When swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg won the Olympic gold medal today (Sept. 18) in the 100-meter backstroke, it kept alive an amazing USC streak: a Trojan has won a gold medal in every summer Olympics since 1912.
The USA’s Krayzelburg, an All-American and NCAA champion while at USC from 1996 to 1998, set an Olympic record in winning the 100 backstroke in 53.72.
It was the third medal won by a current, former or future Trojan in the 2000 Sydney Games — thus far. Trojan sophomore Erik Vendt won the silver in the 400-meter individual medley last Sunday (Sept. 17) and a bronze was captured in the 400-meter freestyle last Saturday (Sept. 16) by an incoming USC freshman (NCAA rules prohibit listing his name until he enrolls in school). That incoming freshman’s bronze was the 200th Olympic medal ever won by a Trojan.
Combined with Krayzelburg’s and Vendt’s medals, athletes who attended USC before, during or after their Olympic appearance now have collected 96 golds, 57 silvers and 49 bronzes.
USC’s medal haul likely will increase in the coming days. Troy is represented by 35 past, present and future athletes competing in nine sports in the 2000 Sydney Games. USC has sent more athletes to the Olympic Games than any other university. Since its first Olympian in 1904, there have been 330 Olympic athletes with a USC affiliation.