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Largest Ever Contingent of Aggies to Compete in the 2008 Olympic Games


- Released on Jul 30, 2008

The largest ever contingent of Texas A&M University representatives will make their way to the 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing, China. With 17 Aggie athletes and coaches representing nine different countries, the opening ceremonies are scheduled for Aug. 8 and closing ceremonies are slated for Aug. 24. Picture “Just making the Olympics is a great accomplishment and I know everyone at Texas A&M is very proud of our student-athletes, coaches and former students who have qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games,” Aggie Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. “We wish them all the very best in the upcoming competitions.”Two former students have been named to the USA Olympic team for the third time in their respective fields of expertise. Former volleyball standout Stacy Sykora was named to the USA women’s Olympic volleyball team and Vic Wunderle, an Aggie Class of 2002, was named to the USA archery Olympic team for the third consecutive time. In the track and field portion of the Olympics (Aug. 15-24), a couple of Aggie volunteer assistant coaches who ran for Coach Pat Henry at LSU have earned spots. Sprinter Muna Lee competed in the 2004 Games in Athens and has qualified for the USA track and field squad. One of the top quartermilers in the world, Alleyne Francique placed fourth in 2004 in Athens and he will compete for Grenada. Picture Off of this past year’s Aggie track and field team, seniors Richard Adu-Bobie of Canada and Simone Facey of Jamaica have made their respective Olympic squads. Allison George was a junior last year and she earned a place on the Grenada Olympic team in the 100 and 200 meters. The first Aggie female pole vaulter and still Aggie record holder in both the indoor and outdoor competitions, Erica (Boren) Bartolina, placed third in the U.S. Olympic Trials with a personal best of 14-11 to earn her spot on the USA squad. Long jumper Fabrice Lapierre, a four-year Aggie letterman and 2005 NCAA Champion, has qualified for the Australian Olympic team.Sprinter Tyrone Edgar was named to the Great Britain Olympic squad in both the 100 and the 4 X 100 relay pool. Picture In the swimming pool (Aug. 9-17), four members of the Aggie squad that placed fourth in the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships this past season will compete in Beijing. Aggie women’s swimming head coach Steve Bultman will serve as an assistant coach on the Estonia Olympic squad as he tutors A&M junior Triin Aljand. Junior Christine Marshall became the first Aggie female swimmer to earn a spot on the USA Olympic team. Marshall swam a career-best time of 1:58.16 in the championship final of the 200-meter freestyle to earn a spot on the American 800 freestyle relay team.Three of Marshall’s teammates will compete in Beijing as well. Junior Julia Wilkinson will compete in eight events for Canada, while Aljand has earned a spot on the Estonia Olympic team and sophomore Alia Atkinson has earned a place on the Jamaica Olympic squad. This will mark the second consecutive Olympic Games for both Aljand and Atkinson. On the men’s side of the swimming pool, former swimmer Francisco Picasso will swim for Uruguay and sophomore-to-be Balazs Makany will swim for the Hungarian Olympic team for a second time. The last Aggie to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games was in 2000 when Aggie softball standout Jennifer McFalls was part of the USA Gold Medal softball team. Picture 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES (BEIJING, CHINA) 17 TEXAS A&M ATHLETES & COACHES Richard Adu-Bobie, Canada Men’s Track & Field Triin Aljand, Estonia Women’s Swimming & Diving Alia Atkinson, Jamaica Women’s Swimming & Diving Erica (Boren) Bartolina, USA Women’s Track & Field Steve Bultman (Texas A&M Women’s Swimming Head Coach), Estonia Asst. Coach Tyrone Edgar, Great Britain Men’s Track & Field Simone Facey, Jamaica Women’s Track & Field Alleyne Francique (Volunteer Asst. Coach at Texas A&M), Grenada Men’s Track & Field Allison George, Grenada Women’s Track & Field Fabrice Lapierre, Australia Men’s Track & Field Muna Lee (Volunteer Asst. Coach at Texas A&M), USA Women’s Track & Field Balazs Makany, Hungary Men’s Swimming & Diving Christine Marshall, USA Women’s Swimming & Diving Francisco Picasso, Uruguay Men’s Swimming & Diving Stacy Sykora, USA Women’s Volleyball Julia Wilkinson, Canada Women’s Swimming & Diving Vic Wunderle, USA Archery (Class of ’02) Texas A&M Athletes & Coaches Olympians Volleyball: Laurie (Flachmeier) Corbelli- USA Texas A&M Head Volleyball Coach 93 – Present 1980 (boycott) 1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles, CA, Silver medalist John Corbelli Texas A&M Assistant Volleyball Coach 93 - Present 1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles, CA, Women’s Assistant Coach Stacy Sykora 2000 Olympic, Barcelona, Spain, 2004 Olympic, Athens, Greece, 2008 Olympic, Beijing, China, Softball: Jennifer McFalls 2000 Olympic, Barcelona, Spain, Gold Medalist Men’s Tennis: Grant Connell (Canada Team) 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, Korea, Singles & Doubles 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia, Doubles Dean Goldfine 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece USA Assistant Coach Women’s Basketball: Peggie Gillom Texas A&M Former Head Women’s Basketball Coach 98-03 2000 Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain USA Assistant Coach Women’s Swimming & Diving: Steve Bultman Texas A&M Head Women’s swimming 99-Present 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, Spain USA Assistant Coach 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Estonian, Assistant Coach M.J. Marenco (El Salvador Team) 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain Paty Villareal (Mexico) 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia Triin Aljand (Estonia Team) 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Alia Atkinson (Jamaica Team) 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Christine Marshall 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Julia Wilkinson (Canada Team) 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Men’s Swimming & Diving: Tetsuo Okamato (Brazil Team) 1952 Olympic Games, Helsinki, Finland Ernesto Vela (Mexico Team) 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea Diego Perdomo (Colombia Team) 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia Alfredo Jacobo (Mexico Team) 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia Riley Janes (Canada Team) 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece Matt Rose (Canada Team) 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece Balazs Makany (Hungary Team) 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Francisco Picasso (Uruguay Team) 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Men’s Track & Field: Jack Mahan 1920 Olympic Games, Antwerp, Belgium Art Harnden 1948 Olympic Games, London, England, Gold medalist Walt “Buddy” Davis 1952 Olympic Games, Helsinki, Finland, Gold medalist Darrow Hooper 1952 Olympic Games, Helsinki, Finland, Silver medalist Randy Matson 1964 Olympic Games, Tokyo, Japan, Silver medalist 1968 Olympic Games, Mexico City, Mexico, Gold medalist Jimmy Howard 1980 (boycott) 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea Kyle Heffner 1980 (boycott) Juan De La Garza (Mexico Team) Texas A&M Assistant coach, 91-Present 1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles, CA 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia Randy Barnes 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea, Silver medalist 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia, Gold medalist Arturo Barrios (Mexico Team) 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain Howard Davis (Jamaica Team) 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea, Silver medalist Richard Bucknor (Jamaica Team) 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea Ian James (Canada Team) 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul, South Korea Mike Stulce 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain, Gold medalist Aaron Ramirez 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain Nery Kennedy (Paraguayan Team) 1992 Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia Curt Young (Panamanian Team) 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia Danny McCray 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia Floyd Heard 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia Chris Pinnock (Jamaica Team) 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece Alleyne Francique (Grenada Team) Texas A&M Volunteer Assistant Coach, 04-Present 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Richard Adu-Bobie (Canada Team) 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Tyrone Edgar (Great Britain Team) 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Men’s Track & Field: Fabrice Lapierre (Australia Team) 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Women’s Track & Field: Linda Cornelius Waltman 1980 (boycott) Erica (Boren) Bartolina 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Allison George (Grenada Team) 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Simone Facey (Jamaica Team) 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China Muna Lee Texas A&M Volunteer Assistant Coach, 08-Present 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China