SMU Mustangs involved in the drama of the 2008 Olympics
DALLAS (SMU) — North Texas resident Nastia Liukin, who attended SMU in 2007, and alumna Sara Nordenstam ('06) have won gold and bronze medals respectively at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Liukin and Nordenstam are among several SMU student-athletes, students, coaches and alumni involved in the Olympics in various capacities.
Laura Reback Bennett ('97), competing for the USA, finished fourth in the women's triathlon finals Aug. 18. Libor Charfreitag ('00), competing for Slovakia, finished 8th in the men's hammer throw finals Aug. 17. Aleksander Tammert ('96), competing for Estonia, finished 12th in the men's discus finals Aug. 18.
SMU's strong track-and-field tradition also is being showcased by former Mustang Gaelle Niare ('07), who is representing France in the high jump.
Gaelle Niare ('07)
SMU had its largest presence in the pool, where nine Mustangs competed. In addition, current SMU women's head coach Steve Collins is coaching the Slovakian National Team and current men's head coach Eddie Sinnott is managing the U.S. Team.
Tennis letter-winner Rodney Harmon is the head men's tennis coach of the U.S. Olympic Team, and swimmer-turned-rower Dr. Rania Elwani is a member of the International Olympic Committee's Athletes Commission.
Alumnus Richard Ru-Gin Chang, who is president, CEO and executive director of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, the largest and most advanced semiconductor foundry in Mainland China, was one of the Olympics' official torch bearers, running in one of the final legs before the opening ceremonies on Aug. 8. He received his doctorate in electrical engineering from SMU in 1985 and was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Leaders in March 2008. (See a picture of him running with the torch.)
In addition, two SMU students are blogging from the Olympics as part of Student Adventures. Dan is a senior cinema-television major who is producing, writing and directing a TV show with Televisa during the Olympics; read Dan's blog. Ben is a junior from Dallas majoring in history, with minors in Chinese and business, who is spending summer 2008 in Beijing; read Ben's blog.See a list of SMU's Olympians since 1968. SMU's current Olympic competitors include:
|Camilo Becerra||Swimming||Colombia||Class of 2005|
|Laura Bennett||Triathlon||USA||Class of 1997 (Swimming)|
|Anja Carman||Swimming||Slovenia||Class of 2008|
|Libor Charfreitag||Track & Field||Slovakia||Class of 2000|
|Steve Collins||Swimming||Slovakia (Coach)||SMU Head Coach|
|Lars Frolander||Swimming||Sweden||Class of 1998|
|Petra Klosova||Swimming||Czech Republic||Current S/A|
|Martina Moravcova||Swimming||Slovakia||Class of 1999|
|Gaelle Niare||Track & Field||France||Class of 2007|
|Sara Nordenstam||Swimming||Norway||Class of 2006|
|Flavia Rigamonti||Swimming||Switzerland||Class of 2006|
|Michael Robertson||Track & Field||USA||Attended 2003-04|
|Angela San Juan Cisneros||Swimming||Spain||Class of 2008|
|Eddie Sinnott||Swimming||USA (Manager)||SMU Head Coach|
|Denisa Smolenova||Swimming||Slovakia||Incoming S/A|
|Aleksander Tammert||Track & Field||Estonia||Class of 1996|
Carrying the Olympic Torch — SMU alumnus Richard Ru-Gin Chang (right), who is president, CEO and executive director of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, carries the Olympic torch on Friday, Aug. 8. He received his doctorate in electrical engineering from SMU in 1985 and was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Leaders in March 2008.
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