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Gator Nation Is At The 2012 Olympics, Day 9: Lisa Raymond Gets Her Bronze, Finally


Lisa Raymond touches bronze

Lisa Raymond had been to the Olympics before, in 2004, and had played with the greatest women's tennis player of all time, Martina Navratilova. She didn't win then, either in singles or women's doubles. And she entered the 2012 Olympics as part of the top-ranked women's doubles team in the world, but didn't win in that competition, either, dropping a bronze medal match on Sunday.

So she had to come through in her mixed doubles final with Mike Bryan, or, in all likelihood, end a career without an Olympic medal. She did the former.

Raymond and Bryan topped Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas, 6-4, 4-6, (10-4), winning a super set to win a bronze medal.

It's not what Raymond would have ultimately wanted, surely, especially because between her and Bryan, that's two of no worse than the five best doubles players of the last 10 years on a team. But at the Olympics, fourth is so much worse than third, and the openly gay Raymond winning a medal will surely be an inspiration to some.

Williams-Mills misses medal

Novlene Williams-Mills wasn't as fast as the fastest American in the women's 400 meters, marking one of the few times a Jamaican is likely to be outpaced by an American in a sprint event at these Olympics. Sanya Richards-Ross took the lead on the home stretch, running down her gold, and Williams-Mills finished fifth in the event, more than a half-second behind Richards-Ross' pace and never really a medal factor.

Being the fifth-fastest woman in the world in the quarter-mile just means Williams-Mills is faster than billions of people, though. No biggie.

McQuay part of American brownout in 400

Tony McQuay making the U.S. Olympic team in the 400 was a bit of a surprise. The U.S. team failing to place a runner in the 400 final is a bit more than that.

McQuay finished fourth in his semifinal heat, with the 13th-best time in the semis, and failed to qualify for the final, which will be held Monday. And it'll be held without an American for the first time ever, four years after a second consecutive 1-2-3 sweep in it in Beijing.

Could McQuay end up medaling in the 400 someday? Absolutely. He's 22, less than a month younger than I am. His track career likely has peaks to come. If he's running in Rio in 2016, though, he'll be doing so as part of a narrative of American redemption.

Azania Stewart's frustrating week

Azania Stewart was always one of the brightest, most well-adjusted members of the Florida women's basketball team. She'll have to do her fair share of wry head-shaking after Great Britain finished its first Olympics without a victory.

Team GB fell to Brazil, 78-66, on Sunday, and Stewart had maybe her best game of the Olympics, scoring six points and blocking five shots. 0-5 is 0-5, though, and I can't imagine Stewart will be all that happy with it.

Gator Nation Medal Count, Day 9

Total Medals: 9 (Ryan Lochte: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze, one gold shared with Conor Dwyer; Elizabeth Beisel: 1 silver, 1 bronze; Will Claye: 1 bronze; Lisa Raymond, 1 bronze)

Total Medals For Individual Gators: 9 (Ryan Lochte: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze; Conor Dwyer: 1 gold; Elizabeth Beisel: 1 silver, 1 bronze; Will Claye: 1 bronze; Lisa Raymond, 1 bronze)

Gold Medals: 2 (Lochte, men's 400 meters IM, and Lochte/Dwyer, men's 4 x 200 meters relay)

Silver Medals: 3 (Lochte, men's 4 x 100 meters relay and men's 200 meters IM ; Beisel, women's 400 meters IM)

Bronze Medals: 4 (Lochte, men's 200 meters backstroke, Beisel, women's 200 meters backstroke; Claye, men's long jump; Raymond, tennis mixed doubles)

Percentage of U.S. Gold Medals, Excluding Transfers: 7.1 percent (2 of 28)

Percentage of U.S. Gold Medals, Including Transfers: 17.9 percent (5 of 28)

Percentage of U.S. Medals, Excluding Transfers: 15 percent (9 of 60)

Percentage of U.S. Medals, Including Transfers: 20 percent (12 of 60)

For the purposes of our medal count, I'm counting 34 members of Olympic teams as Gators, by the same criteria as Only Gators. GatorZone counts Gators letterwinners, including three who transferred and finished their collegiate careers elsewhere, meaning that Dana Vollmer. I'll calculate stats for both here.

If the University of Florida were its own country, it would currently be in 17th in the medal rankings, a spot ahead of Belarus, and tied for 12th with Hungary in the overall Olympic medal count. The former stat ranks teams with better medals first; the latter only includes total medals.

Gator Nation no longer leads Great Britain, but is still ahead of Brazil and Mexico and both counts. Step it up, Brazil and Mexico.