After a giant fluorescent octopus, the Spice Girls, and the Who passed the Olympic torch from London to Brazil in last night’s closing ceremony, the 2012 London Olympics officially ended—and Longhorn athletes took home 13 medals. Here’s a look at those who competed in the final days of the Olympics.
On the Podium
Former Longhorn basketball star Kevin Durant and the U.S. men’s basketball team brought home gold, defeating Spain 107-100. Durant led the U.S. team in minutes, with 38.01, and in points, with 30—becoming the first U.S. player to score 30 points or more in a gold-medal game. With 156 points, Durant was Team USA’s leading scorer and now holds the record for most points scored in one Olympics.
Sanya Richards-Ross came to London looking to become the first woman to win gold in both the 200m and 400m dashes. Her much-anticipated performances resulted in two golds, but in the 400m and the 4x400m relay with times of 49.55 and 3:16.87, respectively, and a fifth-place finish in the 200m (22.39). Richards-Ross won the crucial anchor leg in the 4x400m relay. Her performances are all the more impressive considering she has spent the past five years battling Behcet’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease. According to ESPN, after visiting a different doctor and receiving new treatment, Richards-Ross may have put the disease behind her in the wake of winning Olympic gold.
Bianca Knight helped the U.S. women’s 4x100m relay team write history, as the team both brought home the gold and broke a 27-year-old world record. The U.S. finished in 40.82 seconds, breaking the 41.37-second finish posted by an East German squad in 1985.
Destinee Hooker, U.S. women’s volleyball team star, helped the U.S. bring home the silver after a hard-fought 3-1 loss in the final to Brazil, a repeat of the Beijing volleyball final. Hooker was held to just 14 points after averaging 21 points per match previous to the final. Hooker was also named “Best Striker” for the London Olympics.
Leo Manzano, BA ’08, Life Member, earned almost as much attention for his pride after crossing the finish line as for the performance that brought him a silver medal in the 1500m race. After Manzano clinched his medal for the U.S., he donned the American flag, but he also picked up a Mexican flag and waved it as well. After immigrating to the U.S. at age 4, Manzano gained American citizenship 14 years later.
Decathlete Trey Hardee, BS ’06, Life Member, won silver after finishing with 8,671 points behind his U.S. teammate Ashton Eaton (8,879 points). Within the individual events of the decathlon, Hardee placed first in the 110m hurdles (13.54 seconds) and the 400m dash (48.11 seconds).
Other Notable Longhorns
Michelle Carter, BS ’07, USA, and Dylan Armstrong, Canada, both competed in the shot put. Carter placed sixth in the women’s competition (19.42m), while Armstrong finished fifth among the men (20.93m).
This week, Mack Brown praised Marquise Goodwin’s athletic accomplishments, declaring that “there can’t be a better two-sport athlete in football and track & field in America than Marquise Goodwin.” Goodwin, who plays wide receiver for Brown’s football Longhorns and has two NCAA long jump championships (2010, 2012) under his belt, placed 10th overall in the long jump in London (7.80m), a somewhat unexpected finished after his 8.33m personal-best jump to qualify for the games, a meet-best length. In fact, the gold-medal winning jump of Great Britain’s Greg Rutherford was just 8.31m.
Samyr Laine, MEd ’07, Haiti, finished 11th in the men’s triple jump.
Overall, 10 of the 21 Longhorns in London garnered medals, all for Team USA. Seven other countries (and one territory) counted Longhorns among their competitors, including Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, Liberia, Nigeria, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Trey Hardee won silver in the decathlon. Photo courtesy UT Athletics.