• Baylor’s history of Olympic excellence to continue in Tokyo

    Jack Robinson, Michael Johnson and Brittney Griner

    A school-record six former Baylor student-athletes are in Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics, as they begin this week (one year late due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

    Trayvon Bromell (BSED ’18, track & field), Brittney Griner (BSED ’19, basketball) and John Peers (tennis) are each on Olympic rosters for the second time, while more recent Baylor track stars KC Lightfoot and Wil London (BSED ’19) and former basketball all-American Ekpe Udoh (BSED ’11) have made it to the Olympics for the first time. They’re 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 among 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 (BBA ’56) 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 over the last century-plus, 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, basketball (gold)
    * John Peers, men’s tennis – doubles (Australia)
    * Leticia De Souza^, track and field – 4 x 400 m relay (Brazil)

    2020* TOKYO GAMES
    * Bromell, track & field – 100 m
    * Griner, basketball
    * KC Lightfoot, track & field – pole vault
    * Wil London, track & field – 4 x 400 m relay
    * Peers, men’s tennis – doubles (Australia)
    * Ekpe Udoh, basketball (Nigeria)

    The Baylor family can follow Bromell, Griner, Lightfoot, London, Peers and Udoh in their pursuit of the gold beginning with Friday night’s Opening Ceremonies and continuing over the next two weeks.

    Sic ’em, Baylor Olympians!

    [^ De Souza competed in the 2016 Olympics shortly before she enrolled at Baylor.]
    [* Held in 2021 due to 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic]

    Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail this to someoneShare on RedditDigg thisShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon