Students + Campus

UCLA to send 36 to 2016 Olympic Games

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Graphic for story on UCLA in the Olympics
UCLA

A total of 36 UCLA Bruins have made Olympic rosters for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, including 29 current, incoming or former student-athletes, four UCLA alumni/students, and three current or former coaches. The 2016 Olympics begin Aug. 3 with soccer games two days ahead of the Opening Ceremonies and will conclude on Aug. 21.

UCLA will be represented by 12 countries in 2016, with the majority from the United States (24). The other countries represented by Bruins are Australia, Brazil, Canada (2 Bruins), Colombia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland and Singapore.

► Related: 23 highlights of UCLA’s Olympic glory

Women’s soccer and women’s water polo are tied for the most representation by sport, with six Bruins on each team. Women’s soccer has two incoming freshmen, two alumnae and two coaches on various teams. UCLA women’s water polo is represented by six Bruins on Team USA – one current, one incoming freshman, three alumnae and the head coach. Other sports represented by Bruins are track and field (4), badminton (3), men’s indoor volleyball (3), men’s tennis (2), men’s water polo (2), women’s golf (2), women’s indoor volleyball (2), women’s basketball (1), women’s beach volleyball (1), women’s gymnastics (1), women’s rugby (1), women’s swimming (1) and women’s rowing (1).

For 13 of UCLA's 2016 Olympians, this will be a return visit to the Olympics. USA Women’s Volleyball head coach Karch Kiraly is participating in his fifth Olympic Games. He won gold with the USA Indoor Volleyball men’s team in 1984 and 1988, gold in beach volleyball in 1996 and silver in 2012 as assistant coach of the USA Women’s Volleyball team.

Marathoner Meb Keflezighi and tennis player Marcin Matkowski are competing in their fourth Olympic Games. Keflezighi competed in 2000 in the 10,000m and in 2004 and 2012 in the marathon, winning a silver medal in 2004. Matkowski has played in each Olympic Games since 2004. Additionally, Jill Ellis, who was the UCLA women’s soccer head coach from 1999-2009, is coaching in her fourth Olympic Games, but first as head coach of Team USA. Two members of the USA men’s volleyball staff will be making their third Olympic appearances. USA and UCLA men’s volleyball John Speraw is in his first Olympics as head coach for Team USA after serving as an assistant coach in 2008 and 2012, and team leader Erik Sullivan previously played on the 2000 and 2004 teams.

Making their second Olympic appearances are 2012 Olympic gold medalists Courtney Mathewson and head coach Adam Krikorian with USA women’s water polo, men’s tennis player Jean-Julien Rojer, pole vaulter Tori Pena, javelin thrower Brittany Borman, swimmer Ting Wen Quah and women’s soccer player Rosie White.

Six of the 2016 UCLA Olympians are current student-athletes or incoming freshmen – senior Rachel Fattal (USA women’s water polo), junior Alex Roelse (USA men’s water polo) and incoming freshmen Jessie Fleming (Canada women’s soccer), Madison Kocian (USA women’s gymnastics), Maddie Musselman (USA women’s water polo) and Mal Pugh (USA women’s soccer). USA badminton player Iris Wang is also a UCLA undergraduate student.

Two current UCLA coaches will be participating in the Olympic Games as well – Speraw with Team USA and women’s soccer goalkeeper coach Aline Reis, who will play for Brazil. Speraw and Reis are two of the 13 current UCLA coaches who are Olympians, joining Steve Alford (men’s basketball, 1984 gold medalist), Brandon Brooks (water polo, 2004, 2008 silver medalist), Amanda Cromwell (soccer, 1996 alternate), Sharon Day-Monroe (track & field, 2008, 2012), Lisa Fernandez (softball, 1996/2000/2004 gold medalist) Amy Fuller Kearney (rowing, 1992 silver medalist, 1996, 2000), Jenny Johnson-Jordan (beach volleyball, 2000, 2004 alternate), Stein Metzger (beach volleyball, 2004), Chris Waller (gymnastics, 1992), Jordyn Wieber (gymnastics, 2012 gold medalist), and Adam Wright (water polo, 2004, 2008 silver medalist, 2012).

A total of 424 Bruins have now combined to make 687 Olympic appearances since the 1920 Games. 

Additionally, six Bruin alumni will be part of NBC’s broadcast team at the Games – Ato Boldon (track & field), Kay Cockerill (golf), Tim Daggett (gymnastics), Ann Meyers Drysdale (basketball), Samantha Peszek (digital/gymnastics) and Kevin Wong (beach volleyball).

See a list of all Rio-bound Bruins.

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