Today, we celebrate Independence Day, which is a bit of a stretch, since John Adams thought the day we should commemorate was July 2 (the date Richard Henry Lee’s resolution for independence was adopted by the Continental Congress) rather than July 4 (the date the wording of the written declaration was approved, though probably not the date most of the signatures actually were affixed to the document), and the independence that was declared that day really wasn’t achieved until the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, so, honestly, the date we will commemorate as Labor Day this year really ought to be the date we celebrate as the anniversary of American independence, but, anyway, it’s the Fourth of July, and it’s a big deal, and most of us have the day off from work, so let’s celebrate that, all right?
Independence Day is a day for displaying our patriotic fervor, and one of the many ways our national pride expresses itself is through the chanting of "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" as our American athletes compete with representatives of other countries in the Olympics, which are scheduled to start in London on July 27. We here in Bulldog Nation have cause to feel proud, as well, for 24 current, former, or incoming Georgia Bulldogs will be competing in the 2012 Summer Games. These are they:
The United States will be represented in swimming and diving by Chris Colwill, Andrew Gemmell, Kara Lynn Joyce, Allison Schmitt, Shannon Vreeland, and Amanda Weir; in track and field by Hyleas Fountain, Reese Hoffa, and Kibwe Johnson; and in men’s tennis by John Isner. The other countries for whom Red and Black athletes will be competing are Argentina (Jenny Dahlgren), Canada (Sultana Frizell, Brittany MacLean, and Brittany Rogers), Croatia (Andras Haklits and Martin Maric), England (Lizzie Reid), Finland (Matias Koski), Germany (Sarah Poewe), Kuwait (Yousef Alaskari), St. Lucia (Levern Spencer), South Africa (Troyden Prinsloo and Wendy Trott), and Turkey (Ediz Yildirimer).
Thus far, the SEC, focused as it is on the formal addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, has done little to publicize the league’s representation in this year’s Olympiad, and our conference rivals’ athletic websites have not all emphasized their athletes’ participation in the U.S. trials to the extent Georgia’s has, but the Bulldogs appear to be well-represented in the games in comparison to their fellow SEC schools. Though the LSU women won the NCAA outdoor track and field championship last month, for instance, Bayou Bengal alumna Lolo Jones will be the only Louisiana State track and field athlete appearing in London on behalf of the United States. Likewise, despite being home to the elite Gator Swim Club overseen by U.S. Olympic coach Gregg Troy, Florida feels so strapped for Olympic swimmers to call its own that the Orange and Blue are attempting to boost their tally by claiming University of Michigan standout Peter Vanderkaay as one of their own because he began training in Gainesville last year. The Red and Black’s 13 total, and six American, Olympic swimmers and divers give them numbers comparable to Auburn’s 14 total, and three American, qualifiers from a Tiger program that sent 42 Plainsmen to the U.S. trials and is led by Brett Hawke, who will be coaching the Jamaican team.
In short, Georgia appears to be carrying the banner at the London Olympics as well as any SEC institution, and that, as they say, is another Bulldog point of pride. While we await the start of the 2012 Summer Games, feel free to use this as your Independence Day open comment thread, and be sure to let us know to what extent you wish to see the Olympiad covered here at Dawg Sports.