Olympic Watch 2008: Athletes and coaches head for China

Originally published July 30, 2008.

Beijing Olympic medalsSMU will be part of the action at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, as nearly 20 SMU students, alumni and coaches get ready for the games. The games begin Aug. 8.

The following alumni and student-athletes – some of them past Olympians and medalists – are confirmed to compete for their nations:

  • Camilo Becerra (’05) – Swimming, Columbia
  • Laura Reback Bennett (’97) – Triathlon, USA
  • Anja Carman (’08) – Swimming, Slovenia
  • Libor Charfreitag (’00) – Track and Field, Slovakia
  • Florence Ezeh (’00) – Track and Field, Togo
  • Lars Frolander (’98) – Swimming, Sweden
  • Petra Klosova, senior – Swimming, Czech Republic
  • Maroua Mathlouthi, sophomore – Swimming, Tunisia
  • Martina Moravcova (’98) – Swimming, Slovakia
  • Gaelle Niare (’08) – Track and Field, France
  • Sara Nordenstam (’06) – Swimming, Norway
  • Flavia Rigamonti (’06) – Swimming, Switzerland
  • Michael Robertson (attended 2003-04) – Track and Field, USA
  • Angela San Juan Cisneros (’08) – Swimming, Spain
  • Denisa Smolenova, first-year (incoming) – Swimming, Slovakia
  • Aleksander Tammert (’96) – Track and Field, Estonia

In addition, these Mustang coaches and alumni will participate:

  • Swimming Head Coaches Steve Collins and Eddie Sinnott each have accepted positions with Beijing-bound teams. Collins will be head coach of the Slovakian national team for the fourth time, while Sinnott will be an assistant team leader with the United States team.
  • Swimmer turned rower Dr. Rania Elwani (’99) is a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes Commission. She was elected to the position by her fellow athletes at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.
  • Tennis letterwinner Rodney Harmon (’83) has been named head men’s tennis coach of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, as announced by the United States Tennis Association. Harmon achieved a singles ranking of No. 1 in the country during his time at SMU.

(Above, the reverse design of Beijing’s Olympic medals – gold, silver and bronze discs inlaid with Chinese jade.)

Read more at the SMU Athletics site
See a list of past SMU Olympians (PDF format)
Official website of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

About Kathleen Tibbetts

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