The University of Arizona swimming and diving program has a long history of excellence at the Olympic Games. 2004 is only building on those stellar athletic achievements.
Prior to this year, 30 current or former Wildcats had competed in the Olympics, and eight of those had made multiple appearances. A total of 11 Wildcats, including two coaches, are key figures in the swimming and diving competitions at the Games of the 28th Olympiad in Athens.
Here is a quick look at the participants:
Amanda Beard, the lone female swimmer, will be competing in three individual events, including the 200-meter breaststroke in which she holds the current world record.
Claire Febvay will be diving for France on the 10-meter platform.
UA junior Lyndon Ferns and former Wildcats Ryk Neethling and Roland Schoemanwere three-quarters of the victorious South African 400-meter freestyle relay team with a blistering world-record time of 3:13.17.
2003 NCAA champion Simon Burnett represented Great Britain in the 200-meter freestyle, where he advanced to the finals and finished seventh in a time of 1:48.02
Sixteen-time All-American Eric la fleur will be swimming for his home country, Sweden, in the 100-meter freestyle after already competing in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Juan Veloz will compete for Mexico in the 200-meter butterfly.
Venezuelan Luis Rojas will compete in 100meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle in addition to the 400-meter freestyle and medley relays.
The UA coaching staff is represented by head coach Frank Busch, the reigning NCAA men’s and women’s Coach of the Year, who is an assistant coach for the United States women’s team. Wildcat associate head coach Rick DeMont is a member of the South African coaching staff.