ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WOOD) - In every Summer Olympics games since 1900, a University of Michigan athlete has medaled. That streak is likely to continue in London, as 19 current or former U-M athletes will compete for gold, silver and bronze.
When the games begin Friday, U-M will have athletes competing in swimming, water polo, track and field and gymnastics.
Though he never swam for U-M, Michael Phelps went to school there and trained there before the Beijing Olympics. His record haul of eight gold medals was added to the university's already impressive list of Olympic champions.
In London, six U-M swimmers, including current Wolverine Connor Jaeger, will compete for gold. That doesn't count the handful of swimmers from around the world that train with Club Wolverine.
Since the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, U-M athletes have earned 65 gold medals, 35 silver and 38 bronze. As U-M Athletic Director David Brandon said, "If you look at the accumulation of all the medals that we've won, in terms of our student athletes, past and present, who've competed in the Olympics since 1900, we'd be the 24th largest country."
In all, 211 U-M athletes or coaches have participated in the Olympics.
Betsey Armstrong is a returning Olympian. In 2008, she won a silver with the US water polo team and she'll be in goal again in London. She's the only player on the team not from California.
"The University of Michigan, I feel it's part of my identity," she told 24 Hour News 8. "Not only having gone to school there, but growing up in Ann Arbor, having my entire family go there, having my dad teach there, it's a sense of community at the same level as being an Olympian."
Sam Mikulak is the first-ever gymnast from U-M to make the team. His U-M teammate, Syque Caesar, will compete for Bangladesh.
U-M gymnast will compete for Bangladesh
Photos: Sam Mikulak
Plus Jeff Porter will run the 110-meter hurdles.
"It really speaks well to the global nature of the University of Michigan when you think of how many of our student athletes, both past and present, and coaches are not only connected to the US Olympic team but also other Olympic teams around the world," Brandon said. "It's a source of pride for our university and I think it's a source of pride for state of Michigan."]
Watch the 2012 Olympics on WOOD TV8 beginning Friday. Soccer competition begins Wednesday. Follow all the action on The Olympic Zone.
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