Iowa Alumni Magazine | October 2008 | Features

World-Class Athletes

By IAM Staff
UI Olympians compete in Beijing.

The Hawkeyes didn't bring home any medals from this year's Summer Olympics, but they did return with plenty of unforgettable memories.

Of the 27 UI students, alumni, and coaches who competed in the trials for this year's Games, five advanced to Beijing to join the world's greatest athletes.

Iowa wrestling's assistant strength training coach Mike Zadick, 04BS, thought he'd lost his chance for Olympic gold when the United States didn't qualify in his weight class, but he joined the Games at the last minute after two injured Bulgarian wrestlers had to drop out of the competition. Zadick went on to finish 19th at 132 pounds, while UI interim assistant wrestling coach Doug Schwab, 01BA, grappled to 14th in the 145.5-pound contest.

Ex-UI wrestler Steve Mocco won his first two matches to qualify for the bronze medal bracket at 264.5 pounds, but with late-period mishaps in his next match, he finished seventh.

Iowa senior track star Kineke Alexander, representing her home country of Saint Vincent and Grenadines in the 400-meter sprint, got as far as the first qualifying event.

Former UI diver Nancilea Underwood Foster, 06BA, finished fourth in the semifinals and placed eighth in the three-meter diving finals. "I've always been a firm believer in the saying, 'The journey is more important than the destination,'" Foster wrote in a blog entry to her supporters. "And I believe that is true even when I find myself at a slightly different destination than I had dreamed."

Further coverage of the UI's participation in the Olympics, including the adventures of Iowa student volunteers who assisted the international media, will appear in the December 2008 issue of Iowa Alumni Magazine.