Campus News Georgia Impact

Fun and Games

Reese Hoffa practices at the UGA track after winning the shot put competition at the U.S. Olympic Trials. He will take part in his third straight Olympic Games this summer. He is one of 28 Bulldogs heading to the games.

UGA athletes, coach among those headed to London for summer Olympics

UGA will be sending 29 Bulldogs—27 athletes, one coach and one official—to the Olympics in London July 27 through Aug. 12. Incoming, current and former athletes will compete in tennis, gymnastics, volleyball, track and field, swimming and diving and will represent 13 countries.

The UGA swimming program will have the biggest contingent at the games—13 swimmers total. 

Five swimmers—three current students and two former—will represent Team USA in the London Olympic Games July 28-Aug. 4.

Allison Schmitt, a rising senior from Canton, Mich., won the 200- and 400-meter freestyle races at the Olympic Trials and also will swim on the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays. She won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay.

Andrew Gemmell, a rising junior from Wilmington, Del., won the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Shannon Vreeland, a rising junior from Overland Park, Kan., made the U.S. team as an alternate in the 800-meter freestyle relay.

Kara Lynn Joyce, a former member of the swim team, qualified for her third Olympics by coming in second in the women’s 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. trials. In both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games, she earned silver medals as a member of the 4×100-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter medley relays.

Former UGA swimmer Amanda Weir will be an alternate for the 400-meter freestyle relay. Weir won two silver medals at the 2004 Games on the 400-meter freestyle and medley relays.

Four former UGA swimmers also will compete for their home countries. Wendy Trott and Troy Prinsloo will represent South Africa. Aleksandra Putra, who swam for France in 2008, will represent Poland at the 2012 games. Sarah Poewe will represent Germany. It will be Poewe’s fourth appearance at the Olympics. She earned a bronze medal on the 400-meter medley relay in 2004. This will be Trott and Prinsloo’s second consecutive Olympics. 

Four UGA swimming signees also will compete in the Olympics: Brittany MacLean (Canada), Matias Koski (Finland), Yousef Alaskari (Kuwait) and Ediz Yildirimer (Turkey). It will be Yildirimer’s second straight Olympics.

Former UGA diver Chris ­Colwill qualified for his second Olympic Games by winning the men’s 3-meter springboard at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Dan Laak, UGA diving coach and Colwill’s personal coach, will accompany Colwill to London as an assistant coach. The Olympic diving competition will take place Aug. 6-7.

UGA’s track and field team will send 10 former or future student athletes to the Olympics to represent six countries.

Three former members of UGA’s track and field program won their events at the U.S. Olympic Trials to qualify for the London Olympics. Their events will take place Aug. 3-4. Hyleas Fountain won the heptathlon and is headed to her second straight Olympics. She won a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics. Thrower Reese Hoffa won the shot put to qualify for his third straight Olympics. Kibwe Johnson won the hammer throw to qualify for his first Olympics.

Former Georgia throwers Andras Haklits and Martin Maric will both represent Croatia in the hammer throw and discus, respectively.

Jenny Dahlgren will represent Argentina in the hammer throw while Sultana Frizell will compete in the hammer throw for Canada.

Levern Spencer will compete in the high jump for St. Lucia. Incoming freshman Shaunae Miller will compete in the 400-meter dash for the Bahamas. And Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, a former UGA runner, will represent the Bahamas in the 4×100-meter relay.

Brittany Rogers, who will be a freshman on the 2013 gymnastics team, earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic team. The artistic gymnastics events will take place July 28-Aug. 7.

Elizabeth Reid, a senior from Great Britain and former UGA volleyball player, was named to the British National Team that will compete in the London Olympics.

Former UGA tennis player John Isner will compete in both doubles and singles tennis for the U.S.

Teresa Edwards, a former UGA basketball player and four-time Olympic gold medalist in women’s basketball, will serve as a chef de mission for the U.S. Olympic ­Committee.