UH athletes return as Olympic winners
UH Olympic athletes go 10-for-10
STORY SUMMARY »
Olga Korbut. Nadia Comaneci. Bo Derek.
When thinking of the perfect 10, the aforementioned women come to mind.
Now you can add the University of Hawaii.
All 10 UH athletes competing in this summer's Olympics in Beijing came home with a medal.
Earning golds were Clay Stanley (volleyball) and Natasha Kai (soccer). Also, former Rainbow Wahine Iefke Van Belkum and Meike DeNooy led the Netherlands in water polo over the U.S. in the gold-medal match.
Taking silver were women's volleyball players Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, Heather Bown and Kim Willoughby.
Australian softball players Stacey Porter and Justine Smethurst earned a bronze, as did Australian swimmer Melanie Schlanger, who was part of the third-place 4x100 free relay team.
FULL STORY »
Hawaii's storied history in the Olympics continued the past two weeks in Beijing, punctuated by a gold medal in men's volleyball.
» Natasha Kai
(Kahuku/UH) U.S., gold medal
» Justine Smethurst (UH)
» Stacey Porter (UH) Australia, bronze medal
» Melanie Schlanger (UH) Australia, bronze medal Women's 4x100 freestyle relay
» Clay Stanley (Kaiser/UH) U.S., gold medal
» Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (McKinley/UH)
» Heather Bown (UH)
» Kim Willoughby (UH) U.S., silver medal
WOMEN'S WATER POLO
» Iefke Van Belkum (UH)
» Meike DeNooy (UH) The Netherlands, gold medal
The gold won by former Warrior Clay Stanley capped an amazing performance by University of Hawaii athletes, who went 10-for-10 in various sports for several countries. Stanley, a Kaiser High School graduate; soccer player Natasha Kai (Kahuku); and Dutch water polo players Iefke Van Belkum and Meike DeNooy were on the top step of the podium as well.
Earning silver medals were former Hawaii women's volleyball All-Americans Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, Heather Bown and Kim Willoughby. Taking bronze in softball were Stacey Porter and Justine Smethurst of Australia.
And swimmer Melanie Schlanger was part of the Australian 4x100 free relay team that won bronze.
The 10 medals were more than were earned by 64 countries, and would have tied UH for 21st on the medal table with Poland, Hungary and Norway.
"We're very proud of our 10 athletes who represented UH, whether it was for the U.S. or other countries," Athletic Director Jim Donovan said yesterday. "It's a great testament to the strength of our sports programs and the strength of our individual athletes. It was pretty awesome."
Added Rainbow Wahine volleyball coach Dave Shoji, whose players made up a quarter of the roster: "It was great for them to get the silver.
"I thought it was a great tournament for them. They played as a team, and it carried them a long way. Everybody worked toward the common goal. I hope a lot of teams can see that you can go a long way if you play as a team. I'm happy to see players from our program do so well. It is amazing that UH athletes could go 10-for-10 in medals. It shows you are playing at the highest level when you are playing for the University of Hawaii."
UH men's volleyball coach Mike Wilton was equally pleased.
"I am very happy for Clay," Wilton said. "He has been the most consistent at the end of the year. He's a key reason the U.S. won the gold, and really carried them."
Stanley had 20 points in the gold-medal win over Brazil. He was the best scorer of the Olympics, with 146 points on 116 kills, 15 blocks and 15 aces.
Hawaii far and away bested any team in the Western Athletic Conference.
Also medaling from the WAC were Fresno State's Laura Berg and Lovie Jung (softball, silver), Idaho's Kristin Armstrong (cycling, gold, individual time trial) and San Jose State's Vicky Galindo (softball, silver).