Two Loyola Marymount University (LMU) alumni took home Olympic medals from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Reid Priddy, who graduated in 2000, helped the U.S. men’s volleyball team win the gold medal in the final over Brazil Sunday, August 24th, and 2006 graduate Jeff Stevens helped the U.S. baseball team earn a bronze medal at the Olympic Games.
The U.S. men’s volleyball team finished the tournament undefeated at 8-0 en route to the gold medal. Brazil won the silver medal with a 6-2 record, while Russia defeated Italy, 25-22, 25-19, 25-23, to win bronze. Priddy scored 12 points on eight kills and four aces in the victory over Brazil.
“To be honest, I just think again trying to stay in the moment helped us,” Priddy said concerning what it took to win the gold medal. “Sure we felt fatigued. We know that we’re good at every aspect. We just had to be determined.
“The first emotion is shock. We’re just so proud to be a part of this team representing our country.
“It’s just very special. […] This group just really wanted to be together.”
The U.S. men’s team overcame the tragic events of August 9th, when head coach Hugh McCutcheon’s father-in-law, Todd Bachman, was killed and his wife Barbara was seriously injured by an assailant while sightseeing in Beijing. McCutcheon missed the team’s first three matches, but returned August 16th, when Barbara Bachman’s health had improved enough that she was able to return to the United States.
Stevens helped guide the U.S. baseball team to a bronze medal in what could be the final time the sport is played in Olympic competition. A four-run fifth inning highlighted by Taylor Teagarden’s two-run double and a two-run home run from Jason Donald helped lift the U.S. to an 8-4 win over Japan.
The U.S. finished the Olympic Games with a 6-3 record, while Stevens posted a 9.00 ERA (earned run average) and a 1-2 record in four appearances for the team.