Olympic Glory, Dartmouth-Style

 

The Ivy League Web site boasts of 47 athletes with Ivy ties at the Sydney games - enough to form an entire national team.

But few were higher in profile, or more successful, than the Wearers of the Green.

Of the four Dartmouth athletes competing in Australia last month, three came back with silver medals. Two had their

exploits lauded on prime time television in the U.S. One actually performed live before an American viewing audience of millions. Combined, their three medals upped Dartmouth's total to 14 all-time at the Summer Games.

The three medalists were Adam Nelson '97 in the shot put, Crawford Palmer '93 in basketball and Ted Murphy '94 in coxless pairs rowing. Nelson and Murphy represented the United States; Palmer played for France,

where he plays professionally these days.

Murphy was one of 23 former Ivy Leaguers competing in rowing - nearly half of the entire Ivy complement at the games.

While rowers dominated, the Ivies were represented in sports as diverse as modern pentathlon (Yale silver medalist Emily deRiel), wrestling (Penn silver medalist Brandon Slay) and soccer (Columbia's Matt Napoleon).

Two of the women helping the U.S. women to their golden summer in the pool have ties to Columbia University. Cristina Teuscher is a 2000 Columbia grad who grabbed bronze in the 200-meter individual medley. New Hampshire's Jenny Thompson, the most decorated U.S. woman athlete in history, plans to attend Columbia Medical School next year.

The Ivy League grad with the best exposure in this country, however, was not even representing this country.

Palmer, on the last night of televised Olympic sport in the U.S., helped lead the French to a respectable 85-75 loss to the American "Dream Team" in the gold medal game.

Viewers tuning in on the final Saturday night of the games got to see the former Big Green star battling under the

boards with the likes of NBA All-Stars Vin Baker and Alonzo Mourning.

Palmer got extended playing time when French teammate Frederic Weis sat down with early foul trouble in the first half. And Palmer made the most of his opportunity, scoring 10 points and pulling down two rebounds in 21 minutes of play.

Nelson earned the silver medal with a throw of 69-7, finishing behind Arsi Harju of Finland at 69-10 1/4.

In rowing, Murphy combined with Sebastian Bea, defeating an Australian team and taking second behind a duo from France. At Dartmouth, Murphy had rowed for the heavyweight eight, earning three varsity letters. (Stephen Dravis)