Representing USF at Olympic Games

Three Dons Go for Gold


Three Dons are among the elite athletes participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil this month. 

Marathon runner Maor Tiyouri ’14, synchronized swimmer Mariya Koroleva MA ’17, and basketball player John Cox ’05 will represent three different countries in the international games Aug. 5–21. 

“It’s a dream come true!” says kinesiology alumna Tiyouri, who will run for Israel in the women’s marathon. “One of the most important milestones in my personal life and in my running career was attending the University of San Francisco and being part of its track and field cross country teams. It was a formative experience for me as an athlete and as a person.”

Double Olympian

Tiyouri is a three time Israeli national running champion, and holds the country’s national record in the 5,000 meter run. 

Koroleva, who represented the U.S. in the London Olympics in 2012 and returns to the games this year, will compete in synchronized swimming with partner Anita Alvarez. 

“I’m really excited and grateful to have the opportunity to compete on the Olympic stage once again,” says the master in sport management student.

Cox, a former Dons basketball player, is a small forward on the Venezuelan national basketball team. The business administration alumnus ranks as USF’s ninth all-time leading scorer, and is the third basketball player to represent USF in the Olympics, joining the ranks of Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, who led the U.S. to gold in 1956.

20 athletes, five medals

Over the years 20 USF student-athletes have made Olympic teams, representing nine countries and winning five Olympic medals: three gold, one silver, and one bronze.

USFers Nicholas Szrabjman ’16, Fernanda Gelio ’17, Camila Borsato ’17, Pam Javendal ’05, and Jurgen Padberg ’04, all of the Sport Management program, will also have a hand in this year’s games — serving in roles that range from interning with the Olympic Host Committee to overseeing competitions at the Paralympics, which runs Sept. 7–18 in Rio.

“I am proud to be working for an institution that promotes a more inclusive society through sport and that breaks down barriers of prejudice and ignorance in all corners of the world,” says Padberg, senior sport manager of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). “Needless to say, the values of the IPC and those of USF closely resemble each other.”

Know someone with a powerful USF story? Let us know! | Twitter @usfcanews