Pac-10 Olympic Wrap-Up
Aug. 25, 2008
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- If the athletic products of Pacific-10 Conference institutions had united as one nation at the just completed XXIX Olympiad, 'Pac-10' would have stood eighth among all participating countries in the final medal count. Furthermore, with its 15 gold, 12 silver, and nine bronze medals, this collegiate nation would have been bested by only five countries in the gold medal rankings.
According to Forbes Magazine, of America's Top 10 Olympic schools, five belong to the Pac-10 membership. STANFORD had more affiliated athletes (46) participating in the Beijing Games than any other college, among them 11 current student-athletes. Tied for second-best on the Forbes list were CALIFORNIA and USC, boasting 41 competitors each. Trojans have won a gold medal in every Olympics since 1912 - this year they contributed to seven. No. 5 UCLA claimed 32 athletes on its institutional roster, while No. 7 ARIZONA contributed 27 athletes.
All told, Pac-10 affiliates earned 89 medals in Beijing. Nearly one-sixth of these medals came from the swimming competition, where five Conference institutions teamed up to produce 14 medals. Headlining the competition was Cal alumnae Natalie Coughlin, who not only became the first woman to win the 100 backstroke in back-to-back Olympiads and the first U.S. female swimmer to win six medals in a single games, but also won more medals than anyone else in any sport except for Michael Phelps.
In other Pac-10 Olympic headlines, half of the USA gold medal winning women's eight (rowing) hailed from the Conference. Kerri Walsh, STAN, and partner Misty May-Treanor became the first beach volleyball team to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals. The two are also the only women to win 100 career beach volleyball titles. The U.S. men's water polo team, tallying seven Conference affiliates on its roster, won the country's first medal in the sport since 1988 when it took silver to Hungary. Team captain Tony Azevedo, STAN, scored 17 of USA's 57 tournament goals. Also earning hardware for the first time in nearly two decades were the women's and men's volleyball teams. Yet another Cardinal, Logan Tom, led the USA women's team to the medal podium (silver) for the first time in 16 years. The men's gold medal winning team (USA), also in a drought since 1988, relied on substitutions from two Pac-10 players.
|PAC-10 MEDAL COUNT (FINAL)|
|PAC-10 MEDAL COUNT* (FINAL)|
*Pac-10 Medal Count relects individual medals as well as medals won as part of a team effort.
Click Here for a complete breakdown of Pac-10 Olympic Medals by sport.
Thu 1/25 | 6:30pm PTLive