USC Final Medal Count: a record SEVEN MEDALS!

Winning seven medals at the Athens Olympics, USC-affiliated athletes would have placed tied as 17th as a country with four gold medals and 28th as a country with seven overall medals. Keep in mind, 202 countries competed in the Athens Olympics, with the USA winning 103 total medals in all sports ...

Firsts for Carolina, besides in the total medal count included (below is a list of the medalists):

* the first flag bearer for USC in the Opening Ceremonies (Lisa Misipeka)

* the first gold medal won by a USC female (400m)

* the first gold medal won by a USC female in a team sport (women's basketball)

* the first gold medal for Jamaica in the 4x100m relay (Bailey) - with a national record

* the first gold medal for the Bahamas in track and field (400m)

* the first athlete to win two medals in the Olympics for USC (Harris) and the first gold medal in track and field for USC on the men's side

* the first-ever hurdler to win medals in two straight Olympics (Morrison)

"What a wonderful Olympics. The last eight years here at Carolina we have played a big role in the development process of a number of athletes and it's wonderful to see them blossom here in Athens," said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye - an assistant coach with the USA women's track and field team. "I learned a lot about what it takes to prepare and manage elite-level athletes at this type of event. I did a lot of watching of the other coaches - including two fantastic head coaches that we had on both sides in George Williams (men's) and Sue Humphrey (women's). My career aspiration is to be the head coach of an Olympic team and these two, along with both staffs, provided wonderful examples and lessons the way to develop a positive community at the Olympics.

"Personally, watching Otis Harris' effort and commitment and the way he took winning was wonderful," continued Frye. "Seeing the way Allen Johnson handled himself after he fell in the second round - he is a hero to all. Melissa Morrison becomes the first female hurdler to win back-to-back Olympic medals. I am also quite proud of Shevon Stoddart and Lashinda Demus. While neither made the finals in their event, they have shown people they are here to stay on this level. I am so proud of the way they conducted themselves and I am sure their families, their universities and countries would feel the same way.

"In addition, it was awesome to see Tonique (Williams-Darling) grow into the young woman she has and to win the first gold medal for USC as a woman and the first gold medal for her country," said Frye. "While I don't personally coach her anymore, she is an adored friend to the program and a daughter of the sport at USC. Aleen Bailey led her country to the gold medal in the 4x100m relay. Aleen was the first NCAA champion for USC in the 100m, the 200m, and the 4x100m relay. She helped lead the Gamecock track and field team to its first-ever NCAA title and then here in Athens she helps win her country's first 4x100m relay Olympic title. With all that said, whether we won medals or not, we always competed with pride and class and that's really what I am most proud of!"

The medals for USC-affiliated athletes included:

Shannon Johnson (USA) - gold - basketball

Otis Harris (USA) - gold - 4x400m relay - silver - 400m

Tonique Williams-Darling (Bahamas) - gold - 400m

Aleen Bailey (Jamaica) - gold - 4x100m relay

Terrence Trammell (USA) - silver - 110m hurdles

Melissa Morrison (USA) - bronze - 100m hurdles

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