Aug. 18, 2016 By Alan Wasielewski
The University of Notre Dame’s participants active in the Rio Games continues with two former Irish athletes still in action – Monty Williams (USA Men’s Basketball) and Melissa Tancredi (Canadian Women’s Soccer).
Williams, an assistant on the USA Men’s Basketball Team, helped guide Team USA to a 105-78 victory over Argentina on Wednesday, Aug. 17. The team advances to the semifinals on Friday (2:30 p.m.) and a long-anticipated matchup with Spain.
Tancredi and the Canadian Women’s Soccer team faces the host team, Brazil, in a battle for the bronze medal on Friday at 12:00 p.m.
TODAY | AUG. 18 – No former Notre Dame student-athletes will be in action.
TOMORROW | AUG. 19 – Melissa Tancredi, Canadian Women’s Soccer, Bronze Medal Match vs. Brazil, 12:00 p.m.
Monty Williams, USA Men’s Basketball, Semifinals vs. Spain, 2:30 p.m.
— Gold: Amanda Polk, a 2008 Notre Dame graduate and four-time All-American with the Fighting Irish, is now an Olympic Champion. Polk was a member of the United States Women’s Eight that powered to victory (6:01:49) in the Grand Finale at Lagao Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The U.S. Rowing Women’s Eight has now won 11 consecutive world titles – every world championship and Olympic title since 2006. Polk is the first Notre Dame rower to earn a gold medal at the Olympics.
— Bronze: Former University of Notre Dame fencer Mariel Zagunis earned an Olympic bronze medal as the United States women’s sabre team defeated Italy 45-30 on Aug. 13. Zagunis, who closed out the victory in the anchor position, outscored her Italian opponents 15-9 Saturday in helping to lead the U.S. to bronze for the second time in as many times as the weapon has been contested on the team level. Zagunis and Team USA also brought home the hardware at the 2008 Games in Beijing. It was the fourth career Olympic medal for Zagunis, who also collected individual gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Games and was the first American fencer to win a gold medal in Olympic competition.
— Bronze: University of Notre Dame graduate Gerek Meinhardt played the part of linchpin for the United States men’s foil team (Aug. 12), leading a 45-31 comeback victory against top-seeded Italy in the bronze-medal match to bring home the first medal for a U.S. men’s foil squad since the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Meinhardt returned to the piste against Andrea Baldini in the fifth of the match’s nine rounds with the U.S. trailing 20-17. With a target of 25 points, Meinhardt ripped off eight straight touches to give his team a 25-20 lead it would never relinquish. He out-scored his opponents 12-1 in his final two bouts as the U.S. continued to expand its lead. The team victory gave Meinhardt, who plans to retire from fencing to focus on his career following the conclusion of the Rio games, his first medal in three Olympic appearances. At his first appearance in Beijing in 2008, he became the youngest U.S. Olympic fencer of all time at the age of 17.
Complete schedules for when the athletes with Notre Dame ties will be competing can be found at UND.com/Rio. Join the conversation on social media and support the Irish using #OlympicND.
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— ND —
Alan Wasielewski is an Associate Athletics Communication Director at the University of Notre Dame. He works primarily with the men’s basketball and rowing team. A 2000 graduate of the University, Wasielewski is entering his 16th year at Notre Dame, working in both the multimedia productions and athletics communications offices in his time on campus.