By CJ Pentland and Henry Lebard, The Ubyssey
Bronze medals, swim-offs, meeting royalty: the 2012 Summer Olympics featured much excitement for past and current UBC students.
Unsurprisingly, the swimmers had the most success in London. Led by Brent Hayden’s bronze medal in the 100m freestyle, several other T-Birds put forth strong efforts.
Alumnus Scott Dickens started the competition strong as he became the first Canadian to swim the 100m breaststroke in less than a minute, coming in at 59.85s. He made the semi-final in that event, along with the semi-final of the 200m breaststroke and the final of the 4x100m medley relay team, which also featured Hayden.
The reigning CIS male swimmer of the year, Tommy Gossland, swam in the 4x100m freestyle relay heats along with Hayden, but their time didn’t qualify them for the final.
As for the women, Martha McCabe led the way by finishing fifth overall in the 200m breaststroke after positing a time of 2:23.16 in the final. Tera van Beilen recorded a time of 1:07.48 in the 100m breaststroke semi-finals, which put her in a tie for eighth and forced a swim-off. However, she lost the two-person race and failed to make the finals.
CIS female swimmer of the year Savannah King raced in both the 400m and 800m freestyles, recording a personal best in the 800m. Heather MacLean swam in both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays, with her 4x200m team finishing fourth overall.
Back on land, a few former Thunderbirds put up good results in track and field events. Inaki Gomez finished 13th in the 20km race walk with a time of 1:20:58, setting a personal best and breaking the Canadian record time in that event.
Liz Gleadle finished 12th overall in women’s javelin, the highest-ever finish by a Canadian in that event. Curtis Moss competed in men’s javelin, but finished 22nd in qualifying and failed to make the finals.
To round out the field events, high jumper Mike Mason came eighth in men’s high jump with a best jump of 2.29m.
There were also a few alumni competing on the outdoor water. In her third Olympics, Nikola Girke finished tenth in women’s RS:X Sailing. Mike Leigh and Luke Ramsay competed in the men’s sailing 470 class, ending up in the 25th spot. And Ricardo Montemayor, who was competing for Mexico, raced in the men’s sailing Laser Class and finished 38th.
In cycling, UBC had one representative. Denise Ramsden raced in both the women’s road race and time trials, finishing 27th and 19th, respectively.
As for the indoor events, badminton player Toby Ng met the Prince of Wales before the Games started, but he and his mixed doubles partner dropped all three of their matches in the group play stage.
The Olympics are now over, but there is still one more UBC athlete left to compete. Paralympic swimmer Donavan Tildesley will be swimming in four events in London once the Paralympic Games kick off on August 29.
This article was originally published by UBC’s student newspaper, the Ubyssey, on Aug. 12.
Meet UBC’s 19 Olympians and Paralympians here.