Lions in London: 10 Columbians at 2012 Summer Olympic Games
NEW YORK - Seven Columbia alumni, one current student-athlete, one current head coach and one current assistant coach will travel to London to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games beginning Friday, July 27.
Below is a snapshot of each individual and more on their competitions.
Individual Competition: Saturday, July 28
Team Competition: Thursday, August 2
Nzingha Prescod '15CC (above) will be a sophomore at Columbia this fall after taking a year off from school. Prescod joins fellow Columbia alum Nicole Ross '12CC on the United States women's foil team in London. Prescod and Ross qualified in April at the Division I National Championships. It will be the first Olympic Games for Prescod and for Ross, who won an NCAA National Championship in women's foil in 2010.
Individual Competition: Sunday, July 29
Team Competition: Friday, August 3
James Williams '07CC (above) will compete in his second Olympic Games in London in 2012. Part of the United States team that won the silver medal in the men's sabre team competition in Beijing in 2008, Williams is back again to try for gold. Joining him will be former Columbia teammate and former National Champion Jeff Spear '10CC. Recently profiled in the Albany Times-Union, Spear is a replacement athlete for the U.S. men's sabre team.
Individual Competition: Tuesday, July 31
Team Competition: Sunday, August 5
Sherif Farrag '09CC (above) will fence for Egypt in the men's foil team competition. As the Huffington Post notes, Farrag was born in Alexandria, Egypt and moved to the United States when he was nine. A two-time first team All-Ivy League honoree, Farrag competed twice at the NCAA Championships during his college career.
Lightweight Rowing - LM4- (Men's Four without coxswain)
Heats: Saturday, July 28
Finals: Sunday, July 29
Nick LaCava '09CC (above) will row in the lightweight men's four without coxswain for the United States. Recently profiled on Row2K.com, LaCava has been a key figure on the national rowing scene dating back to his later years at Columbia. His boat qualified for the Olympics in May by defeating The Netherlands and Serbia during a qualifying race in Switzerland.
Sunday, August 5
From Columbia cross country standout Lisa Stublic '06CC (above) will run the Olympic marathon for Croatia in the 2012 Games. Featured last month in the Hartford Courtant, Stublic qualified for London way back in 2010, after finishing the Berlin Marathon in 2:33:42. In 2011, she broke Croatia's marathon record, running it in 2:30:46 in Austria. A Connecticut native, Stublic has trained in Croatia, her father's homeland, since 2007.
Men's 400 meters
Round 1: Saturday, August 4
Semifinals: Sunday, August 5
Finals: Monday, August 6
One of the most decorated athletes in recent Columbia history and a 2012 Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Erison Hurtault '07CC (above) will compete in the 400m for Dominica, his parents' native country. Featured last week in the New York Press, Hurtault dominated the 400m during his career at Columbia, winning each time he ran the race on the indoor and outdoor oval.
Men's Modern Pentathlon
Saturday, August 11
Columbia head fencing coach Michael Aufrichtig (above) will coach the fencing portion of the men's modern pentathlon. The pentathlon includes horseback riding, fencing, swimming, rifle and running in a one-day event. Modern Pentathlon was championed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, and has its origins in a 19th-century legend. The story goes that a young French cavalry officer was sent on horseback to deliver a message. To complete his mission, he had to ride, fence, shoot, swim and run – the five challenges that face competitors in Modern Pentathlon today.
Sunday, July 29 - Friday, August 10
New Columbia field hockey assistant coach Caroline Nichols (above) will compete with Team USA at the 2012 Olympic Games. Nichols has been playing field hockey at the international level for the past five years. As a defender on the U.S. National Team, Nichols was a member of the 2008 Beijing Olympics team and on the U.S. team that defeated top-ranked Argentina to win gold at the 2011 Pan American Games. In 2006, she was named to the USA World Cup Training Squad and was a member of the Netherlands Tour team in 2007.