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Wildcats well represented in 2012 Olympics

Wildcats well represented in 2012 Olympics

CREATED Jul 19, 2012

Sports Director: Jason Barr

TUCSON (Arizona Athletics)

As the Olympic flame nears completion of its journey to London with the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games on July 27, once again the University of Arizona is an active participant in the Olympic movement.

A total of 23 athletes and coaches with ties to the school will represent 10 nations and participate in the games of the XXXth Olympiad. Twenty-one are athletes, including four current Wildcat student-athletes, one is a coach and one is an athlete trained by UA coaches.

Fourteen of the 21 UA athletes scheduled to participate have previous Olympic experience and four of those have earned medals. Two Wildcats scheduled to compete - Abdi Abdirahman and Roland Schoeman- will be participating in their fourth Olympiad, equaling the UA mark for longevity shared by three others (George L. Young/Amanda Beard/Ryk Neethling).

Arizona long has had a connection to the Olympics, as a total of 112 athletes have made 177 appearances in the Games. In fact, at least one athlete with Arizona ties has competed in every summer Olympiad since the Rome Games in 1960 (athletes with UA ties also competed in 1952).

Wildcat athletes have won 56 medals (23 gold/21 silver/14 bronze) in Olympic competition and have claimed at least one medal in every Olympiad since 1968.

The Arizona contingent is among 238 athletes and support staff representing Pac-12 Conference members in London. UA's Olympic representation is tied for fifth-most among the "Conference of Champions" and equals the most of any league school outside of California.

It marks the third consecutive summer Olympiad (2004/2008/2012) that Arizona has had 20 or more athletes competing. In 2008, Arizona's 25-person contingent ranked seventh among U.S. colleges and universities.

The Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics are scheduled for Friday, July 27. Competition begins in earnest on Saturday, July 28, and will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 12.