Gator athletes haul in medals at Tokyo Olympics

UF swimmer Bobby Finke shocked the world with two gold medals in distance events at the Tokyo Olympics.
UF swimmer Bobby Finke shocked the world with two gold medals in distance events at the Tokyo Olympics.

The University of Florida ended up earning a total of 17 medals in five different sports at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

A total of 32 Gators representing 16 nations earned nine gold, five silver and three bronze medals during the competition.

The 17 medals tied for the second-highest medal count in school history. After jumping out to an early lead, UF finished third among all NCAA schools behind Stanford (26) and Southern Cal (21)—although UF tied with UCLA for second with 15 Team USA medals.

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This past Saturday former Gator Mark Kolozsvary and Team USA won the silver medal in baseball after falling 2-0 to Japan. That gave the Gators a medal in five different sports: baseball, soccer, swimming, softball, and track and field.

Caeleb Dressel, who finished second overall in medals won, led the way for the Gators with five Olympic gold medals in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 4X100 relay, and the 4X100 medley relay.

“With an extra year, it’s a five-year buildup—or a 24-year buildup, whatever you want to call it—there’s so much pressure in the moment,” Dressel told Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde, who wrote that Dressel established himself as the world’s greatest male swimmer. “Your whole life boils down to a moment that will take 20-40 seconds. How crazy is that? And it’s every four years. A lot of it boils down to a very precise moment in the universe, and that just happens to be the Olympics.”

Current Gator Bobby Finke won gold in the 800 and 1500-meter freestyle after two scintillating comebacks in the final 50 meters

“I came in not really expecting to get a medal or anything and I come out of with two golds,” Finke said.

Kieran Smith won a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle, while Natalie Hinds took home a bronze medal in the 4X100 free relay. 

Gators Deanne Rose and Adriana Leon were Olympic gold medalists for the Canadian soccer team, while Michelle Moultrie, Aubree Munroe, and Kelsey Stewart all earned a silver medal with the USA softball team.

Grant Holloway earned a silver medal in the men’s 110 meter hurdles, and Taylor Manson earned a bronze medal in the U.S. mixed 4X400 relay.

The 32 Gators who competed were the third-most in a single Olympic games and Florida placed fifth among NCAA programs and led the Southeastern Conference with 32 participants.

Overall, the United States finished with the most gold medals and the most total medals.

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