Athletics News

Mavs in Olympic history

Jared Connaughton makes his second appearance at the Olympics with the Canadian track and field team

July 26, 2012

By Michael Eldridge |

ARLINGTON, Texas - Two UT Arlington alumni are preparing for this year’s Olympic Games in London trying to produce what only two Mavericks have in the history of UTA athletics: A gold medal.

Doug Russell and Lanny Bassham are the only UTA products to have earned the highest achievement in international sports. Russell, a winner of two gold medals in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, is also famous for being the first Olympic swimmer to shave his full body in order to streamline through the water.

Bassham, who competed in two Olympics, won gold in 1972 in Munich and the silver in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal competing in rifle.

This year’s Olympics will see two Mavericks circling the track at the opening ceremonies as Jared Connaughton makes his second appearance at the Olympics with the Canadian track and field team, and Derrick Obasohan makes his, and his team’s, first appearance in men’s basketball for Nigeria.

Obasohan will be the 11th Maverick to reach the pinnacle of the Olympic Games, joining a list that contains former members of the Basketball, swim and track and field teams.

Douglas Russell (USA)| Swimming
1968 Mexico City, Mexico
Douglas finished first in the 100m butterfly and the 4x100 medley relay. A NCAA champion in 1968, Russell finished first in the 100-yard butterfly and also in the 400 yard medley relay. Russell is a member of UTA’s Hall of Honor and two-time All-American.

Lanny Bassham (USA) | Rifle
1972 Munich, Germany and 1976 Montreal, Canada
The first Maverick to compete in two Olympic Games, Bassham won gold in the 1976 games competing in rifle. He finished with a score of 1162 in the 50-meter three-position competition. Bassham won silver in 1972 in the same event. 

Larry Dowler (USA) | Swimming
1976 Montreal, Canada
Dowler, a UTA graduate in 1979, finished ninth in the 1976 Games in Montreal. Dowler was inducted to UTA’s Hall of Honor in 1998.

David Peltier (Barbados)| Track and Field
1984 Los Angeles, USA
Peltier’s 4x400 team finished sixth in the 1984 Olympics with a time of 3:01.60, a Barbadian record. Peltier finished 29th in the in men’s 400-meter, advancing to the quarterfinals. 

Joseph Sainah (Kenya)| Track and Field
1988 Seoul, Republic of Korea
Sainah competed in the 4x400 meter relay at the 1988 Olympic Games. Sainah’s cousin, Peter Rono of Kenya, won gold at the same Olympics in the 1500-meters.

McClinton Neal (USA) | Track and Field
1992 Barcelona, Spain
A NCAA champion in the 400-meter hurdles and five-time NCAA All-American, Neal finished ninth at the Olympics in the same event after reaching the semi-finals. Neal retired from track and field in 2000 and now is a comedian performing in Los Angeles, California.

Peter Dajia (Canada) | Track and Field
1992 Barcelona, Spain
Dajia represented Canada at the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona competing in the shot put. He finished 14th in his qualifying group with a throw of 16.81-meters. Dajia also competed in the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.

Elston Cawley (Jamaica) | Track and Field
1996 Atlanta, USA
Cawley finished seventh in the second-round of qualifying in the 200-meters with a time of 20.75. He advanced out of his first round heat with a third-place finish and a time of 20.73. Cawley was a six-time All-American at UTA.

Karin Olsson (Sweden) | Bobsleigh
2002 Salt Lake City, USA
A former sprinter for the UTA track and field team, Olsson finished 14th in the women’s two bobsledding with a time of 1:40.30.

Jared Connaughton (Canada) | Track and Field
2008 Beijing, China  and 2012 London, England
Connaughton will represent Canada for the second consecutive Summer Olympics. Connaughton finished 14th in the 200-meter and his team finished sixth in the 4x100m relay. He is just the second Maverick to compete in multiple Olympics.


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