Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Georgia’s Katrina McClain heads into Basketball Hall of Fame tonight

You might think Katrina McClain is kicked back and relaxed in retirement these days in her hometown of Charleston, S.C.

Not exactly. She’s relaxed when she’s not working with her foundation to prevent childhood obesity, writing children’s books, running basketball camps or raising her three children, Malachi, Emmanuel, and Genesis.

“I’m trying to keep busy and impact youth as much as I can,” said the author of “Our World,” published in October.

Oh, she’s also busy writing speeches for Hall of Fame inductions. That’s what she’s been doing lately. The former UGA All-American will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall tonight in Springfield, Mass.

“You always have a buzz in your stomach,” said McClain, who lists coach Andy Landers, Georgia teammate Teresa Edwards, Julius “Dr. J” Irving, and coach Vivian Stringer among her guests for tonight’s ceremony. “It’s the excitement of it. My biggest worry is making sure I don’t leave anybody out in my speech. They only …

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UGA’s Jarryd Wallace ready to make a run at 2012 Paralympic Games in London

Jarryd Wallace practices his block work uder the watchful eye of personal coach Ross Ridgewell, his former track teammate at UGA. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin

Jarryd Wallace practices his block work under the watchful eye of personal coach Ross Ridgewell, his former track teammate at UGA. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

NOTE: This story is running in Sunday’s print edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. There is some bonus material at the end of the story.

ATHENS – Jarryd Wallace is not what you’d call a time waster. This is particularly useful considering he is in the business of accomplishing certain tasks quickly.

Wallace, you see, is a world-class runner. But his most impressive accomplishment to date has been more in the area of goal-setting.

The 22-year-old from Athens currently is in London preparing to run in the 2012 Paralympic Games. Wallace is one of 55 U.S. track athletes to qualify for the 11-day games, which begin Wednesday. He’ll compete in the 400-meter dash and as an alternate for the 4×100-meter relay team. If all goes well, Wallace will run Sept. 5, 7 and 8.

What makes that accomplishment …

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UGA Olympians happy to be back in school but still enjoying limelight

UGA swimmers and Olympic gold medalists Allison Schmitt (L) and Shannon Vreeland share a laugh as they answer reporters' questions Wednesday at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

UGA swimmers and Olympic gold medalists Allison Schmitt (L) and Shannon Vreeland share a laugh as they answer reporters' questions Wednesday at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

ATHENS -- There were a lot of smiles, a lot of laughs and a couple of big chunks of gold being shared Wednesday at the University of Georgia.

Allison Schmitt and Shannon Vreeland — two of 14 UGA swimmers past, present and future represented at the 2012 Olympic Games — came to the Bulldogs’ football complex on Wednesday to talk about their experiences in London and show off their gold medals. Schmitt, a senior, won three gold medals, a silver and a bronze and Vreeland, a junior, won one gold during the games.

Both athletes returned to Georgia for fall semester to resume for their college careers. Needless to say, Jack Bauerle’s Bulldogs ought to be pretty decent in the pool this year.

“I feel pretty good about our relays,” Bauerle said with a sly grin. “I think we’ll be all …

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Georgia’s Reese Hoffa among the favorites to medal in shot put at Olympics

Reese Hoffa, a 2001 UGA graduate who still ives and train in Athens, is among the favorites to medal in the shot put in the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

Reese Hoffa, a 2001 UGA graduate who still lives and trains in Athens, is among the favorites to medal in the shot put in the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

ATHENS — At this point, Reese Hoffa is a grizzled old veteran when it comes to the Olympics. He’s only 34 years old, but London is his third Olympic Games and he has literally been all over the world as shot putter.

But that doesn’t make him immune to the rush that comes with competing with the best in the world. When Hoffa steps inside the circle for Friday morning’s qualifying round (the finals are Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.), he expects to be just as nervous and excited as he was for his first Games in 2004.

“I am definitely in a different place mentally,” said Hoffa, a UGA graduate from Augusta who still lives and trains in Athens. “But I still get very excited about going out there and testing my skills against the best shot-putters in the world. You get a little bit older and you …

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Georgia’s Allison Schmitt becomes Bulldogs’ first swimmer to win individual gold

Allison Schmitt, who is a rising senior at Georgia, shows off her gold medal after winning the 200-meter freestyle race in record time Tuesday in London. (AP photo by Daniel Ocha De Olza)

Allison Schmitt, who is a rising senior at Georgia, shows off her gold medal after winning the 200-meter freestyle race in record time Tuesday in London. (AP photo by Daniel Ocha De Olza)

Georgia’s Allison Schmitt on Tuesday became the school’s first  swimmer to win an individual gold medal.

The rising senior from Canton, Mich., dominated the field in the finals of the 200-meter freestyle race, trumping the No. 2 finisher by nearly two full seconds with a time of 1:53.61. That eclipsed the previous Olympic record of 1:54.82 and Schmitt’s own American record of 1:54.40 (set in Olympic trials this year).

“It still hasn’t sunk in,” Schmitt told USA Swimming.  “I couldn’t be happier bringing home hardware to the USA, let alone a gold medal.”

Schmitt is a 15-time All-American, an eight-time NCAA champion and a five-time SEC champion at UGA. She was accompanied in London by Bulldogs swim coach Jack Bauerle.

“She just went out and did it,” Bauerle said in a UGA news …

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