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Five ODU Monarchs compete in London
Five ODU Monarchs compete in London
Tunnicliffe tries for another gold

Updated: Monday, 30 Jul 2012, 4:01 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 30 Jul 2012, 1:14 AM EDT


Old Dominion University has five athletes competing in the London Olympics. That's more than any other school in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
Not all of them are wearing the Team USA jersey, but they are still on the world stage.
Virginia Beach's Caroline Nichols is the only former ODU field hockey player on this year's team.
"Representing Team USA is probably the biggest honor that I can think of as an athlete," Nichols said.
The last time the USA women's field hockey team made it to the podium was in 1984, when ODU field hockey coach Beth Anders was on the team.
"It's such an honor to be an Olympian and to represent your country and the best thing I know is they appreciate it," Anders said.
This year's Olympic quest didn't start out as well as planned. In the final match of opening day in London, Germany defeated the U.S. women's field hockey team 2-1.
“There were certainly some positives to come out of tonight’s game, but in the end the cold hard fact is we gave up two goals to the world’s No. 3 ranked team,” said head coach Lee Bodimeade.

Team USA will play Argentina on Tuesday.

In the pool, two ODU teammates will race the 50 freestyle: Arni Arnason for Iceland and Sidni Hoxha for Albania . ODU swimming coach  Carol Withus says qualifications to make the team are a little different than in the U.S.

Of the five ODU Olympians at the London games, Anna Tunnicliffe is the only defending gold medalist. The lifelong sailor won gold in Laser Radial at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

During a 2004 interview, Tunnicliffe told, "My parents put me in a boat and pushed me off and told me not to come back until I'd stopped crying. I stopped crying and came back; still hated sailing for a long time, but then started liking it," she recounted.

Anna was a champion every year she raced for ODU and was named women's college sailor of the year as a senior. She's competing with ODU teammate Debbie Capozzi . The two went 1-1 in the Elliott 6 meter match race during day one of racing in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

NBC Olympics: Sailing schedule

ODU Head Coach Mitch Brindley coached Anna to gold in Beijing.

"It was a great opportunity and a lot of fun and it's hard to describe how powerful the Olympic games are," said Brindley.

This year he is going as a fan, but he will still be rooting for Anna and the rest of the Monarchs.

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