I don't know if it's a curse or a blessing, but I'm a numbers person. I've spent 20+ years mentally accumulating all sorts of relatively useless statistical data. For example, I can tell you that Willie McCovey hit 521 home runs in his career, which ties him on the all-time home run list with Ted Williams and Frank Thomas. That total puts McCovey 13 home runs behind Jimmy Foxx and 15 homers behind Mickey Mantle. My ability to remember trivia may make me moderately useful at pub quizzes, but it also undoubtedly makes me a pain in the ass on long road trips.
When I decided to make UCLA Olympians the subject of this week's quiz, four numbers immediately sprang to mind: 251 & 126, 13 & 9. Here's the breakdown on the significance of those four figures:
- 251 is the number of Olympic medals won by Bruins all-time
- 126 is the number of Olympic gold medals won by Bruins all-time
- 13 is the number of Olympic medals won by UCLA athletes and coaches at the 2012 London Olympics
- 9 is the number of gold medals won by UCLA athletes and coaches at the 2012 London Olympics
I had the good fortune of attending the London Olympics, so those last two numbers hold special significance for me. Thirty-four Bruins representing nine different countries took part in the London Olympics. If UCLA hadn't axed its men's swimming & diving program and its men's gymnastics program a generation ago, it's likely that those numbers would have been higher.
UCLA has an amazing Olympic tradition. A Bruin has has won a gold medal in every Olympic Games in which the United States has competed since 1932. Five Bruins won Olympic medals in men's gymnastics at the 1932 Olympics (2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze), including a gold medal for Raymond Bass in rope climbing, and a silver medal for Philip Erenberg in Indian clubs. Those two events made their last Olympic appearance in the 1932 games.
Although the early history of Bruins competing in the Olympics is fascinating, almost all of the questions in this week's quiz are from the last dozen Olympics, starting with the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. I've once again tried to make the quiz challenging, so a final score of 15 or more (out of 20) entitles you to bragging rights. The hint feature of the quiz remains disabled; if you want hints enabled in future editions of the quiz, please indicate your preference in the comments section.
Enjoy the quiz, good luck, and as always, Go BRUINS!