Nineteen of those athletes will be in the water, such as Olympian swimmer Natalie Coughlin, and water polo Olympic medalist Heather Petri. Other sports the Bears will represent include basketball, rowing, soccer and track and field.
From the Peninsula, 27 Stanford students and alumni are in London this summer taking on competitors in sports ranging from gymnastics, synchronized swimming, diving, rowing and more.
Walnut Creek synchronized swimmer Mariya Koroleva, a Stanford communication major, will compete this year with her partner Mary Killman in a duet, despite the larger national team’s miss at attending the 2012 Olympics.
Stanford undergrad Kristina Vaculik will be chalking her hands during the gymnastics events, but will be at the Games with Canada.
Another Cardinal with Bay Area roots in Santa Rosa is Silas Stafford, competing in men’s pair rowing.
The lesser-known sport of fencing will push a San Francisco teen into the spotlight at his first Olympic appearance.
Alexander Massialas, 18-year-old son of three-time Olympian Greg Massialas who coaches at Halberstadt Fencers’ Club in San Francisco’s Mission District, will compete for Team USA in the foil event.
The young Massialas will be an incoming freshman at Stanford University in the fall.
The West Coast Conference, which represents athletic teams Santa Clara University and Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, proudly listed five connections to the Olympic Games, including several men on the U.S. basketball team; a women’s rowing coach and a men’s volley team manager from Saint Mary’s.
Santa Clara University alumna Brandi Chastain from US Women’s soccer fame will serve as a women’s soccer commentator at the games.
Rowing: Zach Vlahos and the U.S. men’s eight crew powered their way past Australia and Poland into the final Saturday in Windsor, England. The Americans won their heat on the first day of the rowing regatta, joining favorite Germany in Wednesday’s final.
Vlahos, a Piedmont native and Cal grad, is coxswain for the U.S. team that also features oarsmen Jake Cornelius and David Banks, both Stanford grads.
Table tennis: Bay Area teenager Ariel Hsing won her debut singles match. Hsing, a senior-to-be at San Jose’s Valley Christian High, defeated Yadira Silva of Mexico 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 and 11-5.
Palo Alto teenager Lily Zhang lost 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 and 11-5 to Cornelia Molnar of Croatia in the first round of the knockout format.
Women’s soccer: Former FC Gold Pride star Christine Sinclair scored two second-half goals to help Canada beat South Africa 3-0.
Tennis: Twins Bob and Mike Bryan, the enduring doubles team from Stanford, held off the Brazilian duo of Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 in their first-round match.
Women’s volleyball: Former Stanford star Logan Tom had nine points, including eight spikes, and the United States held off late-charging South Korea 3-1 in their opening match in London. Destinee Hooker had 21 points in the Americans’ 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21 victory. Tom is appearing in her fourth Olympic games.
The sterner the discipline, the greater the devotion.
– Pete Carill