Alumni Berens, Richards-Ross Go For Gold In London

Alumni Berens, Richards-Ross Go For Gold In London

Swimmer Ricky Berens, BBA ’10, and track star and former student Sanya Richards-Ross, will be strong gold-medal contenders at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London July 27-Aug. 12.

Berens, who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as part of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, will swim both the 4×200 and 4×100 relay events and will compete in his first-ever individual Olympic race. He learned the good news from, of all sources, Twitter.

Berens finished third in the 200-meter freestyle race at the Olympic trials, high enough to once again earn a spot on the relay team, but one place out of contention to swim the individual event in London. But then on July 2, Michael Phelps‘ coach Bob Bowman announced via Twitter that Phelps was withdrawing from the 200, meaning Berens would take his place.

“WAIT WHAT!!!” Berens wrote as he retweeted Bowman’s announcement. Minutes later he posted another tweet saying, “Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now. If Twitter is right, I am swimming the 200 free at the Olympics!!!!! This is nuts!!!” USA Swimming later officially confirmed the news.

In a May interview with USA Swimming, Berens talked about the usefulness of his finance degree in managing his career.

“As a professional swimmer, I am running in effect my own business. So I always look at what’s going on in the business world, I followed the big Facebook IPO, but in a few more years, I do plan to use that degree even more.”

Heats for the men’s 200-meter freestyle and 4×100 freestyle relay begin on July 29 and the 4×200 freestyle relay competition kicks off July 31.