- Oct. 2, 2012 - GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Gainesville, FL
– Thirty-four University of Florida athletes participated in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England (not including those with signed letters-of-intent)
. They represented 15 countries and if the Gator Nation was considered a country by the International Olympic Committee, UF would have been one high-ranking nation. Seven members of the Olympic team were from the College of Health and Human Performance, which has a history of breeding stellar Olympians. And, not only do HHP athletes succeed, they become notorious. Case in point: Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer, who fronted the headlines during the Olympic Games July 27th – August 12th along with record-breaker Michael Phelps. HHP could not be more proud of their great alumni!
Graduates and attendees of the College of Health and Human Performance include:
Ryan Lochte (USA), who graduated in 2011 with a degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism, competed in six swimming events. His events included the 400-meter individual medley (GOLD), 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay (GOLD), 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay (SILVER), 200-meter individual medley (SILVER), 200-meter backstroke (BRONZE), and the 200-meter freestyle (4th place). Lochte also competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and now has eleven total medals.
Conor Dwyer (USA), who graduated in 2012 with a degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism, competed in two swimming events. His events included the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay (GOLD) with teammate Ryan Lochte and the 400-meter freestyle (5th place).
Stephanie Proud (Great Britain), another swimmer who graduated in 2010 with a degree in Health Education, competed in the 200-meter backstroke. She came in 4th in the semi-final heat and did not advance to the finals.
Genevieve LaCaze (Australia), a track and field star who graduated in 2012 with a degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, competed in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Steeplechase is a type of obstacle race with four barriers and one water jump. LaCaze was 9th in her heat and did not advance to the finals.
•Novlene Williams-Mills (Jamaica) graduated with a degree in Commercial Recreation and Hospitality Management in 2004. Her track and field events were the 4 x 400-meter relay (BRONZE) and 400-meter (5th place).
• Christian Taylor (USA) attended the College of Health & Human Performance from 2009-2011. He competed in the triple jump event and took home a gold medal for Team USA with a jump length of 17.81 meters (58.4 feet). Taylor is currently sponsored by Li-Ning, a Chinese athletic company, and plans to return to the University of Florida in the near future to complete his studies.
Abby Wambach (USA) majored in Leisure Service Management at the University of Florida from 1998-2001. Wambach was on Team USA’s soccer team and beat France, Colombia, North Korea, New Zealand, Canada, and Japan to take home the gold medal. She has been on the USA’s women’s national soccer team since 2003 and is currently the second highest all-time goal scorer after Mia Hamm.
In addition to the athletes, UF Head Swim Coach Gregg Troy was the head swim coach for Team USA and UF Head Men’s Indoor Track and Field Coach Mike Holloway served as the men’s staff assistant coach on Team USA for sprints and hurdles. Overall, the HHP Olympic group brought home 9 medals – that’s an achievement to which to be proud!
The Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management is committed to national and international excellence in the generation, dissemination, and communication of knowledge in tourism, recreation and sport management. The Department is also dedicated to excellence in the preparation and training of future industry and academic professionals, and providing relevant outreach to stakeholders.
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