The last Harvard athlete to compete in the London Olympics was Alex Meyer '10 in the men's 10k open water marathon.
Meyer had legitimate hopes of medalling, holding the 2010 World Championship in the 25k open water race. But it was not meant to be, as Meyer finished 10th in a 25 swimmer field, just over 50 seconds behind the gold medal winner, Oussama Mellouli.
Meyer drew headlines in the lead up to these Games in part because of his former teammate and friend Fran Crippen. Crippen, who mentored Meyer, died in an open water race in Dubai in October 2010. Water temperatures in excess of 86 Fahrenheit caused Crippen to overheat and drown. Meyer led the search party.
Entering the race as the only American—he would say it was only fitting in Crippen's absence—Meyer spent the first two laps in the leading group, crossing the checkpoint in fourth and third, respectively. He eventually fell back to 14th before sprinting to come in 10th—with just four seconds separating 10th and 14th.
Meyer's defeat closes out the Olympics for the Crimson, hauling in an impressive two golds, one silver and one bronze.