Cougar athlete connections to Olympics/Sochi
Although no BYU athletes are participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics, some athletes still have connections to the unique city, home of this year’s winter competition.
Current BYU sophomore Kate Hansen is competing for the United States in the luge, but is not a Cougar athlete.
Two BYU athletes, junior Steve Flint (cross country and track) and former all-conference linebacker Cameron Jensen (football 2003-2006) served in the Rostov Mission. While serving, Elders Flint and Jensen had the opportunity to serve in Sochi for about 8 months each.
Flint, the junior from Bayfield, Colo., returned most recently from serving in Sochi until August of 2009 before coming to BYU. He remembers Sochi for its warm and sub-tropical climate, perfect for destination vacations.
“Sochi is a pretty incredible place,” Flint said. “Even though they’re having the Winter Olympics there, it’s actually really quite tropical in the middle of Sochi. Some people even call it the Hawaii of Russia.”
Just about an hour and a half into the Krasnaya Polyana Mountains lies the perfect snowy setting for the winter sports. While serving, Flint and his companions would often run into members of the Olympic Committee planning the event that was elected just two years earlier. They even had the chance to visit the Rosa Khutor Resort (hosting skiing and snowboarding events) in their personal time.
“I spent the most time there, so Sochi was like a second home to me,” Flint said. “To have the Olympics there is very exciting and I feel like there’s a little part of me still there.”
Jensen served in Sochi between 2002 and 2003, right after his freshman year at Ricks College where he received all-conference honors. After returning from his mission, he received offers from various west coast schools before he decided on wearing the Cougar blue. Jensen remembers Sochi for its original charm
"It looks like an entirely different city when I look at it on TV, I can hardly recognize it," Jensen said. "All the infrustructure wasn't there [in 2002], there's no way Sochi could have hosted the Olympics while I was there. The roads going up to the Krasnaya Polyana were just small one-way roads and there was only one major hotel."
Two BYU athletes did, however, participate in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Senior swimmer Andrew Rutherfurd and junior Rafael Alfaro competed in London for Bolivia and El Salvador. They are the first BYU athletes to compete in the Olympics since 2008.
BYU’s only athletes to participate in the winter Olympics included former track and soccer player, Shauna Rohbock who competed in the bobsled event for USA in 2006 and earned the silver medal. Former men’s gymnast, Werner Hoeger, was the only other BYU athlete who competed in 2002 and 2006 for Venezuela in the luge.
Though not a former Cougar, BYU faculty member Barbara Day Lockhart is the only other Winter Olympic athlete with BYU associations who competed in both 1960 and 1964 for the USA speed skating team. Lockhart was also a chairman on the 2002 Olympic Committee.
The athletic program is lucky enough, however, to have three current coaches who are former Olympians and former Cougars. Head diving coach Keith Russell dove in the 1968 Olympics and was named to earn the gold medal by Sports Illustrated. He also represented the USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as the only American diving judge. Men’s head track and field and cross country coach Ed Eyestone (1988, 1992) and track administrative assistant coach Doug Padilla (1984, 1988) are two-time Olympians.
|Sport||Event||Gender||Name||Olympic Year||BYU Roster Years||Medal||Country||BYU Association|
|Basketball||Men's||Kresimir Cosic||1968, 1972, 1976, 1980||1969-1973||Silver ('68), Silver ('76), Gold ('80)||Yugoslavia|
|Distance Racing||Paraolympics||Men's||Curt Brinkman||1976||USA|
|Swimming||400-meter individual medley||Men's||Rafael Alfaro||2012||2010-2014||El Salvador|
|100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle||Men's||Jung Jun (Mark) Chay||2000, 2004||2003-2007||Singapore|
|4 x 100-meter freestyle relay||Men's||Piero Ferracuti||1976||1975-1979||El Salvador|
|4 x 100-meter freestyle relay, 100-meter butterfly||Women's||Lelei Fonoimoana-Moore||1976||1976-1979||Silver (4x100)||USA|
|4 x 100-meter medley relay, 100-meter backstroke||Men's||Tomislav Karlo||1992, 1996||1989-1993||Croatia|
|100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke||Men's||David Lim||1984, 1988||1984-1987||Singapore|
|4 x 100-meter freestyle relay, 100-meter freestyle||Men's||Ron Menezes||1984||Silver||Brazil|
|100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley, 4 x 100-meter medley relay||Men's||Ng Yue Meng||1988||1988-1990, 1992-1994||Singapore|
|100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter breaststroke, 4 x 100-meter medley relay||Women's||Hiroko Nagasaki||1976, 1984, 1988||1991-1992||Japan|
|50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 4x 100-meter medley relay||Men's||Jin Gee Oon||1984, 1988||1984-1987||Singapore|
|4 x 100-meter freestyle relay, 4 x 100 meter medley relay, 100-meter breaststroke||Men's||Jin Teik Oon||1984, 1988||1984-1987||Singapore|
|100-meter freestyle||Men's||Andrew Rutherfurd||2012||2007-2008, 2010-2014||Bolivia|
|200-meter freestyle, 200-meter backstroke||Men's||Arunas Savickas||1996, 2000||1997-2000||Lithuania|
|100-meter backstroke, 200-meter individual medley||Men's||Gary Tan||2000||1994-2004||Singapore|
|Diving||Men's||Justin Wilcock||2004||1997-1998, 2000-2002||USA|
|200-meter individual medley||Men's||Diogo de Oliveira Yabe||2004||2001-2005||Brazil|
|Shotput||Women's||Jillian Camarena||2008, 2012||USA||BYU track strength and conditioning coach|
|Marathon||Men's||Ed Eyestone||1988, 1992||1982-1985||USA|
|100-meter, 200-meter||Men's||Frank Fredericks||1992, 1996,2004||1988-1991||Silver ('92), Silver('96)||Namibia|
|Javelin||Men's||Richard George||1976||1971-1972, 1975-1977||USA|
|Heptathlon||Women's||Tiffany Lott Hogan||2004||1994-1998||USA|
|4 x 100-meter||Men's||Oluyemi Kayode||1992||1990-1993||Silver||Nigeria|
|High Jump||Men's||Keneth Lundmark||1968||1970||Sweden|
|400 IH||Men's||Ralph Mann||1972||1969-1971||USA|
|Steeplechase||Men's||Henry Marsh||1976, 1980, 1984, 1988||1975-1978||Sweden|
|100-meter||Men's||Leonard Myles Mills||2000||1969-1999||Ghana|
|5,000-meter||Men's||Doug Padilla||1984, 1988||1978-1980||USA|
|Hammer||Women's||Amy Chistiansen Palmer||2000||1994-1998||USA|
|Long Jump||Men's||Perti Pousi||1968, 1972||1966-1969||Sweden|
|1,500-meter||Men's||Jason Pyrah||1996, 2000||1987, 1991-1994||USA|
|High Jump||Men's||Alma Richards||1912||1910-1913||Gold||USA|
|Distance||Women's||Maggie Chan Roper||2000||1996-1998||Hong Kong|
|400-meter hurdles||Men's||Dale Schofield||1936||1933-1936||USA|
|Shotput||Men's||Soren Tallhem||1988, 1992, 1996||1984-1987||Sweden|
|5,000-meter, 10,000-meter, marathon||Men's||Lasse Viren||1972, 1976||Gold ('72), Gold ('76)||Finland|
|Volleyball||Men's||John Alstrom||1961-1963||USA||BYU basketball|
|Men's||Ryan Millar||2000, 2004, 2008||1996-1999||Gold ('08)||USA|
|Men's||Rich Lambourne||2008, 2012||1994, 1997-1999||Gold ('08)||USA|
|(Coach)||Men's/Women's||Hugh McCutcheon||2008, 2012||1991-1993||Men's Gold ('08), Women's Gold '(12)||USA|
|Men's||Jon Stanley||1968||1963-1965||USA||BYU basketball|
|Men's||Hidde van Beest||2000, 2004||1998||Australia|
|Men's||Giuseppe Vinci||20,082,012||USA/Italy||BYU men's and women's volleyball|
|Wrestling||Men's||Mark Fuller||1980, 1984, 1988, 1992||USA|
|Bobsled||Women's||Shauna Rohbock||2006||1995-1998||Silver||USA||BYU track and soccer|
|Men's||Werner Hoeger||2002, 2006||Venezuela||BYU gymnastics|
|Speed Skating||1,500 m, 3,000 m||Women's||Barbara Day||1964||USA|
|Alpine Skiing||Downhill, Slalom||Women's||Jean Saubert||1964||Silver, Bronze||USA|
BYU Athletics is ranked No. 3 in the nation in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup Final Division I Fall Standings…