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Gopher Gold! U of M Students & Alumni Rock the London Olympics

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The summer 2012 London Olympics was the pop culture event of the year. Of the 530 athletes competing for Team USA, the University of Minnesota represented maroon and gold across several events. Not only in an athletic sense, but behind the scenes as well. We're #UMNProud of these Gophers and alumni!

Kelci Bryandt

Kelci is a synchronized diver who previously finished 4th in the 3-meter synchronized diving event in Beijing four years ago. After training with Olympic diving coach Wenbo CFhen at the U of M, she was ready for this year's competition. This summer Kelci and her partner, Abby Johnston, won the silver medal in the event.

Lindsay Whalen

As a senior at the U of M, Lindsay led the women's basketball team to the Final Four in 2004. She also holds Minnesota career records in points, scorning average, free throws made, free throw percentage, and games in double figures. She helped the Minnesota Lynx win their first WNBA title last fall, and was chosen for the Olympic basketball team for the first time. We're so proud of Lindsay, who helped lead Team USA to take the gold in women's basketball!

Jillian Tyler

A native of our neighboring country Canada, Jillian was the NCAA champion in the 100-yard breaststroke as a senior at the U of M in 20011, as well as eight-time Big Ten champion and 13-time All American. She earned her second straight trip to the Olympics by placing first in the 100-meater breaststroke at the Canadian Olympic trials.

Hugh McCutcheon

New Zealand native Hugh McCutcheon led the USA men's team to an Olympic gold victory in 2008. He has since coached the women's national team to an 85-37 record in just three years! We are proud to say that Hugh will be coming to the U of M this fall to replace the retiring Mike Herbert.

Amanda Smock

Although Amanda was never a Gopher athlete, she did manage to find time between training sessions to earn her Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the U of M in 2010. After four years of focus and training, she won the triple jump at the U.S. Olympic trials in June.

Barbora Spotakova

As a member of Minnesota's track and field team, Barbora was All-American in 2002 in the javelin and also made it to the NCAA champtionships in heptathlon. Currently, she is the reigning Olympic champion and world-record holder in the javelin. This sumer will be her third time competing in the olympics, representing her native Czech Republic. 

Roberto Sobalvarro

En garde! Roberto has developed and taught several classes at the U of M in both sabre fencing and foil fencing for the last 20 years. He coached the U.S. women's epee team in the individual team competition of the London Olympics. 

Susan Sokolowski

Susan earned her Ph.D. in apparel design from the College of Design here at the U of M. Currently, she works as the senior innovation manager on the Apparel Innovation Team at Nike. The U.S. women's track and field team featured her team's work in London this summer. She has been recognized internationally for her achievements in design and innovation. 

Brock Anundson

After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in sport and recreation management, Brock has been working at the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs since January 2011. He works as a programs coordinator/operations specialist, which involves setting up everything that's required for athlete training at the complex- from lodging and meals to training schedules. 

Julie (Schmitz) Miller

CEHD alumna Julie Miller lived in London this summer and worked in the Athlete Village during the Olympic games on behalf of the United States Olympic Committee. If you want to read about her amazing experiences in London, check out her blog!

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