Like the rest of the U.S. team, Bruin athletes experienced the full range of results and emotions at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Some felt disappointment or frustration as they failed to move past the qualifying rounds. Others competed in the finals, but did not mount the podium. And an elite few enjoyed the elation of victory, placing first, second or third as individuals or members of winning teams.
Bruins who earned Olympic medals for the U.S. in 2008 include:
Lauren Cheney, women’s soccer (current student)
Dawn Harper, track & field, women’s 100m hurdles
Monique Henderson, track & field, women’s 4x400 relay
Brandon Brooks, men’s water polo
Andrea Duran, softball
Tairia Flowers, softball
Natalie Golda, women’s water polo
Jaime Hipp, women’s water polo
Stacey Nuveman, softball
Sheena (Johnson) Tosta, track & field, women’s 400m hurdles
Natasha Watley, softball
Adam Wright, men’s water polo
Kim Vandenberg, swimming 4x200 freestyle relay
Other Bruin connections
UCLA assistant coach Mark Hunter won a Gold Medal for Great Britain in rowing, lightweight double sculls. Former student athlete Tanya Harding won a Bronze Medal as part of the Australian softball team.
Former and current UCLA coaches (Bob Alejo, Guy Baker, Jeanette Bolden, Jillian Ellis, John Speraw) also played their parts as coaches in the Summer Games. See the full list of Bruin Olympians of every sport and country at UCLABruins.com.
Ato Boldon, who won NCAA championships for UCLA in 1995-96, attracted attention as one of NBC’s on-air track and field analysts.
And sadly, former UCLA volleyball player Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman became part of the Olympic news when her family's Beijing journey turned to tragedy. The U.S. men's volleyball team, coached by Bachman's husband Hugh McCutcheon, won the Gold Medal.