Tracking Beijing Bound Bruins ...

This from the hard copy of the latest UCLA Magazine (July 2008) hitting our mailboxes last few days (starting at page 22):

The road to olympic gold often runs through UCLA. Since 1920, the year after the university was founded, Bruins have participated in every Summer Olympiad save one (1924). Even in 1980, during the U.S.-led boycott of the Games, foreign athletes who studied at UCLA competed for their home countries in Moscow. That lofty lineage continues to this day, connecting our first Olympians - long jumper Edward Butler and water polo player Clyde Swendsen - to athletes such as Ato Bolden, Rafer Johnson '59, Dwight Stones, C.K. Yang '64, Evelyn Ashford, Gail Devers '89, Florence Griffith Joyner, Walt Hazzard '78, Ann Meyers Drysdale '79, Peter Vidmar '83, Kerry Strug, Lisa Fernandez '95, Dot Richardson '84, Shirley Babashoff, Donna de Verona '86, Karch Kiraly '83, Holly McPeak, Jackie Joyner-Kersee '86 and Joy Fawcett, among many others.

The tradition will continue in Beijing. bruinbabe2000 already noted how Jeanette Bolden '85 is coaching the U.S. women's track team. Joining Jeanette will be four Bruins from our water polo teams:

Former UCLA water polo players Adam Wright and Brandon Brooks (men's) and Jaime Hipp and Natalie Golda (women's) have been named to the United States national water polo team rosters and will compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Wright and Brooks both represented the United States on the men's national team at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Golda helped lead the women's national team to the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics. Hipp will make her first appearance in the Olympic Games this summer in Beijing.

Also, Toronto's Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, who is coming in as a freshman to join the UCLA Gymnastics team for the 2009 season, has punched her ticket to Beijing locking up  one of Canada's two individual berths at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, current and former Bruin track stars are competing in U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon to get their tickets punched.

Former Bruins Sheena (Johnson) Tosta and Suzy Powell Roos became the first UCLA athletes to punch their tickets to the Beijing Olympic Games as they both finished in the top-three in their respective events at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR on Sunday.
Powell Roos finished in the runner-up position in the discus with a mark of 206-5 and will head to Beijing for her third Olympic competition (member of the U.S. team at the 1996 Athens and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games).
Tosta was third in the 400m hurdles with her time of 54.62. She will head to Beijing and will compete in her second Olympic Games (she was 4th in Athens in 2004).

According to the UCLA Magazine reported cited above, as many as "34 current and former Bruins had either earned the right to compete in Beijing or were in hot pursuit of a spot," including swimmer Kim Vandenberg '07 and soccer star Lauren Cheney. Vandenberg is already making a splash. And it sure looks like Lauren will be good bet given some of her recent honor:


When we have a complete list of all the Bruin Olympians, we will certainly share it here on BN. But as always if you don't want to wait for us and get started on it already, don't let us hold you back.

GO BRUINS.

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