Lauren Cheney loves gold.
After two weeks of competition, tears, heart break, and pure joy, the 2012 London Olympics have formally closed (with too much Jessie J and Russell Brand and not enough Spice Girls) and we can now go over the final UCLA medal count.
The final tally: 9 medals. Six gold (two each from women's soccer, women's water polo and men's basketball), 2 silver (women's 100m hurdles and men's rowing), and one bronze (Women's soccer.)
Men's Basketball, medals won by Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.
On Sunday morning, USA Men's basketball won gold again, as they defeated Spain (again, in a rematch of the 2008 title game) 107-100. Kevin Love scored 9 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook scored 3 points in limited minutes, recovering from a sprained ankle during the semifinal versus Argentina. The USA was led by Kevin Durant's 30 and LeBron James' 19, who possibly had the best year ever (NBA Champ, MVP and Olympic Gold Medalist.)
Women's Soccer, medals won by Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux
In front of a record 80,000 fans at historic Wembley Stadium, the USA Women's Soccer team took on Japan in a rematch of last year's World Cup final. This time, the USA grabbed the lead and held on for a 2-1 win. Carli Lloyd scored both goals and Hope Solo came up with some spectacular saves. Lauren Cheney did not start after hurting her ankle in the semifinals, but came in as a replacement.
Former UCLA coach Jillian Ellis is an assistant coach, but does not count towards the medal count.
Women's Water Polo, medals won by Courtney Mathewson and Kelly Rulon
The United States won it's first gold in water polo, defeating Spain in the pool 8-5. The team, coached by former UCLA coach Adam Krikorian, vanquished their Olympic demons after finishing with silver in 2000 and 2008. Neither Mathewson or Rulon scored in the final, but both made their presence felt during the tournament. Rulon added on to her personal medal count, adding on to her bronze from 2004.
Track and Field, Women's 100m Hurdles, won by Dawn Harper
Dawn Harper came in as the defending Olympic champion in the 100m hurdles, but came in second to Australia's Sally Pearson. Harper ran a personal best time of 12.37 and Kellie Wells of the USA came in third with 12.48 seconds. Harper's silver was lost in the shuffle as Australia celebrated their gold and the media focused on Lolo Jones' failure to medal in the event.
Rowing, Men's Double Sculls, won by Mark Hunter
Former UCLA Rowing assistant coach, rowing for Great Britain, won the silver medal in the lightweight men's double sculls during the first week of the Olympics. The British team came in as the defending champions but were narrowly beaten by Denmark. The race had it's own controversy, as Hunter's partner, Zac Purchase's seat came loose during the race and a restart was granted to the race. The French objected but the restart was granted.
Women's Volleyball, with Assistant Coach Karch Kiraly
This technically does not count as a medal, as coaches do not receive medals (aw come on) but the US women's volleyball team came in second to Brazil, just as they did in 2008. After dominating the first set, Brazil took over and won 3-1. It was a disappointment as the US women's team dominated much of the tournament, and while the ladies appreciate silver, they probably feel they could have won gold.
Women's Soccer, medal won by Chelsea Stewart
Canada defeated France 1-0 for their first team medal since 1936. Current junior Chelsea Stewart did not see the field during the bronze medal match, but the current junior will have some stories for her teammates when she returns in the fall!
USA Women's Gymnastics: The women's team brought home team gold, the first since 1996. While alternate Anna Li did not receive a medal (and is hopefully recovering well from her injury!) future Bruin Jordyn Wieber received a team gold. It remains to be seen if Jordyn will be in Westwood in a year or two, or if she will recommit to training for Rio.
Beach Volleyball: Al Lau is the head of the USA delegation that won gold and silver in women's beach volleyball. Unfortunately, the men's teams were knocked out before the medal round, depriving Bob Alejo the "coach medal" as the coach of the top men's volleyball team.
Men's Marathon: Meb Keflezighi finished fourth in the traditional final event of the games, higher than anyone expected, including the pre-race announcer, who didn't announce Meb as one of the 10 perceived favorites. He finished 2 hours, 11 minutes, and six seconds, about three minutes behind the winner from Uganda. He was the only American to finish the race, as his teammates succumbed to injuries around the 11 mile mark. Congrats on a great career, Meb.
The overall UCLA medal count is now up to 250, 125 of them gold. Congratulations to our medalists and all our Bruin competitors.