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Olympics: One silver medal, but some disappointments for athletes from Utah

Published August 11, 2012 7:39 pm

Olympics • Volleyball teams fall short of expectations.
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London • All in all, it was a mostly frustrating Olympics for athletes from Utah.

Volleyball player Logan Tom, who grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from Highland High School, won a silver medal, but even that was something of a disappointment considering the Americans were ranked No. 1 in the world and had hoped to finally usurp Brazil for gold.

Beyond Tom, nobody won a medal —¬†although former Jazz players Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko will play Sunday for gold and bronze, respectively.

Beach volleyball player Jake Gibb of Bountiful was stopped in the quarterfinals for the second straight Olympics, track star Cam Levins of Southern Utah University came down with a cold for his final race (though he ran well before that), and former Brigham Young University volleyball players Russell Holmes and Rich Lambourne were swept in the quarterfinals, after winning gold in Beijing.

Swimmer Rafael Alfaro of BYU was overwhelmed by the moment and swam poorly in his only race for El Salvador, while BMX cyclist Arielle Martin of Cedar Hills was severely injured on her final day of training for the Olympics, and never even made it.

There were some modest successes, though.

Three current and former University of Utah basketball players —¬†Kim Smith, Shona Thorburn and Michelle Plouffe — helped Canada reach the quarterfinals, against all expectation, while swimmer Andrew Rutherfurd of BYU clocked a personal best while representing his native Bolivia, and Salt Lake City's Shalaya Kipp gained important experience in the women's steeplechase after unexpectedly reaching the Olympics as a junior in college.


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