With the summer Olympic games just days away, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Athletics department is spotlighting former student-athletes who will be competing for their respective nations. The Eye on Olympics stories are featured on their website.
Clay Stanley, a UH Sports Circle of Honor inductee, is aiming for his second straight gold medal. Stanley, regarded as one of the best men’s volleyball players in the world, will be captaining the men’s team. The left-side hitter and Kaiser High School graduate guided the 2008 squad to a first place finish at the Beijing Olympics four years ago where he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
A trio of current and former UH swimmers—Melanie Schlanger (Australia), Jasmine Alkhaldi (Philippines) and Azad Al-Barazi (Syria)—will be representing their respective nations at the Olympic games.
Schlanger, a freestyle swimmer who will compete both individually and on the 4×200 freestyle relay team, swam for the Rainbow Wahine during the 2004–05 season and the first half of her sophomore year in 2005–06. In her freshman season at the Western Athletic Conference championships, she won titles in the 100 free and the 400 medley relay and was rewarded with the WAC Co-Freshman of the Year.
Al-Barazi will be Syria’s lone representative in the 100m breastroke competition. He competed two years (2008–09, 2009–10) for UH after transferring from Santa Monica College. He broke three personal bests at the 2010 Conference USA Championships, finishing fifth in both the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke. He also landed seventh in the 200 individual medley.
Alkhaldi, the Filipino native from Los Banos, Laguna, currently swims for the ’Bows and wrapped up a breakthrough freshman season. Aside from earning Mid-Major All-America honors, she already holds the team’s top times in all of the short-distance freestyle events.
Former University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow sailor Molly (O’Bryan) Vandemoer, along with her two crewmates, captured the Women’s Match Racing U.S. Olympic Qualifying Regatta in May and will represent the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics. This will be Vandemoer’s first Olympics. She lettered four seasons for the Rainbow Wahine from 1997-01 where she earned all-America honors three times and skippered the ’Bows to the 2001 women’s national title.