The 2012 London Olympics concluded on Sunday with the Florida Gators bringing home 16 event medals including four gold, six silver and six bronze over the course of 19 days worth of action across the pond.
In an effort to highlight the Gators’ praiseworthy accomplishments while simultaneously recapping over two weeks worth of athletic action, OGGOA presents this wrap up of the presence that Florida’s athletes made at the Olympics. Below you will find facts, figures and highlights of what the Gators accomplished from July 25 through Aug. 12.
You can check out the Olympic results as they happened as well as the official Gator Nation vs. The World medal count and plenty of other information by checking out OGGOA’s Live Coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.
FACTS AND FIGURES
» If Gator Nation was its own country, it would have been ranked 17th overall in the final Olympic medal both in weighted and grand total calculations. The Gators won as many gold medals (four) as Jamaica and Czech Republic and captured one more than Spain, Brazil and South Africa (among others).
» Twelve Florida athletes won a grand total of 18 individual medals (16 event medals) for three countries. Fourteen of the 16 medals won were captured for the United States.
» 35.3 percent of the Gators that competed in the Olympics (12-of-34) won at least one medal. 50 percent (17-of-34) at least reached a final or competed for a medal.
» Ryan Lochte (swimming, United States) led the way with five medals including two golds (one shared in a relay with Conor Dwyer), two silvers and a bronze. Following Lochte with two each were Elizabeth Beisel (swimming, United States) and Will Claye (athletics, United States), who both brought home a silver and a bronze.
» Three other Florida athletes won gold including Christian Taylor (athletics, United States), Abby Wambach and Heather Mitts (football, United States). The rest of the medals included a silver each from Tony McQuay and Jeff Demps (athletics, United States) as well as a bronze each from Lisa Raymond (tennis, United States), Melanie Booth (football, Canada) and Novlene Williams-Mills (athletics, Jamaica).
» Beisel is the only current UF student-athlete that medaled in the Olympics. She will be entering her junior year in 2012.
» Seventeen countries were represented by Gators including the United States (11), Great Britain (6), Cayman Islands and Iceland (two each) and Australia, Barbados, Canada, Colombia, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Poland, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain and Tunisia (one each). Florida athletes also competed in five sports categories including swimming (19), athletics (10), football (three), basketball and tennis (one each).
Read the rest of “Florida Gators at the 2012 London Olympics” after the break…
» Just days before the Olympics began, Demps woke up one morning to learn that he had been added to the American roster pool for the Men’s 4×100 Meter Relay after Mike Rogers suffered an injury. Demps went from being on the outside looking in to winning a silver medal due to running the opening leg of the relay in the first round.
» Wambach scored a goal in five of the United States’ first six Olympic matches and was on the pitch for 98 percent of the games (558-of-570 minutes). She did not score in the Americans’ gold medal match but now stands with 143 goals in 188 international matches, putting her 15 away from tying Mia Hamm’s all-time record. Wambach won her second career gold medal and promised to return for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
» Mitts, who won her third gold medal in as many Olympics, played her last professional soccer match in the United States’ second game of the group stage as she announced prior to the games that she would be retiring. She was available as a reserve for the duration of the matches but was not used even in the gold medal match which was patroned by 80,203, a record crowd for an Olympic women’s soccer match.
» Lochte’s performance in the Olympics may have been disappointing to some (including himself), but the amount of work he put in throughout the games was extensive. He competed in six events over the course of six days, swimming in 13 total races including three on July 29 and four on Aug. 1. Lochte, who now has 11 career Olympic medals, said he will return for the 2016 Rio Olympics though he may swim shorter events.
» Raymond, at 38 years old, had the opportunity to win two Olympic bronze medals but wound up just capturing one in mixed doubles, the first of her career. She entered the event as part of the No. 1-ranked women’s doubles team in the world, the oldest athlete in her profession to accomplish that feat. It was her second Olympic appearance.
» McQuay was disappointed that he did not qualify for the finals of the Men’s 400 Meter Dash but made up for it in a big way in the Men’s 4×400 Meter Relay, running the fastest split out of anyone in the world in the first round (43.65) and finals (43.41) of the event.
» Thursday, Aug. 9 is a day that will live in Gators athletics history as five Florida athletes captured a total of four event medals. Taylor and Claye finished gold-silver in the Men’s Triple Jump, Wambach and Mitts brought home gold and Booth added a bronze. Taylor became the youngest jumper in over 100 years to win gold in the event and captured the first individual track & field gold in program history. Taylor and Claye combined to win the first three field medals in school history in these Olympics.
» Gregg Troy (at UF since 1998) served as head coach of the American men’s swimming team, while Mike Holloway (at UF since 2003) worked as an assistant coach with sprinters and hurdlers for the United States’ track & field team.
» The Pride of the Sunshine Fightin’ Gator Marching Band spent a week in London playing for dignitaries and fans as well as touring the city. More than 230 members of the band represented the Gators in London thanks mostly to private donations.
» Though her country did not accomplish its goal, Azania Stewart (Great Britain) did whatever she could to help her team win its first-ever women’s basketball game in the Olympics. Great Britain came excruciatingly close but fell short on multiple occasions, losing two games by a single digit and being forced into overtime in another contest.
Photo Credits (in order): Unknown, Associated Press, Gregory Bull/Associated Press
On a personal note, I would like to express my appreciation to all of you who cared so much about the Gators competing in the Olympics that it made what I initially thought might be a painstaking endeavor (trust me, it still was in many ways) into an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience.
OGGOA did some of its best traffic ever over the course of the Olympics, one of our Facebook posts was the most-liked, shared and commented on in the history of our page and the number of tweets that were retweeted on Twitter was seemingly endless at times.
Though it had to be explained numerous times (especially on Twitter), I also want to thank you for understanding and respecting the perspective that OGGOA (as well as SB Nation’s Alligator Army, for that matter) took on covering Florida in these Olympics, counting only athletes who were either current or former representatives of the school and had not transferred to another institution. It was also important to me to tally the Gator Nation vs. The World medal count according to Olympic/international weighted standards (though in the end the Gators finished in 17th in both regards).
Another “thank you” goes out to Michael Nash for creating the fantastic and eye-catching Gator Head/Olympic logo graphic that was used throughout our coverage and passed around by hundreds (if not thousands) of Florida fans through social media. Many of you also added the logo as a “Twibbon” to your Twitter avatars, something that certainly stuck out when reading @OnlyGators‘ replies and mentions.
I guess the dual 5 a.m. alarms for two weeks were worth it after all.