AUBURN – With the official opening of the 2012 London Olympic Games, the world's top athletes are gathered and primed for more than two weeks of competition. Mixed among the chants and anthems at the Games will be cheers of "War Eagle" as several current and former Tigers represent their home countries.
With the first official events opening Saturday morning, here is a breakdown of Auburn at the 2012 Olympic Games.
29 – Total athletes and coaches with AU ties heading to London Games
122 – With 25 athletes going to the 2012 Olympic Games, Auburn will have more representatives than 122 of the 205 countries represented.
5 – Coaches with AU ties. Assistant track and field coach Mark Carroll will be an assistant coach for Ireland, while assistant coach Henry Rolle will be working with the Bahamian track and field squad. In swimming, Auburn head coach Brett Hawke will be the head coach for the Bahamian team, former head coach David Marsh will be an assistant for the U.S., and former swimmer Dave Denniston will serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. Paralympic team.
3 – Olympic sports represented by current and former Auburn students: track and field, swimming and trap shooting.
7 – Current student-athletes among the 25: Marcelo Chierighini (Brazil swimming), James Disney-May (Great Britain swimming), Megan Fonteno (American Samoa swimming), Micah Lawrence (USA swimming), Stephen Saenz (Mexico track and field), Kai Selvon (Trinidad & Tobago track and field) and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (Bahamas swimming).
13 – Total countries represented by Tigers: American Samoa, Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, United States, Zimbabwe.
1 – Paralympic participant. Former Auburn swimmer and Paralympic athlete Dave Denniston is making the trip to London as an assistant coach for the U.S. Paralympic team. After a sledding accident left the former Auburn All-American and NCAA Champion paralyzed in 2005, Denniston didn't give up on his swimming career and competed in the 50m butterfly and 100m breaststroke in the 2008 Paralympic Games.
15 – Medals won in past Olympics by AU athletes competing in London
- Kirsty Coventry – two gold (200m backstroke in '04 and 200m backstroke in '08); four silver (100m backstroke in '04 and 100m backstroke, 200m IM and 400m IM in '08); one bronze (200m IM in '04)
- Cesar Cielo – one gold (50m freestyle in '08); one bronze (100m freestyle in '08)
- Kerron Stewart – one silver (100m in '08); one bronze (200m in '08)
- Matt Targett – one silver (400m medley relay in ‘08); one bronze (400m freestyle relay in ‘08)
- George Bovell – one bronze (200m IM in '04)
- Leevan Sands – one bronze (triple jump in '08)
T16 – Were Auburn its own country, it would have finished in a tie for 16th in the medal count at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
81 – Number of all-time athletes with AU ties to compete in the Summer Games
47 – All-time medals won by athletes with Auburn ties at the Summer Olympics (17 gold, 15 silver and 15 bronze).
7 – Most medals won by a Tiger. Kirsty Coventry will compete in her fourth Olympics in London for her native Zimbabwe. The former Auburn All-American and NCAA Champion will join George Bovell of Trinidad & Tobago as Auburn's first two four-time Olympians.
3 – Former Auburn swimmer, and current NBC commentator, Rowdy Gaines holds the record for most career gold medals and gold medals in a single Games with three at the 1984 Olympics. Kirsty Coventry, with two, cold tie or surpass Gaines' mark in London.
1932 – The first year an Auburn athlete medaled at the Olympics. Percy Beard brought home a silver medal for the U.S. in the 100m hurdles. He led through the sixth hurdle of the race, but was overtaken by fellow American George Sailing. Beard finished in 14.7 seconds to take the silver and become Auburn's first Olympic medalist.
7-28 – The date that Auburn Olympians will begin competition. Former swimmers Stephanie Horner (Canada) and Eric Shanteau (U.S.) will compete in the 400m IM and 100m breaststroke, respectively, to kick off Auburn's involvement in the games.
1 – Family. With 30 representatives from 13 countries at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Auburn fans around the world can chant "War Eagle" together as the current and former Tigers compete and take the medal stand in London.
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