By Bryan Scott
SFU had five Olympians, two bronze medals in London
SFU had five athletes compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, England. They are Arjan Bhullar (Wresting, men’s freestyle 120 kg), Carol Hunynh (Wrestling, women’s 48kg), Jessica Smith (800 m), Jasmin Glaesser (Pursuit Cycling) and Teresa Gabriele (Women’s Basketball). All of these individuals competed hard and represented Canada proudly.
Carol Hunynh, from Hazelton, B.C., lost her chance to add another gold medal (coming off a gold in the 2008 Beijing games) by falling to Hitomi Obara of Japan in the semi-finals of the women’s 48kg division. Hunynh still left London a medalist after capturing the bronze by defeating Senegal’s Isabelle Sambou.
Jasmin Glaesser won the bronze medal in the team pursuit with her teammates, Tara Whitten and Gillian Carleton. They rode to a fourth place finish on the first day, but they qualified for the bronze medal race versus Australia. They rode hard to beat the Australians and take home the bronze medal.
Arjan Bhullar, from Richmond, finished 13th after a hard fought battle with Komeil Ghasemi from Iran; it was his first time at the Olympics.
Jessica Smith, from North Vancouver, finished her 800m heat with a time of 2:07.75 to qualify for the semi-finals. Even after running a roadrunner-like 2:01.90 in her semi-finals heat she finished seventh in the heat, failing to qualify for the finals.
The Canadian Women’s Basketball team and its SFU athlete Teresa Gabriele, from Mission, finished 2–3 in round robin play to finish fourth in Group B. Unfortunately, that meant meeting the powerhouse United States in the Quarter Finals after the crossover with Group A. As predicted, the Canadians fought hard, but lost 91–48, and bowed out of the tournament still happy with their performance.
Overall, it was an average Olympics for Canada. We had one gold medal, five silver medals, and twelve bronze. CTV estimated 6.4 million viewers tuned in the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games opening ceremony. Viewership stayed high, as evidenced by the social media explosion over the Women’s Soccer semi-final.
Rio 2016 is only four years away, and it is apparent that we have a lot to look forward to from Simon Fraser’s Athletes and Team Canada in the future.