July 27, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- The XXX Olympiad, more commonly known as the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, are underway in London, with the opening ceremonies set to air Friday night on NBC.
Nine Badgers are set to compete in London, three of which are former members of the Wisconsin crew program. Fraternal twins Ross and Grant James, along with Kristin Hedstrom, are among the former Wisconsin student-athletes looking to bring home a gold medal for the United States.
The James twins will be taking the water first, competing in the men's 8+, with the first heat set to begin at 4:10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Germany, the favorites, has been grabbing headlines since qualifying for the Olympics due to the boat's 34-race unbeaten streak, dating back to the Beijing Olympics. Great Britain will look to make some noise on its home waters, while Canada, the 2008 Summer Olympic champions, are poised for a comeback after a quiet four years that culminated in setting a new world record time at the World Cup earlier this summer.
The U.S. boat will look to make a trip to the podium after qualifying for the Summer Olympics just two months ago. After a sub-par 2011 World Championships, the U.S. will look to re-emerge under the direction of 2004 gold medal head coach Mike Teti.
Hedstrom to make Olympic debut in lightweight double sculls
Along with the James brothers, former Wisconsin rower Kristin Hedstrom will be making her U.S. Olympic debut in London, after a sparkling post-graduate career on the waters. Hedstrom, along with fellow rower Julie Nichols, are sectioned in heat two of the women's lightweight double sculls, which are set to begin Sunday, July 29.
The duo, which began rowing together in 2011, medaled in all three World Cup regattas last year and gained national recognition after becoming the first U.S. crew to win the points trophy in its class. Hedstrom and Nichols finished fourth at the World Rowing Championships, qualifying the United States for its spot in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
Select rowing races will air live on NBC. For the most comprehensive coverage of current and former Badgers at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, visit UWBadgers.com.