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Thursday July 26, 201222 Gators Look to Make a Splash at London Olympics

Gainesville, Fla.

Every four years the greatest athletes from around the world come together to compete on one of the largest stages. The 2012 London Olympics have arrived and a group of 22 Gator swimmers will take to the pool to compete for one of those coveted Olympic medals. The opening ceremonies will be held Friday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET then the swimming events will begin Saturday, July 28 and run through Saturday, August 4.

Of the 22 athletes with Gator ties competing in the Olympics, five are current student-athletes. Junior Elizabeth Beisel will be competing in her second Olympics as a member of the USA team. Her events will include the 400 IM, in which she is the current world record holder and 2011 World Champion, along with the 200 backstroke.

Joining Beisel are current swimmers Marcin Cieslak, Sarra Lajnef, Hilda Lutherdottir, Sebastian Rousseau and in-coming freshman Sinead Russell each participating in their first Olympic games. Cieslak will be competing for Poland in the 200 butterfly and 200 IM. Lajnef and Luthersdottir will both swim the 200 breaststroke for Tunisia and Iceland, respectively. Luthersdottir will also participate in the 4x100m Medley Relay with former Gator teammate Sarah Bateman.

Sebastian Rousseau will be representing South Africa as he competes in the 4x200 freestyle relay. Sinead Russell, the Canadian record holder in the 200 back, will compete in the 100 and 200m backstroke events.

Along with the current swimmer competing, Gators Head Coach Gregg Troy will serve as the 2012 Men’s U.S. Olympic Team Head Coach. This is not his first venture into the Olympics, as Troy has been an assistant coach with the Guam Olympic Team (1988), Women’s US Olympic Team (1996) and the Men’s US Olympic Team (2008). He has also served as the head coach for the US World Championship team three times. Troy is joined by Track and Field Head Coach Mike Holloway as the only two Florida coaches at the 2012 London Olympics.

Headlining much of the coverage leading up to the Olympics is former Gator Ryan Lochte. Lochte is competing in his third Olympic games for the United States. His first appearance in the 2004 Athens games brought him gold with the men’s 4x200 freestyle relay and silver in the 200 IM. Then in Beijing he emerged onto the international stage winning two gold and two bronze medals, while claiming the world record in the 100 back. After coming off of five gold medals at the 2011 World Championships, these games could be Lochte’s most lucrative as he is slated to compete in six events and will look to medal in each one.

The Gators will be representing 13 different countries in London. Along with Lochte and Beisel, recent Gator grad and standout swimmer Conor Dwyer will be swimming for Team USA. He will compete in three events.

Team Great Britain will feature four former Gators.  Gemma Spofforth, Jemma Lowe, Marco Loughran and Steph Proud will each be representing the host country during the 2012 Olympics. Along with Luthersdottir, recent graduate Sarah Bateman will compete for Iceland, Raul Martinez represents Puerto Rico and Melani Costa-Schmid will be competing for Spain.

In addition to the current and former Gator swimmers competing at the Olympics, three athletes with Gator ties will also represent their countries, as Clark Burckle, Dana Vollmer, Csaba Gercsak and Darian Townsend all started their collegiate careers at Florida.  Burckle and Vollmer are each competing for the US and Darian will be competing for South Africa.  Townsend will join current Gator Rousseau in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay. Gercsak will be competing in the 10k marathon for Hungary.

For a complete schedule of all Gator swimmers participating and their events click here.

A full recap of each day’s events and results will be available on GatorZone.com. For news, schedules, events and the FaceBook and Twitter feeds of the 2012 Olympics, please log on to http://london2012.com/.  All events will be streamed live on http://www.nbcolympics.com.

  

For all the latest information on Florida swimming and diving, please log on to www.GatorZone.com/swimmingdiving/women or, for up-to-the-minute information on everything Florida swimming, follow swimming and diving on Twitter @GatorZoneSwimDv. You can also follow the Gators on Facebook.

 

 

NBC Broadcast Schedule (ET)

July 27th

Opening Ceremony

7:30 PM ET

July 28th

Heats & Semifinals

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

 

Finals

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM

July 29th

Heats & Semifinals

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

 

Finals

7:00 PM – 12:00 AM

July 30th

Heats & Semifinals

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

1:45 PM – 2:30 PM

 

Finals

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM

July 31st

Heats & Semifinals

12:35 AM – 1:35 AM

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

 

Finals

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM

August 1st

Heats & Semifinals

12:35 AM – 1:35 AM

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM

12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

 

Finals

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM

August 2nd

Heats & Semifinals

12:35 AM – 1:35 AM

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM

12:30 PM – 12:45 PM

 

Finals

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM

August 3rd

Heats & Semifinals

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM

2:00 PM – 2: 30 PM

 

Finals

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM

August 4th

Finals

8:00 PM – 12:00 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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