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Florida Gators Olympic History

Gator History at the Olympic Games (through 2012 Summer Games)

 

Gator Student-Athletes Year-by-Year at the Olympic Games
Year Site UF Athletes Countries Represented Sports Medals Won Gold Silver Bronze
1968 Mexico City 1 1 1 1 1 0 0
1972 Munich 3 1 3 2 0 2 0
1976 Montreal 11 7 3 1 0 1 0
1980 Moscow 13* 7 2 1 0 0 1
1984 Los Angeles 25 10 4 20 13 5 2
1988 Seoul 20 6 4 13 5 3 5
1992 Barcelona 26 6 4 15 9 2 4
1992 Albertville (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
1994 Lillehammer (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
1996 Atlanta 28 11 5 6 1 4 1
1998 Nagano (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
2000 Sydney 21 12 7 10 6 0 4
2002 Salt Lake City (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
2004 Athens 23 12 5 7 4 2 1
2006 Torino (W) 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
2008 Beijing 33 20 6 14 4 4 6
2010 Vancouver (W) 1 1 1 1 1 0 0
2012 London 35 17 5 18 6 6 6
Total Appearances 249 116 55 109 50 29 30
Summer Games only 239 110 49 108 49 29 30
Winter Games only 10 6 6 1 1 0 0

*includes four USA athletes who did not compete due to the boycott

 

Since the 1968 Olympiad held in Mexico City, 163 different Gators have participated in the Olympic Games, combining for 249 Olympic appearances

Gators have won 109 Olympic medals, with 50 gold medals, 29 silver and 30 bronze

54 different Gators have won an Olympic medal

Gators have won Olympic medals in 7 different sports (Baseball, Basketball, Bobsled, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis and Track & Field)

Gators have competed in 12 different sports at the Olympic Games (Baseball, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bobsled, Diving, Gymnastics, Judo, Soccer, Swimming, Team Handball, Tennis and Track & Field)

Gators have represented 37 different countries during the Olympic Games (Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Curacao, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Guam, Haiti, Hungry, Iceland, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Kitts/Nevis, Suriname, The Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, United States and Venezuela)

 

Gator Career Olympic Medal Winners, All-Time Top-10
Gator Country Sport Total Olympics Total Medals Gold Silver Bronze
Dara Torres USA Swimming 5 12 4 4 4
Ryan Lochte USA Swimming 3 11 5 3 3
Mike Heath USA Swimming 1 4 3 1 0
Mary Wayte USA Swimming 2 4 2 1 1
Heather Mitts USA Soccer 3 3 3 0 0
Tracy Caulkins USA Swimming 2 3 3 0 0
Novlene Williams-Mills Jamaica Track & Field 3 3 0 0 3
Nicole Haislett USA Swimming 1 3 3 0 0
Whitney Hedgepeth USA Swimming 2 3 1 2 0
Tim McKee USA Swimming 2 3 0 3 0
Dennis Mitchell USA Track & Field 3 3 1 1 1
Mark Stockwell Australia Swimming 1 3 0 2 1

 

Most Olympic Medals Won by a Gator in one Olympiad
Gator Country Sport Games Total Medals Gold Silver Bronze
Dara Torres USA Swimming 2000 Sydney 5 2 0 3
Ryan Lochte USA Swimming 2012 London 5 2 2 1
Mike Heath USA Swimming 1984 Los Angeles 4 3 1 0
Ryan Lochte USA Swimming 2008 Beijing 4 2 0 2
Tracy Caulkins USA Swimming 1984 Los Angeles 3 3 0 0
Nicole Haislett USA Swimming 1992 Barcelona 3 3 0 0
Whitney Hedgepeth USA Swimming 1996 Atlanta 3 1 2 0
Dara Torres USA Swimming 2008 Beijing 3 0 3 0
Mark Stockwell Australia Swimming 1984 Los Angeles 3 0 2 1

 

All-Time Gator Olympians, Ranked by Numbers of Olympic Games Participated (top-10)
Rank First Last Country Sport Numbers of Olympic Games
T-1 Dara Torres USA Swimming 5
T-1 Liston Bochette Puerto Rico Bobsled, Track 5
3 Ricardo Monasterio Venezuela Swimming 4
T-4 Ryan Lochte USA Swimming 3
T-4 Heather Mitts USA Soccer 3
T-4 Novlene Williams-Mills Jamaica Track & Field 3
T-4 John Amabile Puerto Rico Bobsled 3
T-4 Hazel Clark USA Track & Field 3
T-4 Mark Everett USA Track & Field 3
T-4 Michelle Freeman Jamaica Track & Field 3
T-4 Jill Hetherington Canada Tennis 3
T-4 Bryan Kim South Korea Swimming 3
T-4 Alex Lopez Puerto Rico Swimming 3
T-4 Steve Mesler USA Bobsled 3
T-4 Dennis Mitchell USA Track & Field 3
T-4 Colleen Rosensteel USA Judo 3
T-4 Chris Snode Great Britain Swimming 3
T-4 Martin Zubero Spain Swimming 3
T-4 David Zubero Spain Swimming 3

 

Total Medals Won by Gator Letterwinners, by Olympiad
Year Site UF Athletes Countries Represented Sports Medals Won Gold Silver Bronze
1984 Los Angeles 25 10 4 20 13 5 2
2012 London 35 17 5 18 6 6 6
1992 Barcelona 26 6 4 15 9 2 4
2008 Beijing 33 20 6 14 4 4 6
1988 Seoul 20 6 4 13 5 3 5
2000 Sydney 21 12 7 10 6 0 4
2004 Athens 23 12 5 7 4 2 1
1996 Atlanta 28 11 5 6 1 4 1
1972 Munich 3 1 3 2 0 2 0
1968 Mexico City 1 1 1 1 1 0 0
2010 Vancouver (W) 1 1 1 1 1 0 0
1976 Montreal 11 7 3 1 0 1 0
1980 Moscow 13 7 2 1 0 0 1
1992 Albertville (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
1994 Lillehammer (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
1998 Nagano (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
2002 Salt Lake City (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
2006 Torino (W) 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
Total Appearances   249 116 55 109 50 29 30
Summer Games only   239 110 49 108 49 29 30
Winter Games only   10 6 6 1 1 0 0

 

Total Gator Letterwinners at the Olympics, by Games
Year Site UF Athletes Countries Represented Sports Medals Won Gold Silver Bronze
2012 London 35 17 5 18 6 6 6
2008 Beijing 33 20 6 14 4 4 6
1996 Atlanta 28 11 5 6 1 4 1
1992 Barcelona 26 6 4 15 9 2 4
1984 Los Angeles 25 10 4 20 13 5 2
2004 Athens 23 12 5 7 4 2 1
2000 Sydney 21 12 7 10 6 0 4
1988 Seoul 20 6 4 13 5 3 5
1980 Moscow 13 7 2 1 0 0 1
1976 Montreal 11 7 3 1 0 1 0
1972 Munich 3 1 3 2 0 2 0
2002 Salt Lake City (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
1998 Nagano (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
1994 Lillehammer (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
1992 Albertville (W) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
2010 Vancouver (W) 1 1 1 1 1 0 0
2006 Torino (W) 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
1968 Mexico City 1 1 1 1 1 0 0
Total Appearances   249 116 55 109 50 29 30
Summer Games only   239 110 49 108 49 29 30
Winter Games only   10 6 6 1 1 0 0

 

Special Notes about Gators in Different Olympiads

1 Gator has competed in BOTH the Summer and Winter Games (Liston Bochette: 1984 Summer Games - Track & Field; 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002 Winter Games - Bobsled)

 

2012 Summer Olympic Games in London

  • The 35 Gators competing were the most-ever in a single Olympic Games (33 competed in Beijing in 2008)
  • Gators combine to win 18 total Olympic medals, the second-highest total (20 in 1984 Los Angeles)
  • Gators won the 18 medals in four different sports: soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field (all 20 medals won in 1984 were in the sport of swimming)
  • If the Gator Nation was a recognized country at the 2012 Olympic Games, it would have tied for 13th place in the total medal count, winning 18 medals (6 gold, 6 silver, 6 bronze).
  • Gators won their first-ever Olympic medal in the sport of tennis (Lisa Raymond, Mixed Doubles, Bronze, Aug. 5)
  • Gators won their first-ever Olympic medal in a field event in Track & Field (Will Claye, Long Jump, Bronze on Aug. 4)
  • Ryan Lochte’s five Olympic medals tied for the most by a Gator letterwinner in a single Olympiad with Dara Torres, who won five medals at the 2000 Games in Sydney
  • August 9, 2012, tied for the most successful day ever by Gator letterwinners at the Olympic Games. At the 2012 Olympic Games, Christian Taylor (USA Triple Jump Gold), Abby Wambach (USA Women’s Soccer Gold), Heather Mitts (USA Women’s Soccer Gold), Will Claye (USA Triple Jump Silver) and Mel Booth (Canada Women’s Soccer Bronze) each won medals on August 9.

On July 31, 1984, and on August 3, 1984, Gators also combined to win five Olympic medals, all coming in the sport of swimming:

On July 31, 1984, Mark Stockwell, Theresa Andrews, Mary Wayte, Frederic Delcourt and Dara Torres each won Olympic medals.

On Aug. 3, 1984, Tracy Caulkins won two gold medals, while Mark Stockwell, Theresa Andrews and Rafael Vidal each won medals in the pool.

 

Christian Taylor’s gold medal in the triple jump on Aug. 9, 2012, is the first individual gold medal in the history of Florida track & field on the men’s or women’s side, with Will Claye taking the silver medal. Taylor’s gold medal is the first for the U.S. since Kenny Harrison in 1996. This is the first time since 1992 (gold: Mike Conley, silver: Charles Simpkins) that Team USA has finished 1-2 in the men’s triple jump. Claye, who earned a bronze medal in the men’s long jump earlier in the London Games, is the first American man since 1904 to medal in both jumps at the same Olympics, and Thursday marks the first time since 1936 that any man has medaled in both.

On August 4, 2012, Will Claye (U.S.A.) turned in a clutch performance in the men’s long jump, winning a bronze medal with his leap of 8.12m/26-7.75. Claye won the first field event medal for the Gators in University of Florida history on the men’s or women’s side. Claye is the first American to turn in a podium finish since 2004 (Dwight Phillips-gold, John Moffitt-silver).

 

2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver

Three-time Olympian and former UF track and field athlete Steve Mesler competed in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games as a member of the United States four-man bobsled team. Mesler led the United States to its first gold medal in the four-man bobsled event since 1948, while presenting the Gator Nation with its first Winter Olympic Games medal.

 

2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing

Dara Torres made her fifth Olympic appearance at age 41 in the 2008 Beijing Olympics making her the oldest athlete to ever compete in the Summer Olympic games. Since her first appearance in the 1984 Olympic Games, Torres has won four gold, four silver and four bronze medals in various swimming events. Ryan Lochte also made a impression during the 2008 games as he broke the record for the 200meter men’s back and men’s 4x200 Free Final.

 

A total of 33 current and former UF athletes and five Gator coaches, 3 assistant and 2 head coaches, in 6 different sports represented 20 different countries in the 2008 Beijing Games.

 

If the Gator Nation was a nation recognized by the International Olympic Committee, it would have tied for 18th for total medals earned in the 2008 Games. Gator Olympians competing in the Beijing games represented 7 new countries represented, Curacao, Estonia, Georgia, Hungry, Iceland, Netherlands Antilles and The Cayman Islands.

 

2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece

2004 was another banner outing for athletes and coaches with University of Florida ties, as 24 athletes and two coaches combined for seven medals - four gold, two silver and a bronze. Abby Wambach scored the game-winning goal in overtime of the gold medal match to lead the United States to victory, while Ryan Lochte led the United States to a victory in the 4x200-meter freestyle. Darian Townsend helped the South African squad set a world record in the 4x100-meter freestyle, while Lochte added a silver in the 200-meter individual medley, while on the track Bernard Williams took home silver in the 200-meter dash.

 

2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney

Twenty-one Florida athletes and coaches represented 12 different countries in the 2000 Games in Sydney. Six former UF athletes accounted for 10 medals including six Golds. Brad Wilkerson helped the United States win its first ever baseball Gold Medal, while DeLisha Milton won gold with the USA women's basketball team. Carlos Jayme registered a bronze medal for his native Brazil. Bernard Williams and Ashley Tappin both struck gold in different 4x100-meter relays. Williams won his in track, Tappin hers in swimming. If the University of Florida were a country, the Gators would have tied for 24th, ahead of 56 other countries. Their six Gold Medals tied them for 14th place.

 

1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta

Coming back to the United States in 1996, the Centennial Olympiad in Atlanta again provided an opportunity for current and former Gators to represent their countries in the Olympics. UF swimmer and Gainesville resident Allison Wagner finished second in the 400-meter individual medley to join Dennis Mitchell (4x100m relay) as UF's top medal winners. Former women's track and field standout Michelle Freeman took home a bronze in the 4x100m relay for Jamaica. In all, the contingent of 28 Gators won six medals in Atlanta, including one gold, four silvers and a bronze.

 

1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona

The 1992 Barcelona Summer Games became the second most successful Olympics (at that time) in Florida history. Twenty‑six athletes competed for six countries in four sports. The 26 Gators won 15 medals, including nine golds. Florida swimmer Nicole Haislett took home three medals, all gold. She won the 200‑meter freestyle and participated in the 400‑meter freestyle relay and the 400‑meter medley relay. Haislett finished the 1992 Games with the most gold medals of any U.S. competitor and tied for the most gold medals of any female Olympic competitor with Krizstina Egerszegi, a swimmer from Hungary. Former Gator Martin Zubero was the hero of the Games as he became the first Spanish swimming gold medalist, when he won the 200‑meter backstroke. The Olympic record time was performed in front of the home crowd, which included the king and queen of Spain. If Florida would have been a country, the Gators would have finished tied for 19th in the medal standings. Three Gators finished the 1992 Games with a piece of a world record. Track star Dennis Mitchell ran the third leg of the 4x100 relay that set a world record. Haislett and Dara Torres both swam on the 400‑meter freestyle relay that also set a world record.

 

1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul

Golden Gator success continued in 1988. Twenty Gators represented six countries and brought home 13 medals, including five golds.

 

Anthony Nesty swam for his native Suriname and became the country’s first-ever Olympic medalist when he out-touched favorite Matt Biondi in the 100-meter butterfly. Nesty also became just the second black athlete to win an Olympic swimming medal. Suriname honored Nesty’s accomplishment by placing his likeness on a stamp and on gold and silver coins, as well as on a 25-Giulders bank note.

 

Troy Dalbey (2 gold), Dara Torres (1 silver, 1 bronze) and Mary Wayte (1 silver, 1 bronze) each represented the USA swim team and each collected a pair of Olympic medals in Seoul.

 

1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles

In terms of medals, no Olympiad can compare to the success enjoyed by Florida swimmers at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Florida swimmers appeared on the award stand 20 times, picking up the gold on 13 occasions.

 

Twenty-five Gators represented 10 different nations, compiling such an impressive total that if the University of Florida were a nation it would have finished second as a country to the USA in the swimming competition and 14th overall among the 140 competing countries. One gymnast, one tennis player and three track stars also competed in Los Angeles. The 1984 Olympics was indeed the year of the Gator gold.

 

1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow

Despite the Olympic boycott by several countries, a number of Gators still found their way to Moscow for the 1980 Olympics. David Zubero captured the lone Gator medal in the '80 Olympics as he swam his way to a bronze for Spain in the 100‑meter butterfly.

 

1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal

In 1976, Tim McKee and 10 other UF athletes traveled to Montreal and again McKee came away with another swimming silver medal.

 

1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich

The Olympic tradition for Gator letterwinners began in 1972 when track and field standout Ron Jourdan and swimmer Tim McKee exchanged the Orange and Blue of UF for the red, white and blue of the United States. Jourdan competed in the high jump, while McKee collected two silvers in Munich.

 

1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City

1968 was the first year an athlete with UF ties won an Olympic medal — only her medal came before those UF ties began. Catie Ball was 16 years old and about to start her junior year at Jacksonville Robert E. Lee High when she anchored the women’s 4x100 relay in Mexico City.

 

(from Wikipedia) After the Olympics, Ball received a special scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida but effectively dropped out of competition swimming because there were no women's college swim teams at the time and because of her desire to lead a more "normal" life. As an undergraduate senior at the University of Florida, she was hired by athletic director Ray Graves to be the first head coach of the newly organized women's Florida Gators swimming and diving team in Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) competition during the 1972–1973 school year. In their first year of intercollegiate competition, Ball's Lady Gators swimmers were undefeated in dual meets and placed second at the AIAW national championship during her single-season tenure. Ball graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in education in 1973.

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