When one becomes an Olympian, he or she has accomplished a goal that few and far between could ever dream of. Lifetimes of sweat, sacrifice, and perseverance can come down to hundredths of seconds (see video above), hundredths of points or a hundredth of an inch. During that blink of an eye, dreams can be realized or shattered. The difference is that minuscule. It's the difference between elite and being world class. That should put into perspective just what an honor and accomplishment it is to be named an Olympian.
The Olympics is a spectacle that is the purest example of sport that we have experienced in the world for over 2,000 years. Unlike the NFL, NBA or MLB, it's not about how much money you make or followers on Twitter you have, but rather, what athletics are supposed to be about --- sportsmanship, competing, and winning.
This year, those representing the United States, along with 204 other nations, will travel back to England to compete in the Games of the XXX Olympiad. Among those traveling to our motherland will be the nine athletes representing our very own Wake Forest University --- Mother So Dear.
Like most Americans, I will always show my allegiance to the colors Red, White, & Blue. The best in the Games are honored with three different colors; bronze, silver and gold, but we know it's about more than just the colors themselves. It's about what those colors represent---allegiance. As an avid Wake Forest fan, and recent graduate, I will find myself pulling for two more colors: Old Gold & Black. I have an undying devotion to these two colors, just as I do to the Red, White and Blue. As many other great patriots from around this nation, I will find myself rooting for America, and my alma mater.
So from July 27th through August 12th, join me in cheering on our athletes. We should all experience a tremendous amount of pride when watching them compete against the best in the world. Appreciate the sacrifices they put in, and appreciate what they are doing for your colors. Go all in on America, and go all in on our Deacs! Make the colors Old Gold & Black synonymous with Red, White & Blue, and support them both with pride and dedication.
After the jump, I urge you to read about every Wake Forest athlete, regardless of whether they represent the Red, White & Blue, the green and white of Nigeria (Al-Farouq Aminu), the red and white of Great Britain (Michael Bingham), the red, white & blue of Slovenia (Brent LaRue), or the yellow, green and red of Lithuania (Darius Songaila). These athletes have worked incredibly hard to master their craft, and have represented not only Wake Forest, but their country at the highest level. The least we can do is learn something about them before they compete for the title of world's best on the world's greatest stage.
Al-Farouq Aminu (Nigeria)
- 2008 McDonald's All-American
- 2008-2009 All-Freshman 1st Team (Unanimous Selection)
- 2009-2010 AP All-American (Honorable Mention)
- 2010 NBA Lottery Pick
- Seventh highest two year rebound total in ACC history
Chris Paul (USA)
- Five-time NBA all-star
- 2006 NBA Rookie of the Year
- 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist
- 2005-2005 AP All-American (1st team)
Darius Songaila (Lithuania)
- Bronze Medalist in 2000 Olympic Games
- Gold Medalist in 2003 European Championships
- Played for five NBA teams
- 2002 AP All-American (Honorable Mention)
Olympic Basketball Schedule:
Sunday, July 29 - Nigeria vs. Tunisia; U.S. vs. France; Lithuania vs. Argentina
Tuesday, July 31 - Lithuania vs. Nigeria; U.S. vs. Tunisia
Thursday, August 2 - Lithuania vs. France, Nigeria vs. U.S.
Saturday, August 4 - Lithuania vs. U.S.; Nigeria vs. Argentina
Monday, August 6 - Lithuania vs. Tunisia; Nigeria vs. France; U.S. vs. Argentina
Wednesday, August 8 - Men's Quarterfinals
Friday, August 10 - Men's Semifinals
Sunday, August 12 - Men's Gold Medal Game and Men's Bronze Medal Game
Lauren Crandall (USA)
- Three-time NFHCA All-American
- Three-time All-ACC
- 2008 Olympian
Michelle Kasold (USA)
- Three-time NFHCA 1st team All-American
- 162 career points
- Started in all 92 career games
Claire Laubach (USA)
- Started in 84 of 85 career games
- Three-time national champion
- 2004 NFHCA 2nd team All-American
Michael Bingham (Great Britain)
- 2009 Silver Medalist in the 4 x 400m relay at the World Championships in Berlin
- 2007 All-American (Indoor and Outdoor)
- 2008 Olympian
- 2006-2007 All-ACC Outdoor Champion
- 2005 USATF Junior Decathlon Champion
Brent LaRue (Slovenia)
- 2009 All-American Indoor Track and Field
- 2007 ACC Indoor Heptathlon Champion
- 2006 ACC Outdoor Track and Field Champion
- 2006 ACC Indoor Track and Field Champion-
Hunter Kemper (USA)
- London will be Kemper's fourth Olympics
- Only American male athlete to ever be ranked world No. 1 by the International Triathlon Union
- Two Top 9 finishes in the Olympics.
- Won the Gold Medal at 2005 ITU Triathlon World Cup