-Medal author of The Tale of Despereaux and Because of Winn-Dixie. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature
  • Edmond Amateis, renowned sculptor born in Rome in 1897, developed the Dorothy Amateis rhododendron after moving to Clermont
  • George Perez, Comic book writer and illustrator, whose titles include: "The Avengers," "Wonder Woman" and "Teen Titans"
  • Capt. Donnie Cochran, first African American pilot to fly in the Blue Angels and the first African American Commander and Flight Leader of the Blue Angels