Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Councilwoman Jan Perry and other council members in declaring Nov. 9 “USC Olympic Champions Day” in the city of Los Angeles during a ceremony at City Hall.
Eleven Trojan Olympians, including two-time gold medalist swimmer Rebecca Soni, gold medal water polo player Lauren Wenger, and silver medalists Haley Anderson (swimming), Nicole Davis (volleyball), Bryshon Nellum (track) and Josh Mance (track) were in attendance. USC President C. L. Max Nikias, members of the USC Athletic Department’s administration, and a handful of horn players and drummers from the USC Trojan Marching Band were also present.
“We hold a special place in our hearts at USC for the many student-athletes who display their remarkable talents by stepping onto the Olympic stage,” Nikias said. “They have defied great odds, overcome tremendous adversity and created great memories.”
The other USC Olympians in attendance included swimmers Stina Gardell and Kasia Wilk, water polo player James Clark, Canadian track cyclist Joseph Veloce and junior sprinter Aaron Brown.
“We couldn’t be prouder,” Villaraigosa said. “I’m a Bruin, but I’ve got an honorary doctorate from USC and I’m very proud of that. Today we honor these great Olympic athletes. We have one of the best universities in the world here in Los Angeles in USC. As a Bruin, I can tell you, I’m proud.”
Villaraigosa and Perry were among a host of city officials who praised USC and its Olympic heritage during the ceremony.
Forty-one current and former athletes represented USC at the 2012 Olympics in London and set school records for gold (12) and overall medals (25). The Trojans’ contingent represented 18 countries in seven sports (swimming, track and field, volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo, soccer and track cycling). USC also extended its streak of winning at least one gold medal in every Summer Games since 1912.
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