Excitement and Pride in Olympics Not Just From Medals; Ask Notre Dame
-- August 14, 2004
SOUTH BEND, Indiana, August 14. NOTRE Dame has as storied an athletic history as any organization in America. But in Olympic sports the university reports they are about the have one honor not experienced for 84 years and another, for their men’s swimming program, for the first time ever.
Rising junior Christel Bouvron (Singapore, Singapore/Raffles Girls' Secondary School) will become the first current University of Notre Dame student since 1920 - and second overall - to compete in the Olympic Games. She will represent her native Singapore for the second time in the Olympics, swimming the 200-meter butterfly on Tuesday, Aug. 17 in the Olympic Aquatic Centre of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex.
While Notre Dame has had 25 different former or future student-athletes compete in the Olympics, the only one to do so while enrolled at the University was August "Gus" Desch, who won the bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1920 Antwerp Games. Fencing foilist Sara Walsh attended the 1996 Atlanta Games as an alternate while she was a Notre Dame student, but she did not compete.
Notre Dame also is excited that Andrew MacKay (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands/Cayman Prep & H.S.), who will enroll at the University of Notre Dame as a freshman later this month and join its men's swimming and diving team, is headed to the Games. MacKay is a “first-ever” in two respects: he is the first Olympic swimming qualifier for the Cayman Islands, will compete in both the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys in the Olympic Aquatic Centre of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. Then this fall he will become the first Olympian in Irish men's swimming and diving history when he joins the team.
MacKay, a 5-9, 150-pound graduate of Cayman Prep and High School, holds Cayman national records in long-course meters in all backstroke, breaststroke, and individual medley events, as well as the 100-meter butterfly. He is coached by former U.S. great Dave Kelsheimer. MacKay failed to qualify for the Olympics in his top event (100 backstroke), but then garnered an invitation in the 200 IM at the 2003 Caribbean Championships in Jamaica. His 400 IM qualifying time came at the '03 Pan Am Games.