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London Olympics: Big 12 Schools, Including Kansas, K-State, Have Hand In 25 Medals

Past and Present Big 12 athletes represented about 20 percent of the U.S. Olympic Team in London, and they came away with 25 percent of the medals awarded over the two weeks of international sports competition.

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Sanya Ross, a gold medalist on the 2012 USA Olympic Team. USA
Sanya Ross, a gold medalist on the 2012 USA Olympic Team. USA

For the fourth consecutive Summer Olympic Games, the United States came away with most overall medals. The U.S. team led all countries, earning 104 total medals in London (46 gold, 29 silver and 29 bronze), and 20 past and present representatives of seven Big 12 schools were part of the medals won by U.S. athletes.

Five additional medals were won in track and field competition for the Bahamas (2), Kenya, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica by athletes who have ties to Texas Tech (3) and Texas A&M (2), which is now a member of the Southeastern Conference.

Among the Big 12 medal-winners were four-time Big 12 high-jump champion (indoor and outdoor) Erik Kynard of Kansas State, who took silver in the even in London, and Diamond Dixon of Kansas, who earned gold as a member of the U.S. women's 4x400-meter relay team. Both Kynard and Dixon will return to school this fall: Kynard for his senior year, and Dixon will be a junior.

Kynard, who cleared a height of 7 feet, 7-3/4 inches in winning a silver medal, is the first Kansas State athlete to win an Olympic medal since the 2004 Summer Games in Athens (when graduate student Austria Skujyte won a silver in the heptathlon) and the first Wildcat with remaining eligibility to medal in the Olympics since 1952.

A total of 89 Big 12 athletes, representing 22 countries, qualified in nine different sports for the Games of the XXX Olympiad held for the third time in London. Every Big 12 school when the conference was formed in 1996, with the exception of Baylor, was represented at the London Games.

More than half of the medals won by representatives of Big 12 schools were gold, led by former Texas sprinter Sanya Richard-Ross who won gold in both the women's 400 meters and the 4x400 relay. A fellow Longhorn athlete, Bianca Knight ran one of the legs of 4x100 relay, won by the United States in record-breaking time. The previous world record had stood for 27 years.

Current and former athletes from the University of Texas took home the most medals among Big 12 schools with 13, including six gold. In addition to Richards-Ross, the 2008 Big 12 Swimmer of the Year, Ricky Berens, won a pair of medals in London: gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay and a silver for his participation in the qualifying heats of the 4x100 freestyle relay.

Another Longhorn swimmer, Brendan Hansen, won his third consecutive gold medal as a member of the men's 4x100 medley relay. The 14-time NCAA champion also earned a bronze medal in London in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Longhorns also won gold in men's basketball (Kevin Durant, who led the U.S. 2012 Dream Team in scoring with a 19.9 per-game average) and silver medals in the men's decathlon (Trey Harden), women's indoor volleyball (Destinee Hooker) and the men's 1,500-meter run (Leo Manzano).

Demetrius Pinder from Texas A&M and Michael Mathieu of Texas Tech were members of the gold-medal winning Bahamas 4x400-meter relay team that edged the U.S. men for the top spot on the medals stand in London. Other Big 12 athletes who won medals for other countries were Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech, a silver medal in the women's 10,000-meter run for Kenya; Deon Lendore of Texas A&M, a bronze in the 4x400-meter relay for Trinidad & Tobago, and Shereefa Lloyd, from Texas Tech, a silver representing Jamaica in the 4x400 relay.

Big 12 Medal Breakdown At 2012 London Olympics

Gold Medal

Jake Varner, USA (Iowa State) - 96kg freestyle wrestling

Diamond Dixon, USA (Kansas) - Women's 4x400m relay (track & field)

Jordan Burroughs, USA (Nebraska) - 74kg freestyle wrestling

Ricky Berens, USA (Texas) - Men's 4x200m relay (swimming)

Kevin Durant, USA (Texas) - Men's basketball

Brendan Hansen, USA (Texas) - Women's 4x100m medley relay (swimming)

Bianca Knight, USA (Texas) - Women's 4x100m relay (track & field)

Sanya Richards-Ross, USA (Texas) - Women's 400m (track & field)

Sanya Richards-Ross, USA (Texas) - Women's 4x400m relay (track & field)

Demetrius Pinder, Bahamas (Texas A&M) - Men's 4x400m relay (track & field)

Breeja Larsen, USA (Texas A&M) - Womens 4x100 medley relay (swimming)

Jeneba Tamoh, USA (Texas A&M) - Women's 4x100m relay (track & field)

Michael Mathieu, Bahamas (Texas Tech) - Men's 4x400m relay (track & field)

Silver Medal

Erik Kynard, USA (Kansas State) - High jump

Jordan Larsen, USA (Nebraska) - Men's volleyball

Ricky Berens, USA (Texas) - Men's 4x100m freestyle relay (swimming)

Jimmy Feigen, USA (Texas) - Men's 4x100m freestyle relay (swimming)

Trey Hardee, USA (Texas) - Men's decathlon

Destinee Hooker, USA (Texas) - Women's volleyball

Leo Manzano, USA (Texas) - Men's 1,500m run

Sally Kipyego, Kenya (Texas Tech) - Women's 10,000m run

Bronze Medal

Troy Dumais, USA (Texas) - Men's 3m synchronized diving

Brendan Hansen, USA (Texas) - Men's 100m breaststroke

Deon Lendore, USA (Trinidad & Tobago) - Men's 4x400m relay (track & field)

Shereefa Lloyd, Jamaica (Texas Tech) - Men's 4x400m relay (track & field)

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