UA Contributes to the Olympic Movement

Twenty-four athletes and coaches with connections to the UA will pursue their Olympic dreams in London. Sports represented will include basketball, track and field, soccer, cycling and swimming and diving.
July 19, 2012
Extra Info: 
Georganne Moline
Georganne Moline

As the Olympic flame nears the completion of its journey to London with the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games on July 27, once again the University of Arizona is an active participant in the Olympic movement.

A total of 24 athletes and coaches with ties to the school will represent 10 nations and participate in the games at the Olympics. Twenty-one are athletes, including four current Wildcat student-athletes, one is a coach and one is an athlete trained by UA coaches.

Fifteen of the 21 UA athletes scheduled to participate have previous Olympic experience, and four of those have earned medals. Two Wildcats scheduled to compete – Abdi Abdirahman and Roland Schoeman – will be participating in their fourth Olympiad, equaling the UA mark for longevity shared by three others (George L. Young, Amanda Beard and Ryk Neethling).

Arizona long has had a connection to the Olympics, as a total of 113 athletes have made 179 appearances in the games. In fact, at least one athlete with Arizona ties has competed in every summer Olympiad since the Rome Games in 1960 (athletes with UA ties also competed in 1952).

Wildcat athletes have won 56 medals (23 gold/21 silver/14 bronze) in Olympic competition and have claimed at least one medal in every Olympiad since 1968.

The Arizona contingent is among 233 athletes and support staff representing Pac-12 Conference members in London. The UA’s Olympic representation is tied for fourth-most among the “Conference of Champions” and equals the most of any league school outside of California.

It marks the third consecutive summer Olympiad (2004/2008/2012) that Arizona has had 20 or more athletes competing. In 2008, Arizona’s 25-person contingent ranked seventh among U.S. colleges and universities.

The Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics are scheduled for July 27. Competition begins in earnest on July 28 and will conclude on Aug. 12. Please note that London is eight hours ahead of current Tucson time (PDT) because of daylight savings.

Arizona Olympians (23)


Former student-athletes (country representing): UA career; hometown

  • Andre Iguodala (USA): 2003, 2004; Springfield, Ill.
  • Robertas Javtokas (Lithuania): 1999-2000; Siauliai, Lithuania

Track and Field

Current student-athletes: event; UA status; hometown

  • Brigetta Barrett (USA): high Jump; 2013 senior; Wappinger Falls, N.Y. 
  • Julie Labonté (Canada): shot put; 2013 senior; Saint Justine, Quebec  
  • Georganne Moline (USA): 400-meter hurdles; 2013 senior; Phoenix, Ariz.                 

Former student-athletes: event; UA career; hometown

  • Abdi Abdirahman (USA): marathon; 1998-99; Mogadishu, Somalia
  • Luis Rivera-Morales (Mexico): long jump; 2008-10; Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico

UA volunteer assistant coaches: event; UA tenure; hometown; alma mater


Current student-athlete: UA status; hometown

  • Ana-Maria Montoya (Colombia): 2013 junior; Beaverton, Ore.


Former student: event; hometown

  • Todd Wells (USA): mountain bike-cross country; Kingston, N.Y.

Swimming and Diving

Former student-athletes: events; UA career; hometown

  • Alyssa Anderson (USA): 4x200 free relay; 2009-12; Granite Bay, Calif.
  • Jean Basson (South Africa): 4x200 free relay; 2007-10; Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Clark Burckle (USA): 200 breaststroke; 2010; Louisville, Ky.
  • Simon Burnett (Great Britain): 4x100 free relay; 2003-06; Tetsworth, UK
  • Sara El Berki (Morocco): breastroke and 400 individual medley
  • Nicolas Nilo-Oliveira (Brazil): 100 free, 4x100 free relay; 2006-09; Bello Horizante, Brazil
  • Roland Schoeman (South Africa): 50 free; 1999-02; Pretoria, South Africa  
  • Nimrod Shapira-Bar-Or (Israel): 100 free, 200 free, 100 fly; 2009-11; Jerusalem, Israel
  • Albert Subirats (Venezuela): 100 fly; 2005-08; Valencia, Venezuela
  • Nick Thoman (USA): 100 back; 2005-07; Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Darian Townsend (South Africa): 200 free, 200 IM, relays; 2007-08; Pietermartizburg, South Africa

Former coach:

  • Frank Busch, USA Swimming National Team Director; 1990-2011

Allied training participant: events; UA connection

  • Matt Grevers (USA): 100 back, 4-x100 free relay; Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics (Hillenbrand Aquatic Center)