Olympic Badgers

With over 100 Big Ten athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics, the conference brought home 29 medals, including a bronze medal by Wisconsin's Micah Boyd.

The Big Ten Conference brought home a total of 29 medals, which included 16 gold, five silver and eight bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Nearly 100 former and current student-athletes and coaches participated in this year's games which spanned from August 8-24. The group of Big Ten competitors consisted of 11 repeat Olympians and five returning medalists that represented 28 different countries and 10 Big Ten institutions in 17 different sports.

Michigan boasted the most medals with 12 and also the most golds with nine. Former volunteer assistant coach Michael Phelps claimed eight of those gold medals as he now registers as the only person in Olympic history to stand atop the podium eight times in one Olympic year. His first-place performances include the 400-meter individual medley, 4x100 freestyle relay, 200 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 4x200 freestyle relay, 200 medley, 100 butterfly and 4x100 medley relay. Phelps set world records in seven of the eight races, bringing his career Olympic medal count to 16, including 14 golds.

Ohio State racked up six overall medals, bringing home two of each color. Former Buckeye basketball stars Michael Redd and Katie Smith each contributed to Team USA's success on the court to collect the gold medal for their respective men's and women's squads. The two silvers came in fencing with Jason Rodgers competing in team saber and Hannah Thompson participating in team foil. Bronze medalists include Raj Bhavsar in USA team gymnastics and Bryan Volpenhein in the men's eight rowing competition.

Northwestern tallied three medals from four-time NCAA swim champion Matt Grevers. The former Wildcat swam on the preliminary 4x100 medley relay and 4x100 freestyle relay teams, earning two gold medals. Grevers also collected a silver medal in the 100 backstroke.

Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota each received two Olympic medals, including one gold each.

Penn State and Wisconsin each produced a bronze-medal performer as former Nittany Lion Kevin Tan took part in the men's gymnastics team competition and Wisconsin alum Micah Boyd rowed in the men's eight competition.

Big Ten student-athletes and coaches have been a part of the Olympic experience on more than 1,217 occasions, including many making multiple trips to the international event. That list of conference standouts has accumulated at least 452 medals, including 212 gold.

Wisconsin Country Sport

Micah Boyd (1 bronze) United States Men's Rowing

Beau Hoopman United States Men's Rowing

Matt Tegenkamp United States Men's Track & Field

Amy Vermeulen Canada Women's Soccer (Alternate)


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