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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Six Wildcats earn hardware in Beijing

    Contrary to what NBC’s coverage might indicate, the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing came to a close yesterday. Michael Phelps made history in the pool as he surpassed fellow American Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals in one Olympics. Jamaican Usain Bolt shocked the world by setting three world-records in track and the “”Redeem Team”” restored order in the basketball world by earning a gold of its own.

    While those might have been the overall headlines from Beijing, the headline makers in Tucson are the six Wildcat athletes who will bring some nice souvenirs back to the desert.

    Senior Lacy Nymeyer swam the second-fastest leg of the USA women’s 4×100-meter relay, an event in which her squad took silver. Nymeyer became the first Mormon to ever earn an Olympic medal as a result.

    Former Wildcats Jennie Finch, Lovieanne Jung, Caitlin Lowe and Kim Glass each earned a silver medal. Finch, Lowe and Jung with the softball team and Glass with the women’s indoor volleyball team.

    Another former Wildcat, shortstop Jason Donald, will take home a bronze along with the rest of the USA baseball team.

    Although no Arizona athlete will be flashing any gold and the four medals pales in comparison to the 14 medals Wildcats took home from the 2004 Athens Games, the three silvers and one bronze total more than that of 37 nations in the unofficial medal count – the International Olympic Committee doesn’t formally recognize a medal count.

    While those six might have been the only Arizona athletes to win medals, 19 other Wildcats competed in Beijing as well. The total of 25 Olympians puts Arizona in seventh place among Olympian producing colleges, behind Auburn (31), UCLA (32), Florida (34), California (41), USC (41) and Stanford (46) according to list compiled by Forbes Magazine.

    At least one Wildcat has taken home a medal in every Olympiad since the 1968 Games in Mexico City.

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