The University of Georgia will be well represented at this year’s Tokyo Olympics. The Georgia Bulldogs have a total of 25 Olympians, representing nine different nations, in five different sports.
University of Georgia’s athletic director Josh Brooks spoke to how meaningful it is for the athletic program to see their athletes in the Olympic trials and punching their ticket to the Olympics.
“It’s amazing because it’s a representation of our university and the athletes representing various countries,” Brooks said. “It helps us from a brand perspective by putting our athletes on the map and this shows that student-athletes can come to Georgia and have success and go on to represent their home country in the Olympics.”
Some of UGA’s current and former athletes representing various countries in this year’s Olympics include Freida Lim representing Singapore as their first female diver at the games, Sepp Straka representing Austria in golf, Ellen Perez representing Australia in tennis doubles, Johannes Erm representing Estonia in the decathlon, and Shaunae Miller-Uibo representing the Bahamas in the track and field 200-meter and 400-meter.
The University of Georgia is most represented in track and field with a total of 13 athletes competing. On June 13, the Bulldogs hired former USC coach Caryl Smith Gilbert who previously won many trophies with them and coached the legendary Olympian Allyson Felix when she was there. Hiring Caryl Smith Gilbert is a part of the University of Georgia’s plan to produce more track and field Olympians.
“Our main mission is always going to be for our student-athletes to have a life after athletics but beyond that, that is something we take a lot of pride in and we hope she can continue the tradition we have here,” Brooks said. “We look to build upon that and even add more current and former student-athletes to the Olympics for years to come.”
The Bulldogs have a legacy of producing Olympians. The university sending 25 Olympians is only the third most in school history. In the 2012 London Olympics, they sent a total of 28 athletes and in the 2016 Rio Olympics, they sent a total of 32 athletes.
“This year we will have 25 Olympians going to the Olympics. 24 athletes and one coach in five sports and representing nine countries in this year’s Olympics,” Brooks said. It’s something we have great pride in and we hope to continue the tradition and build upon more in the future.”
The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 and conclude Aug 8.