UVic athletes heading to London Olympics

Ten Vikes alumni have punched their tickets to the London Olympics, July 27 to Aug. 12.

In rowing, Canada's women's eight qualified for a spot in London by finishing second behind the US team at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Solvenia. Vikes alumnae selected to compete in the eight are Rachelle Viinberg (n&e#180;e de Jong) and Darcy Marquardt.

London-bound rower and UVic grad Lindsay Jennerich is expected to pace the lightweight doubles race this year. The Victoria native and UVic grad qualified for this year's Olympics at the 2011 World Rowing Championship.

The 2012 Canadian men's eight-typical medal favourites-will include Vikes alumni Gabe Bergen and Doug Csima. Both helped the eight to set a new world record during their heat race at the 2012 World Cup in Lucer#8800; however, in the final the eight only captured bronze. The eight had previously qualified for the Olympics at the 2011 World Rowing Championship.

In swimming, UVic student Ryan Cochrane is a 2012 Olympic medalist hopeful. The 2008 Beijing bronze medalist and 2010 CIS swimming rookie of the year qualified for London in the 1500m during 2011 FINA World Championships and secured his spot for the 1500m and the 400m freestyle at the 2012 Olympic swim trials in Montreal.

Also at the 2012 Olympic swim trials, former Vikes Hilary Caldwell and Stephanie Horner earned their spots to London after qualifying in the women's 200-metre backstroke and 400m individual medley, respectively. This is Caldwell's first Olympic team nomination and Horner's second after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

UVic Vikes swimmer and 2010 Pan American champion Richard Weinberger earned a berth to the London Olympics after winning the silver medal at the men's 10km open water race at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swimming qualifier, Jun 10 in Portugal. This is the first Olympic team nomination for Weinberger.

Also representing the Vikes at the 2012 Olympics is Vikes cross-country and track head coach Brent Fougner. Fougner will travel as the Canadian senior national event group coach. Fougner was also present at the 2008 games as Canada's assistant coach, primarily focusing on Canada's middle-distance competitors.

Over 150 Vikes athletes in a wide range of sports have competed for Canada, amassing 37 gold, 19 silver and 8 bronze medals in Olympic and Paralympic competition. UVic rowers alone have totaled 94 medals since the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

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Keywords: athletics, rowing, Olympics

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