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Olympic Rebels hope to bring home the gold

Caitlin Adams/The Daily Mississippian


On Friday, the games of the XXX Olympiad begin with Opening Ceremonies.  Ole Miss will pay close attention as three of its current and former student athletes compete on the world’s biggest stage.  

For senior track and field star Isiah Young, this will be his first Olympic experience. Coming off a good outdoor season, including an SEC outdoor title, and a solid U.S Olympic Trials, Young earned his way onto the U.S. team after a strong performance by clocking a career best time of 20.16 in the finals of the men’s 200 meter. That time was good enough for third place and earning Young a flight to London last week and then to Monaco last Friday where he competed in a warmup meet. Young will begin his Olympic career on Tuesday, Aug. 7 when the first round of the men’s 200 meter begins. 

While Young is enjoying the Olympic Games for the first time, Brittany Reese is returning for her second Olympics. The Gulfport, MS native is coming into the games as a heavy favorite in the women’s long jump competition. The two-time and reigning long jump world champion is looking to improve on her last Olympic outing. At the 2008 games in Beijing, Reese came out of the long jump qualification round scoring the longest jump of the night and finished fifth in the finals. Since then, Reese claimed the top spot in women’s high jump in 2009. Last year Reese claimed three titles: the World outdoor title, USA outdoor title and Diamond League title. Reese will compete in the long jump qualification round Aug. 7 with the finals held the next day.  

Track and field may not be the only sport to see a Rebel win gold, as former Lady Rebels basketball star Jennifer Gillom will be an assistant coach for the Women’s U.S. National Basketball team. Gillom was named an assistant coach for the 2010 World Basketball Championship games and was asked to stay on for the Olympics in London. Gillom will be able to bring plenty of Olympic experience to the team as she is a former gold medalist herself. She helped bring home the gold as the U.S. won the 1988 Seoul games. With the U.S. having won the last four Olympic titles they are considered the heavy favorites. Gillom could also be a part of a record setting team as no other women’s team in any sport has won five straight Olympic gold medals titles.  The women’s basketball team play their first Olympic game on Saturday, July 28.