The Opening Ceremony for the Summer Olympics is tonight. The Gamecocks will have 5 alumni competing for 3 different countries. Here’s the break down and when you can watch.
Jason Richardson (twitter) – USA
What Event: 110m Hurdles
Who: Richardson came to Carolina from Houston, Texas. He was on the track team for 4 years before turning pro. He competed in the 2008 Olympic trials but injured a hamstring in the qualifiers and couldn’t continue. In 2011 he won gold in the World Championships. He logged his personal best time at this year’s Olympic trials with 12.98.
When: The hurdles are run in three stages. There is round 1, then semifinals and finals. The first round is on August 7 at 5:10 am EDT. The semifinals and finals are on August 8 at 2:15 pm and 4:15 pm EDT.
Lashinda Demus (twitter) – USA
What event: 400m Hurdles
Who: Demus is from California but came to South Carolina in the early 2000s. While here she had a stellar career and was named All-American many times. This will be her second Olympics. She also was on the team in 2004. In the 400m hurdles she ran her fastest time last September and should be able to replicate that this summer. That September 2011 time was the third fastest all time.
When: The 400m hurdles has the same format as the men’s 100m hurdles: round 1; semis and finals. Round 1 will be August 5 at 2 pm EDT. The semis will be August 6 at 3:15 pm, and the finals will be 3:45 on August 8.
Natasha Hastings (twitter) – USA
What: Relay pool (probably 4 x 400)
Who: An all-American multiple times, Hastings came to Columbia in 2005. She came from Brooklyn and had a wildly successful career here. She earned the nickname 400M Diva that she still carries today. She is in the relay pool, which means she can be selected to run a relay. In all likelihood she’ll be on the 4 x 400 relay team. In the 2008 Olympics she was on that relay team and won the gold medal. She has also been part of teams that won the 4 x 400 relay in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Championships.
When: The relay is done in a two round format. The first round will be August 10 at 2:10 pm EDT, and the finals will be on Saturday 3:25 pm.
Iva Sliskovich – Croatia
What: Women’s Basketball
Who: Sliskovich played at Carolina from 2003 to 2007. In her senior year she was named SEC player of the week after posting a triple double with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. She now plays professionally for KK Kingtrade in Croatia.
When: The Croatian National team begins pool play with the U.S. at 11:45 am on July 28. They then play China at 4 am on July 20; the Czech Republic at 3 pm on August 1; Angola at 4 am on August 3; and Turkey at 3 pm on August 5. If they advance to the knockout round, the tournament, featuring 8 teams, begins on August 7.
Ilona Burgrova – Czech Republic
What: Women’s Basketball
Who: Much of Burgrova’s career overlapped with Sliskovich. She played from 2004 – 2008 at Carolina. Burgrova was named to the SEC winter sports academic honor roll 3 times and finished her career as #3 in blocked shots in USC history. She now plays professionally for ZVVZ USK Praha in the Czech Republic.
When: The Czech national team plays China on July 28 at 4 am EDT. They continue their pool play with Turkey at 6:15 am on July 30; Croatia at 3:00 pm on August 1; USA at 5:15 pm on August 3; and Angola at 6:15 am on August 5. If they advance the knockout tournament featuring 8 teams begins on August 7.