Eight UT alumni brought home a total of ten medals, including five golds, from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The 2012 medal tally for former UT athletes surpasses the school’s previous record of eight medals, which was set at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. UT’s total medal count places the university seventh among all schools and second among SEC programs for this year’s Olympics.
The former Vols and Lady Vols earned medals in men’s and women’s track and field, women’s basketball, and women’s soccer:
Women’s basketball: Tamika Catchings, 33, and Candace Parker, 26, were both part of the gold medal-winning US women’s basketball team. This summer saw Catchings bring home her third gold medal, adding to those she earned in 2004 and 2008. Parker scored her second gold this year, to accompany the one she received in 2008. Catchings graduated in 2000 and Parker in 2008, both with degrees in sport management.
Men’s track and field: Aries Merritt, 27, scored big for Team USA in his Olympic debut, bringing home a gold medal for his performance in the 110-meter hurdles. Justin Gatlin, 30, brought home two medals for the United States, a silver in the 4 x 100-meter relay and a bronze in the 100-meter dash. Gatlin previously earned a gold medal for the 100-meter dash in 2004. Merritt and Gatlin attended UT from 2005 to 2007 and from 2000 to 2002, respectively.
Women’s track and field: Tianna Madison, 26, was among the four US women who set a new world record in the 4 x 100-meter relay. Finishing the relay in 40.82 seconds, the gold-winning team beat the previous world record of 41.37 seconds that was set by East Germany in October 1985. DeeDee Trotter, 29, earned a gold medal for the United States in the 4 x 400-meter relay, adding to the gold she won for that event in 2004. Trotter also left London with a bronze medal for the 400-meter dash. Madison attended UT from 2004 to 2006; Trotter graduated from UT in 2005 with a degree in sociology.
Women’s soccer: Rhian Wilkinson and Marie-Eve Nault, both 30, helped Team Canada win a bronze medal in women’s soccer. Wilkinson, who also played for Canada’s soccer team in the 2008 Olympics, graduated from UT in 2004 with a degree in speech communications. Nault graduated in 2005 with a degree in exercise science.
A number of other current and former UT athletes participated in the 2012 Games, representing a variety of countries: Hannah Wilkinson (New Zealand, women’s soccer); Martina Moravcikova (Czech Republic, women’s 200-meter breaststroke); Fabiola Molina (Brazil, women’s 100-meter backstroke); Octavio Alesi (Venezuela, men’s 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay); Jangy Addy (Liberia, decathlon); and Barry Murphy (Ireland, men’s 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke). Jamol James was part of the men’s track and field team for Trinidad & Tobago and Hassaan Stamps was the national teams coach for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In addition, alumna and former Olympic gold medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley was USA Track & Field’s (USATF) chief of sport performance. She oversaw USATF’s high-performance and athlete development programs, Team USA management, elite athlete services, sport science and medicine, anti-doping, coaching education and certification, and national championship meet management. Mosley, a 1984 graduate of the College of Engineering, won gold in the 100-meter hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, becoming the first African American woman and second American woman, after Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1932, to accomplish the feat.
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Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, email@example.com)