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Joey Condon

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?Aggie Athletes Represent Texas A&M University in the 2012 London Olympics

There has been plenty of excitement over the recent launch of the 2012 London Olympics. Over one billion people worldwide tuned in to watch the opening ceremonies in London on Friday, July 27th and even more are eager to watch the famous match ups of various athletes in the diverse Olympic competitions. However, there is a secondary enthusiasm for the start of these games in College Station, Texas. Thanks to the outstanding athletic programs at Texas A&M University, 23 Aggie athletes will be competing in various sports with several associated personal appearing in coaching positions, reporting, as well as to simply show support for the students representing such a great institution.

The twenty-three Aggie athletes that will be appearing in the London Olympics will be representing fourteen different nations. Among the list are Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, and the Bahamas: along with Estonia, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Tonga, the US Virgin Islands, Lithuania, Croatia, and Zambia.

Fifteen of the twenty-three Aggies are women, outnumbering their Aggie male Olympians by almost twice as many. This reflects a national trend, as this is the first Olympics ever that the number of female Olympic athletes have outnumbered the population of the male athletes. However, Texas A&M’s proportion most likely has more to do with A&M’s outstanding women’s swimming and diving program.

The women’s swimming and diving program at Texas A&M University have been consistently nationally ranked for the past several years, winning the Big 12 Conference championship for 4 of the last 6 years. They are currently ranked 6th in the Nation, with several national champions.

Thus it almost naturally follows that eleven of the fifteen Aggie women athletes currently competing in London qualified for swimming and diving events. Only two of these will be representing the United States: Cammile Adams in the 200 Butterfly and Breeja Larson in the 100 Breaststroke. The other nine women will be swimming for their various home countries including Canada, Croatia, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, and Estonia.

The Texas A&M Women’s Swimming Coach, Steve Bultman will also be involved in the Olympics game, being hired as an assistant swimming coach for the United States Swim Team.

The Texas A&M Men’s swimming and diving team, ranked 18th in the Nation, only has two athletes competing in the Olympic Games: Amini Fonua will be swimming the 100 Breaststroke for Tonga, and Eric Sehn will be diving for Canada.

While swimming might not be a major representing the Aggie male athletes, Track and Field is. Texas A&M’s Men’s Outdoor Track and Field team is currently ranked #1 in the nation, having won the 2009, 2010, and 2011 National championship for both men and women’s outdoor track.

Texas A&M has five Olympians competing in London for Men’s Track and Field events. None of these will be competing for the United States: instead the Aggie track stars will be competing for Zambia, the Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands. The only other Aggie male athlete, Antanas Kavaliauskas, will be playing Basketball for Lithuania.

Only three Aggie women will be competing in Track and Field in the 2012 Olympics, one of which, Jeneba Tarmoh, will be competing in the 4 X 100 Relay for the United States. The other two women, Janeil Bellille and Kanika Beckles, are competing for Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, respectively.

The only other Aggies that will be representing the United States are competing in Women’s Archery. Jennifer Nichols, a member of the Texas A&M Archery Club Team, will be shooting for the US for her third Olympics. Nichols competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, whereas for Miranda Leek, Nichols Aggie companion representing the US in Archery, this will be her first Olympics.

Only five of the Aggies in London for the 2012 Games have had previous Olympic appearances, the vast majority being first time Olympians. Only one of which, Jennifer Nichols for Archery, has had qualified multiple times for the United States.

The Aggies and their sports, along with the Country they are representing, are listed as below:

Name – Sport – Country

Cammile Adams                               Swimming                                           United States

Breeja Larson                                    Swimming                                           United States

Triin Aljand                                       Swimming                                           Estonia

Alia Atkinson                                     Swimming                                           Jamaica

Erica Dittmer                                     Swimming                                           Mexico

Liliana Ibanez                                     Swimming                                           Mexico

Rita Medrano                                      Swimming                                           Mexico

Kim Pavlin                                           Swimming                                           Croatia

Julia Wilkinson                                   Swimming                                           Canada

Jaele Patrick                                       Diving                                                    Australia

Amini Fonua                                       Swimming                                           Tonga

Eric Sehn                                              Diving                                                    Canada

Jeneba Tarmoh                                 Track and Field                                  United States

Janeil Bellille                                       Track and Field                                  Trinidad & Tobago

Kanika Beckles                                  Track and Field                                  Grenada

Wayne Davis II                                  Track and Field                                  Trinidad & Tobago

Deon Lendore                                   Track and Field                                  Trinidad & Tobago

Tabarie Henry                                    Track and Field                                  US Virgin Islands

Demetrius Pinder                            Track and Field                                  Bahamas

Gerald Phiri                                        Track and Field                                  Zambia

Jennifer Nichols                                 Archery                                                United States

Miranda Leek                                    Archery                                                United States

Susan Hilton (979)764-2100

CENTURY 21 Beal, Inc.

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