• Baylor’s history of Olympic excellence

    Baylor Bears at the Olympics

    When Trayvon Bromell (track and field), Brittney Griner (women’s basketball) and John Peers (tennis) compete this month at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, they’ll become the latest in a long line of Baylor athletes who have represented the green and gold on the world stage, symbolically receiving the torch from Baylor Olympians who came before them, dating as far back as 1904 (the third modern Olympics).

    Most fans are aware of the accomplishments of iconic sprinter Michael Johnson, BBA ’91, whose four gold medals earned him a spot amongst history’s all-time greats, and more recent stars like three-time gold medalist Jeremy Wariner. But did you know that legendary Baylor track and field coach Clyde Hart coached athletes who won gold medals in six straight Olympics? Or that Baylor’s first-ever gold medal was won by basketball player Jack Robinson, BA ’49, in 1948?

    The following Bears have represented Baylor in the Olympics across four different sports and for five other nations in addition to the U.S.A, winning 11 Olympic gold medals:

    1904 ST. LOUIS GAMES
    * C.M. King, track and field – standing broad jump (silver)
    * King, track and field – standing triple jump (silver)

    1948 LONDON GAMES
    * Jack Robinson, basketball (gold)

    1992 BARCELONA GAMES
    * Michael Johnson, track and field – 200 m
    * Johnson, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay (gold)

    1996 ATLANTA GAMES
    * Johnson, track and field – 200 m (gold)
    * Johnson, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay (gold)

    2000 SYDNEY GAMES
    * Johnson, track and field – 400 m (gold)
    * Johnson, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay
    * Barbara Petrahn, BBA ’03, track and field – 400 m (Hungary)

    2004 ATHENS GAMES
    * Bayano Kamani, BBA ’02, track and field – 400 m (Panama)
    * Zsolt Szeglet, BSCS ’04, MBA ’06, track and field – 400 m (Hungary)
    * Jared Theodorakos, BSED ’04, baseball (Greece)
    * Jeremy Wariner, track and field – 400 m (gold)
    * Wariner, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay (gold)
    * Darold Williamson, BSED ’11, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay  (gold)

    2008 BEIJING GAMES
    * Kamani, track and field – 400 m (Panama)
    * Petrahn, track and field – 400 m (Hungary)
    * Wariner, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay (gold)
    * Wariner, track and field – 400 m (silver)
    * Reggie Witherspoon, BA ’14, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay (gold)

    2012 LONDON GAMES
    * Wariner, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay (qualified, but missed games due to injury)

    2016 RIO GAMES
    * Trayvon Bromell, track and field – 100 m
    * Bromell, track and field – 4 x 100 m relay
    * Brittney Griner, women’s basketball (gold)
    * John Peers, men’s tennis – doubles (Australia)
    * Leticia De Souza*, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay (Brazil)

    In addition to those former student-athletes, head women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey was the point guard for the gold medal-winning USA women’s basketball team at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.

    The Baylor family can follow Bromell and Griner in their pursuit of the gold. Following tonight’s opening ceremonies, the USA women’s basketball team begins preliminary play Sunday, Aug. 7, while the men’s 100 meters first round is Saturday, Aug. 13.

    Sic ’em, Baylor Olympians!

    [* De Souza competed in the 2016 Olympics shortly before she enrolled at Baylor.]

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