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Tuesday July 24, 2012By the Numbers - Gators at The Olympics

Gainesville, Fla.

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry Senior Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will commence amid a global gallery of color and pageantry Friday night in London.

And lots of Gators will be there.

As part of GatorZone’s run-up coverage of the Games, here’s a quick-glance, quick-read primer of all the athletes with orange-and-blue ties set to compete across the pond.


Gators at The Olympics — By the Numbers


Total athletes with UF ties heading to London Games.


Coaches with UF ties. Gators swim coach Gregg Troy is head coach of the USA swimming team and track and field coach Mike Holloway is working as an assistant coach for the USA squad.


Olympic sports represented by Florida athletes: women’s basketball, women’s soccer, swimming, track and field, women’s tennis.


Current student-athletes among those 37. Elizabeth Beisel (USA swimming), Marcin Cieslak (Poland swimming), Sarra Lajnef (Tunisia swimming), Tony McQuay (USA track), Sebastian Rousseau (South Africa swimming), plus incoming freshman Sinead Russell (Canada swimming).


Total countries represented by Gators: Australia, Barbados, Bosnia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Great Britain, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Jamaica, Poland, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, United States.


Alternate participant. Melanie Booth, who was a defender for UF coach Becky Burleigh and the Gators soccer squad from 2003-07 (taking a year off to participate in international play along the way) made the Canadian women’s soccer team as an alternate.


Medals won in past Olympics by UF athletes competing in London.

  • Ryan Lochte — three gold (swimming in the 4x200 relay in ’04; 4x200 relay in ’08; 200 backstroke in ’08); one silver (200 individual medley in ’04); two bronze (200 IM in ’08; 200 IM in ’08)
  • Heather Mitts — two gold (soccer in ’04 and ’08)
  • Novlene Williams-Mills — two bronze (track in 4x100 in ’04 and ’08)
  • Abby Wambach - one gold (soccer in ’04)
  • Kerron Clement - one bronze (track in 400 hurdles in ’08)

Number of all-time athletes with UF ties to compete in the Summer Games.


All-time medals won by athletes with Gator ties at the Summer Olympics. The breakdown goes like this: 46 gold, 22 silver and 23 bronze


Most medals won by by a Gator. That, of course, would be Dara Torres, the only swimmer in Olympic history to take part in five Olympic Games (1984, ’88, ’92, 2000, ’08) as well as the oldest swimmer ever to medal, doing so in the Beijing Games at age 41. Torres missed qualifying for the London games by nine-hundredths of a second during the Olympic Trials at Lincoln, Neb., earlier this month.


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 and about to start her junior year at Jacksonville Robert E. Lee High when she anchored the women’s 4x100 relay in Mexico City. In 1971, she was hired by Athletic Director Ray Graves to be the first women’s swim coach in Florida history, leading the fledgling AIAW program.


Members of the University of Florida Marching Band that will make the trip to London and perform at various locales, including at Victoria Park prior to the opening ceremonies July 27.


The first official Olympic event featuring a Gator actually will be staged before the Olympics officially open Friday night. The USA women’s soccer team will take on France in a preliminary round game Wednesday at Hampden Park, the famed Scottish stadium in Glasgow.


Time of Lochte’s first race — in the AM, of course (EST) — which will come the morning after opening ceremonies. Lochte will start with a prelim heat in the 400 IM.

Fish and Chips - Photo by Fiona Wilkinson,

Number of times fish and chips have has been served at UF training table this year.


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