Notre Dame Olympians

Author: Jacob Zinkula

Notre Dame Olympians Molly Huddle crushes the competition in the Olympic qualifiers on her way to the American record in the 10,000 meters -- AP Photo Marcio Jose Sanchez

Twelve current or former Notre Dame student-athletes took part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: ten as athletes and two as coaches. As of these most recent Games, 39 Irish alumni have competed in 19 Summer Olympics, and nine alumni have competed in the last four games.

Five athletes competed in fencing. Sisters Courtney Hurley, class of 2012, and Kelley Hurley, class of 2010, lost to Romania in the women’s épée team quarterfinal. Senior Lee Kiefer fell in the round of 16 in the individual foil competition. Gerek Meinhardt, class of 2013 and 2015, took home a bronze medal in men’s team foil and finished fifth in individual foil. Mariel Zagunis, class of 2013, won a bronze medal in women’s team sabre and finished ninth in the individual event.

In rowing, Amanda Polk, class of 2008, won a gold medal in the women’s eight. In track and field, Molly Huddle, class of 2006, broke the American record in the women’s 10,000m final but finished sixth overall.

Two former Irish athletes represented Canada. Natalie Achonwa, class of 2014, played for the Canadian women’s basketball team, which fell to France in the quarterfinals. Melissa Tancredi, class of 2004, suited up for the Canadian side in women’s soccer and took home a bronze medal.

Margaret Bamgbose, class of 2016, represented Nigeria and reached the track and field semifinals in the women’s 400m.

Angie (Harris) Akers, class of 1998, coached the Netherlands in women’s beach volleyball and helped the team to a ninth-place finish. Monty Williams, class of 1994, served as an assistant coach for the U.S. men’s basketball team, which defeated Serbia to claim a gold medal.