Cal Athletes Bring Home Five Olympic Gold Medals

 The Centennial Olympics in Atlanta provided several shining moments for the Golden Bears, who brought home a total of five gold medals.

Cal alumnae Michele Granger and Gillian Boxx earned gold medals for the U.S. softball team. In the first softball game in Olympic history, the two starting pitchers were Cal alums. Granger pitched for the U.S. and Lisa Martinez for Puerto Rico.

Former Berkeley students Mary Harvey, Joy Biefeld Fawcett and Brandi Chastain won the gold for their stellar performance on the U.S. women's soccer team. Mark Henderson, '91, won a gold medal and helped break the world record in the men's 400-meter medley swimming relay.

Current student Oleg Kossiak picked up a bronze medal for the Ukraine men's gymnastic team.

The games featured a total of 32 Cal Olympians and three coaches from Berkeley: Pete Cipollone, men's single crew coach; Peter Wright, head men's tennis coach for Ireland; and Erv Hunt, head coach for track and field.

Hunt's role in deciding whether to allow Carl Lewis to run in the 4 x 100-meter men's relay for a potential 10th gold medal propelled him into the international spotlight. Hunt decided Lewis, who had not practiced with the team, would not run.

Other Cal Olympians

  • Fred Honebein, fifth on the U.S. men's crew

  • Laurel Korholz, fourth on the U.S. women's crew

  • Water polo players Gavin Arroyo, Troy Barnhart, Kirk Everist, Chris Humbert and Chris Oeding all placed seventh.

  • Track and field competitors Sheila Hudson, Chris Huffins, Thomas McGuirk (Ireland) and Ramon Jimenez-Gaona (Paraguay).

  • Swimmers Akiko Thornson (Philippines), Anna Simcic (New Zealand), Gordan Kozulj and Dominik Galic (Croatia), George Giziotis (Greece), Bartosz Kizierowski and Bart Sikora (Poland), Par Lindstrom (Sweden), Praphalsai Minpraphal and Ratapong Sirisanont (Thailand) and Patrick Sagisi (Guam).


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