Harvard is sending more athletes to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona than any other Ivy league school, the Ivy League announced yesterday.
Nineteen current students and graduates--11 men and eight women--will be competing in the Olympic Games. In addition, three coaches from Harvard will be in Barcelona, two as official U.S. team coaches and one as the personal coach of Jill Johnson, a swimmer from Stanford university.
"Isn't that nice!" said Athletic Director William J. Cleary Jr. '56. "That's wonderful. I'm delighted to see that many, absolutely."
"They can expect to have one of the greatest experiences of their lives," said the two-time Olympian. Cleary competed on the U.S. ice hickey team in 1956 in Cotina, Italy, and in 1960 in Squaw Valley, Calif. In 1956 the team won a silver medal; in 1960 they won the gold.
Several Harvard athletes from this year's Olympics may also have a shot at the gold, said John P. Veneziano, sports information director. Norman D. Bellingham '94, who will be rowing in the kayak pairs competition, is promising--particularly since he won the gold medal in that competition in 1988, said Veneziano. Bellingham was a 1991 member of the junior varsity crew team.
David Berkoff '89 won the gold medal in 1988 for the 4x100 relay and the silver for the 100 backstroke. This year he will again be swimming the men's 100 backstroke. Rich Kennelly '87 won the silver in 1988 for the four without coxswain crew competition . In Barcelona he will be rowing the men's eight.
Julia Trotman '88 is also a "medal possibility" in the sailing competition, according to Venetian. "She had a great run from behind in the trials," he said. And another swimmer might also earn the gold, he added. "Judging by what I heard from some
of our coaches, Simon Wainwright is swimmingsome great times ," said Veneziano. Simon J.Wainwright '93', representing Great Britain, willbe competing in the men's 200 butterfly.
And for some athletes, the 1992 Olympics mightbe just the beginning. For Meredith Rainey '90,who will run the women's 800 meters, and NickSweeney '92, who will throw the discus forIreland, Barcelona should prove to be "a maturingexperience," said Veneziano.
"This is great breakthrough for them," he saidadding that the two might very well return in1966. "it's phenomenal for them," he said.
Harvard's large delegation could be attributed,in part to the strong crew teams, said Veneziano.But he also pointed to the success of the women'sathletic programs. "The development of women'sathletics here just leads to greater numbers [inthe Olympics], more opportunities for femaleathlete," he said.
Mike W. Mahoney, an intern for the Ivy Group,said that the Ivy League should take pride in the"international flavor" of the group, whichrepresents eight countries in addition to theUnited States. Harvard itself has an impressiveshowing, Mahoney added. "Everyone...in my officeis just astounded at how many people Harvard issending to the Olumpics," he said.
Cleary said he envies the Harvard graduates andcurrent students who will compete .
"There isn't enough money in the world toreplace competing in the Olympics," said Cleary.Though Cleary and his family attended the 1992Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, he willnot be in Barcelona.
"I'll be watching on TV," he said