The 2012 Summer Olympic Games begin this Friday, July 27th. We all know the saying “Gator Nation is everywhere”, and this saying holds true especially in this year’s Olympic Games in London. Even the Gator Band gets to perform at the Opening Ceremony “kickoff” celebration (details here). Check out all the Gator athletes in the official Olympic team picture here. Here’s a brief recap of how a few of the athletes performed as Gators and in the U.S. Trials, as well as a schedule of their events from London.
Ryan Lochte- Swimming: Ryan Lochte has taken the Swimming World by storm after winning four medals, two gold and two bronze, in Beijing at the games four years ago. Lochte beat longtime rival and fellow Olympian Michael Phelps for the first time in the 200 meter Freestyle last summer in the FINA World Championships. He did it again in the 2012 U.S. Trials in the 400 meter Individual Medley, seen in this video, late last month.
He went on to qualify for 3 other individual events and made the Men’s 4x200m relay. Lochte won an impressive 8 NCAA titles in his four years at the University of Florida, and was a 24-time all American. Lochte Nation has nothing but high hopes for the former Gator. Check out his London schedule below. Set your DVR’s Gators!
Note: All times are EST; Finals/Medal Events are in BOLD.
Saturday July 28th: 5:00 AM- 400m IM Heats, 2:30 PM- FINAL
Sunday July 29th: 5:20 AM- 200m Freestyle Heats, 2:37 PM- Semifinal
Monday July 30th: 2:41 PM- 200m Freestyle FINAL
Tuesday July 31st: 6:17 AM- 4x200m Freestyle Relay Heats, 3:47 PM- FINAL
Wednesday August 1st: 5:20AM- 200m Backstroke Heats, 2:47PM- Semifinal
6:14AM- 200m IM Heats, 3:36PM- Semifinal
Thursday August 2nd: 2:46PM- 200m Backstroke- FINAL, 3:16PM- 200m IM- FINAL
Elizabeth Beisel- Swimming: University of Florida soon-to-be Senior Elizabeth Beisel is no stranger to the Olympic Games. She competed in the 2008 Beijing Games, being only 16 years old. Although she did not medal in her events in 2008, that Olympic experience will surely help her this time around. Beisel will compete this year in the 400m IM, where she impressively finished 1st at the U.S. Trials, as well as the 200m Backstroke. Beisel is an 8-time SEC Champion, and she was crowned the 2012 NCAA Champion in the 200m Backstroke. Don’t miss out on your chance to watch Elizabeth swim for Gold!
Saturday July 28th: 6:16AM- 400m IM Heats
Sunday July 29th: 8:09AM- 400m IM FINAL
Thursday August 2nd:6:46AM- 200m Backstroke Heats, 2:54PM- Semifinals
Friday August 3rd: 2:30PM 200m Backstroke FINAL
Abby Wambach- Soccer: Abby Wambach is yet another Gator who is not unfamiliar to the Olympic Games. Wambach was a member of the 2004 U.S. team in Sydney, where she secured the Gold with an overtime header against Brazil. Being just 24, Abby was one of the youngest on the Sydney team. In 2008 she had to miss Beijing due to a broken tibia and fibula suffered in a send-off game before the Olympics. It’ll be hard to forget Wambach’s seemingly miraculous header during the 2011 Women’s World Cup against Brazil in the second period of extra time, which allowed the US Team to win in penalty kicks and move on to the finals.
Abby was named Co-Captain of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. As a Gator in 1998-2001, Abby was a four-time All-SEC and All-American, and a two-time SEC Player of the Year. Here’s Team USA’s Schedule:
Wednesday July 25th: 12:00PM- Preliminary Round VS France
Saturday July 28th: 12:00PM- Preliminary Round VS Columbia
Tuesday July 31st: 12:17PM- Preliminary Round VS DPR Korea
Friday August 3rd: TBA- Quarterfinals VS TBA
Monday August 6th:TBA- Semifinals VS TBA
Thursday August 9th: 8:00AM- Bronze Medal Game, 2:45PM- Gold Medal Game
Tony McQuay- Track and Field: Tony McQuay is making his first Olympic appearance in the 2012 London Games. McQuay won SEC championships in both indoor and outdoor events in his 2011 sophomore season. McQuay is a two-time Indoor 400m Champion, winning in 2010 and 2011. He is a two-time SEC Outdoor Champion as well, winning in 2011 and in the recent 2012 season. McQuay went on to win the 2012 NCAA Championship for the 400m. He was the Team USA Outdoor 400m Champion in 2011, and was the runner-up in the 400m at the recent 2012 U.S. Trials to punch his ticket to London. He also earned a spot in the 4x400m Relay. Tony also interestingly broke Chicago Bear Wide Receiver Devin Hester’s 200m record while he was still in high school. Here’s an interview by fellow Gator Blogger Julie Quittner
Here’s Tony’s London race schedule:
Saturday August 4th: 5:35PM- 400m Round 1
Sunday August 5th: 3:40PM- 400m Semifinals
Monday August 6th: 4:30PM- 400m FINAL
Thursday August 9th: 6:35AM- 4x400m Relay Round 1
Friday August 10th: 4:20PM- 4x400m Relay FINAL
I only highlighted a mere sample of the impressive talent Gator Nation is bringing to London. In addition to the Gator athletes competing, two Florida Coaches will showcase their ability in London. Coach Gregg Troy is the Head Coach of the USA Men’s Swimming Team, and Mike Holloway is the USA Men’s Track and Field Assistant Coach. The Bourbon Meyer Family wishes all the Gators the best of luck in London! See the full Gator roster here.
Morgan Moriarty is a Sophomore Telecommunications Major at the University of Florida. Follow her on Twitter here @moriarty343