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Black Girl Magic

By Grace DeWitt, USC blog contributor 

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Simone Biles. Simone Manuel. Venus Williams. Allyson Felix. Dalilah Muhammad. It's no secret that much of Team USA's success at the 2016 Olympic Games was thanks to the athletic performances of exceptionally talented black women. 

Trojan track star Nia Ali ('11) was no exception, securing the silver medal in the 100-meter hurdles. Her performance helped the United States become the first country ever to sweep the event. Finishing alongside Brianna Rollins and Kristi Castlin, it marked the first time three American women had swept the medal stand in any Olympic event.

"I think black women and black children need to realize how strong we can be when we come together. We can be strong together, we don't have to tear each other down, we can come together in competition and it can still be something beautiful," said Ali as part of "Black Girl Magic", our final Black History Month feature for 2017.

Swedish Fish

Louise Hansson is just like any other USC freshman. She's amazed by the weather in Los Angeles and isn't 100 percent sure if she wants to stick with her business administration major or not. The only difference between the soon-to-be-20-year-old and most other rookies at USC is that Hansson happened to compete for the Swedish national team at the Rio Olympics this summer.

Louise-Hansson.jpgHansson was a star swimmer on the Swedish and international circuits growing up. She set a senior national record in the 200m IM at the Swedish Short Course Championships and set a junior national record in the 100m IM. At the 2014 FINA World Championships, Hansson was part of Sweden's silver-medal winning 4x200m free relay team which broke the European record. At the 2014 European Championships in Berlin, she took home gold with the Swedish team in the 4x100m free and helped set a Swedish record for the silver-medal winning 4x200m free team.

All of that set Hansson up for a trip to the Olympics this summer.

"It was so cool," Hansson said of her experience in Rio. "It's been a dream for me my whole life ... I didn't perform as well as I wanted to, like I had bigger goals with the team that we didn't achieve, so the competition part I'm not super happy with, but it still was a great experience to be there."

Individually, Hansson finished 29th in the 200m IM and 32nd in the 100m fly, and helped the Swedish team finish fifth in the 4x100m and 4x200m free relays. She noted that she already has her sights set on Tokyo 2020.

Despite not earning a medal in Rio, Hansson says she felt lucky to experience the Olympics with two people in particular: her younger sister, Sophie, and nine-time USC All-American Stina Gardell.

"It was awesome having someone you know so well, when you get nervous or anything, you can always talk to them and they'll be there to listen," Hansson said of sharing her Olympic experience with her little sister.

Hansson also said that along with her coaches growing up, Gardell, a longtime Swedish national teammate, was the catalyst in getting her from Helsingborg, Sweden to USC's campus in Los Angeles, CA.

"All my free coaches back home went to college --- not to USC --- but college in America somewhere," Hansson said. "[Gardell] always talked to me about USC and how fun it is here. So when I was looking at colleges, USC was the first school I was looking at."

Hansson mentioned that in Rio, Gardell pointed out the other swimmers who prepped at USC, including Santo Condorelli, Tim Wynter and Dylan Carter. Now, Hansson is on campus with some of these swimmers, and seems to be loving every minute. Earlier this semester, she caught her first glimpse of American football, during which she admitted being "mostly confused," but still having fun.

Despite coming to USC from halfway across the world, Hansson has made a seamless transition into college life, and especially college athletics. In her first collegiate competition last month against Washington State, she won three events. In her second swim meet as a Trojan (last week at the SMU Classic), she set a meet record in the 200y IM.

For an Olympic swimmer, early season NCAA competition might sound easy, but Hansson explained that both meets so far have been "really intense."

"It's such a short time, with only like five minutes between your races," Hansson said. "I'm usually swimming a lot, so I'm usually having a lot of races, but it's usually like 30-40 minutes between, not five. So it's just in the water and out, trying to prepare for the next race."

Hansson and the USC swimming & diving team will host their first home meet of the season on Friday at 2 p.m. at USC's Uytengsu Aquatic Center.

Hometown Hero

Written by Grace DeWitt, USC blog contributor

The chance to compete in an Olympics is every athlete's dream. The chance to compete in an Olympics for the host country, in your hometown, in an event your country has never participated in before? Unimaginable. But that was exactly the opportunity for junior Victoria Chamorro, goalie for Women of Troy water polo.

Grace DeWitt (GD): What was your first thought when you learned that Rio would be hosting the Olympics?

Victoria Chamorro (VC): "It was 2009 when I found out. I had started to play water polo a year earlier - I was really new to the sport. I was really happy because the Beijing Olympics had just ended and I had watched and thought, 'Wow, I can play in the Olympics at home in the future,' like a 'when I grow up...' kind of thought. It came true when I joined the national team and later sank in that I actually could be a part of the Olympic team. It was awesome; it was really motivating."

GD: When did you find out you'd be playing for the Brazilian team?

VC: "The last cut was in July of this year. I had already been on the national team for two years with the coach that would be the Olympic coach, but I didn't know if I would be going to the Olympics or not because there would only be two goalies going and there were three trying out. The other two were much older than me, 10 years older. It was the first time that the Brazilian team was going to Olympics. I knew that I had it in me, but I still didn't know if I would be selected. Even though I had played more than the other two goalies, anything could happen. But I was selected, and I was really emotional."

USC_Water_Polo_ASU_031415_MCG6674.JPGGD: Did you bump into other Trojans while you were there?

VC: "Yes! Water polo had a lot of Trojans, for both women's and men's. I met up with my friend, goalie McQuin [Baron], who is also from the class of 2018. I also met up with two women's water polo players from Team USA, Kaleigh Gilchrist and Kami Craig, Kostas [Genidounias] from Greece, and many others. It was really cool to see how strong the USC program is and how many Olympians we send to every Olympics. I was really honored to be part of this group that represents USC water polo in the Olympics. To come back here and be a part of a group that studies here, are Olympians, and play for USC --- it's really gratifying. It's an honor."

GD: You played against Kaleigh and Kami, how was that?

VC: "Kaleigh shot a penalty shot against me. Kami missed one against me. I was doing an interview and then she stopped me and was like 'Dammit, it was the intimidation factor,' because she was swimming and swimming and she didn't stop. She got too close, lost the angle and then she just like...boom. I didn't even have to touch it! It went off the corner; she just missed the cage. I was like, 'Alright!' and she was like, 'Oh, that was embarrassing.' I knew Kaleigh before the Olympics from here at school, but Kami was always someone whose playing I admired a lot. Today we're friends and they're really cool. We always talk at championships because we're both from USC. Playing against them is...interesting (laughs). It's really cool. But they are Americans, so at game time I'm not thinking whether they're from USC or not. But after the game it's all respect, admiration for others from the same school, friendship. So it's really cool. It's cool to see, to have two people that passed through the same process of college as me, and to arrive at this level, earn gold medals, and Kami three medals!"

GD: Describe your emotions playing in your country, in your hometown.

VC: "I have so much to say. First, arriving at the Olympic Village, I already started to cry with my colleagues from here. Afterwards, at the Opening Ceremonies, it was amazing entering Maracana with everyone screaming, singing, Maracana packed. I'm going to get goosebumps thinking about it right now. It was a lot of emotions altogether. I thought a lot about my family, everything I had been through to get to that point, when training was hard, nut at the same time, a lot of happiness to be living in that moment. I was looking up at everything, enjoying the moment. After, in the first game, I was very confident the whole time, very happy, ready, I didn't feel nervous, I didn't feel any pressure. Nerves hadn't hit me at all. It was only my motivation --- to be home, with 10,000 people watching in the stadium. And even when I played, it was very emotional. It was a unique feeling. I had never felt that way in my life."

GD: Did you have a lot of family there watching you at the stadium?

VC: "Yes! My mother and father, my best friends from my childhood, my friends from my Brazilian club team, my aunt, cousins; lots of people."

GD: What was your favorite part of the games?

VC: "The Brazilian fans. The crowd was amazing. Every goal, every time I had the ball they would scream my name. It was such a vibe, they cheered for me the whole time. It was awesome to play with everyone supporting and rooting for you. For me, at least, I didn't feel intimidated, I felt very happy. I was home. Everything changes when you think, 'Wow, everyone is in Brazil playing my sport, which isn't well known here, with 10,000 people watching,' It was very motivational. It was really special."

GD: Did you feel like your team had an impact on the sport in Brazil?

VC: "It was the first women's water polo team from Brazil, a young team with with young players like myself. Other girls were much older, more than 30 years old. It was a milestone in the history of my sport in the country. Our team didn't have a lot of help from the confederation. No investments; they cut it off from us. And even so, the team was able to represent the country well. We were able to show the world of water polo that talent exists in Brazil and that if we had a little bit more incentive from the confederation, we can be a team that can fight for a medal. All the teams had difficult games against us. Brazil was winning until the half against a majority of the teams, so it wasn't easy. Everybody saw Brazil through different eyes, in a different way, with more respect for Brazil's women's water polo. To be part of that impact is very rewarding and I hope that we are in the next Olympics."

GD: Any other thoughts from the games?

VC: "To represent USC in the Olympics, to represent Brazil in Rio, my home, was a special experience. I'm never going to forget it. It changed and impacted my life in many respects: as an athlete, as a person. I'm happy to value Rio as my home. I think the Olympics were very beautiful. I was a little afraid about the structures and security, but it was very positive. I think everything was really beautiful. Everything was alright and made a great impression for everyone who went, especially for me since I'm from Rio. The Olympic spirit definitely will be with me forever and I definitely want to go to Tokyo 2020 now. My hands can't wait."

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Steve Bronze-son

USC's all-time most decorated men's tennis player added another piece of hardware to his collection last month.

stevie j.jpgSteve Johnson, who won two NCAA singles crowns and four team championships at USC, earned a bronze medal in men's doubles at Rio 2016. Johnson just missed a chance to medal in singles, too --- in the quarterfinals, he showed his fighting spirit in a three-set loss to Andy Murray. Johnson failed to win a game in the first set, but roared back to win the second before falling in the third set tiebreaker to the eventual Olympic champion.

Just hours after that heartbreaking defeat, Johnson teamed up with Jack Sock to win bronze in the doubles tournament.

The top-ranked American man in tennis recently stopped by USC to share stories about his Olympic experience.

Aubrey Kragen (AK): You were so incredibly successful at USC. Was the Olympics a goal for you at the time, or did it become a reality later on?


Steve Johnson (SJ): "When I left USC, the Olympics wasn't even on my radar, because right when I finished, the 2012 Olympics was just happening, but you saw the Olympics and you obviously, one day, would like to play. I'm such a big team guy, and I knew playing in that environment would be remarkable. I kind of knew at the end of last year that I was going to be in, so it took a lot of the pressure off me ... It was such an amazing experience down there. It was hard to describe. It was fun to catch up with a lot of USC athletes and friends I hadn't seen for years, and to see how our paths had taken such different turns, but we all ended up at the same place. It was just such a blast."

AK: You mentioned it took pressure off you making the team early, but when you got there, did you put a lot of pressure on yourself? What were your expectations?

SJ: "I just wanted to make the most of it and make everyone proud of the way I competed and carried myself throughout the Olympics. Once you get towards the end of the week, you realize there is a chance for medals, and the chance to stand on the podium and represent your country. It was in the back of my mind the whole time, because you want to go down there and succeed, but when it becomes a reality, you've really got to focus on what you do best that got you there ... You didn't want to get too far ahead of yourself, but you wanted to make sure that you were ready to go."

AK: Can you talk me through your match against Andy Murray? What was going through your head?

SJ: "It was interesting. I had played him once before and I knew kind of what he was going to do, and I knew what I wanted to do. Sometimes it doesn't go according to plan --- the first set went by a little too fast. I got kicked in the pants a little bit and got a chance to regroup in between sets ... I came out and I was playing great, you know, got my chance to win at the end, and unfortunately, he played great tennis at that point. Nothing I can do but just say, 'Too good' and hopefully get another chance. To get that close in singles to a chance at a medal was definitely heartbreaking, but later that day we got the chance to win the bronze in doubles. The range of emotion went from sadness to complete joy, and I didn't even care about the singles anymore. It was such an interesting day --- emotionally up-and-down."

AK: How were you able to bounce back mentally after a really disappointing loss to perform well enough to medal in doubles that same day?

SJ: "The doubles helped ... That singles match was heartbreaking, so I'm glad I actually got the chance to go out there and play doubles later in the day, to get a chance to rewrite the end of this Olympic story for 2016. Thankfully we went out there and got a win and got a bronze medal, because after the singles, if we would have gone out there and gotten fourth, my experience would be so different. I'm just so happy to walk away with a medal and bring it back to show all my friends and family. It's something I can share with them for the rest of my life."

AK: What's it been like since getting back now that you have a medal? What do you do with your medal?

SJ: "I haven't quite gotten the box for it yet. It's still a work in progress from the Olympics --- I had to leave the next day after we finished, so I didn't get a chance to get a trophy box. I've been on the road since the Olympics, and I just got home, so it's been fun to share it with my parents, my girlfriend's family and my family. I'm going to see my grandparents in a few days, and they've never seen one so it'll be fun for them to see one. I don't like to be the center of attention, by any means, so I just bring it and it kind of sits around until someone wants to see it. It's just fun to share that with friends and family, because if you know anything about any sport, you know what the Olympics are and you know how special that is."

AK: What did it mean to you to meet up with some fellow Trojans in Rio, so far away from home?

SJ: "It's amazing. The Trojan Family is a bond that we'll never not have. It was awesome to watch Kaleigh [Gilchrist] and Kami [Craig] win gold in women's water polo --- I was glued to my TV in Cincinnati. Same with Micah [Christensen] and Murphy [Troy], coming back from down two sets in the third and the fourth ... It's just fun to support and follow those kinds of people that went through the same things as you, and now you can enjoy it on a bigger stage."

AK: Is there anything you learned at USC that helped you when you were in Rio or helped you get there in the first place?

SJ: "They really helped me grow as a person, both on the tennis court and off. I have a lot to thank for my parents and my family and Peter [Smith] and everybody here who was involved with my upbringing and turning me from a talented boy to a grown man who's now responsible for life and adulthood. Having all these people around me and supporting me, they were the first people I called as soon as I won."

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Golden Gilchrist

Just six days ago, Kaleigh Gilchrist won a gold medal at Rio 2016 with the USA water polo team. It's another incredible accomplishment for the 24-year-old, who won a national championship at USC and also surfs professionally. The Newport Beach, CA native recently returned to SC to share stories about her Olympic experience.

Aubrey Kragen (AK): When you were growing up and playing at SC, did you ever dream of going to the Olympics?

Kaleigh Gilchrist (KG): "For me, it was never a dream or anything, until I was about 12 years old. I found a school project not long ago, where I wrote "About the Author." I talked about myself, and I was like, 'I would love to go to USC on athletic scholarship and then play in the 2012, 2016 Olympic Games. So I found that not too long ago and got the chills ... My dad swam in '64 and '68 and was also a Trojan. My uncle swam in '48 and '42 and was a Trojan as well, so we joked that it was in the family."

AK: What was it like playing with and against other Trojans in the Olympics?

KG: "It's different because USC welcomes international players so much more than other colleges. For me it was tough because I had these insane relationships with Hannah Buckling, Jayde Appel and Anni Espar. Anni is arguably my favorite player I've ever played with --- luckily we played on opposite sides of the pool, so we didn't have to guard each other. We always threw in some smiles here and there and we always gave the good luck texts. It was special to have their support. Once the games start it's always competition but outside of that, we're friends."

AK: Outside of water polo, did you have the chance to meet up with the other Trojans in Rio?

KG: During the Opening and Closing ceremonies, I ran into them and got a couple pictures with fellow Trojans and always cheered them on. I remember watching a bunch of Steve Johnson's tennis matches and then Murphy Troy and Micah [Christensen] for volleyball. It was fun cheering each other on, for sure."

AK: How did your time at USC prepare you for the Olympics?

KG: "Luckily Kami Craig was a part of the team as well, so she had the same background as me. Just being coached by Jovan [Vavic], there's so much more that you learn than just water polo. You learn about being prepared and mentally tough and all those things that I could tell from going through this whole program that others didn't have. I think it just gave me and Kami an edge over other opponents and kept us competing."

AK: So what's it like having a gold medal?

KG: "It's pretty surreal, for sure, because we've been dreaming about this since we've been little kids ... I've been showing it around and everyone is pretty amazed by it and by how heavy it is --- apparently this is the heaviest medal."

AK: What were some of your favorite sights that you saw or cultural experiences in Rio?

KG: "We were lucky enough to go in November, and we did a lot of touristy things, so it was flushed out of our system before the Olympics. But in November, we saw El Cristo Redentor, and that's insane. It's one of the wonders of the world. We were able to get some team photos there, and it was cool in November to be able to dream of where we wanted to be in August.

AK: You're also a professional surfer. How is it possible for a person to be so good at two different sports? How do you fit that all into your day?

KG: "I'm obsessed with both sports, and I've always been a goal-setter. So it would first be like, 'I want to win a local contest, or I want to win a little tiny water polo tournament.' The older I got, and as I developed into a better athlete, the goals grew. I was like, 'I want to win CIF. I want to win NCAAs. I want to win an Olympic gold." And for surfing, it goes the same way: 'I want to win an NSSA championship. I want to go to Worlds and make the USA Team.' I was really all about goal-setting and attacking them, attacking my dreams, and I've been able to pursue them."

AK: Lastly, what's next for you?

KG: "Next goal is to go to Tokyo 2020. The goal is to go for surfing, but if not I want to be there no matter what. It might be water polo, but I'm committing to surfing for the next year, and I'll re-evaluate after that."

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Olympic Excellence

USC had another masterful showing at this year's Olympics, bringing home 21 total medals to up its all-time count to 309.

Click here for the full recap.

Those 21 medals in Rio tied for second-most of any American university, behind only Stanford.

USC's 309 Olympic medals (144 gold, 93 silver, 72 bronze) are still the most ever by an American university. The same goes for the 144 gold medals and the 451 athletes who have represented USC at the games.

USC sent 44 athletes to Rio 2016 (more than any other American university), and had they competed as a country, their 21 medals would be tied for 11th, and their nine golds would be tied for eighth.

Click here to catch up on #USC2RIO!

Katinka Hosszu led USC with four medals at Rio 2016, while sprinters Allyson Felix and Andre De Grasse came home with three medals each. Felix's medals helped her become the most decorated female American track athlete of all time, while De Grasse's success cemented him as the second-fastest man in the world, behind only Usain Bolt.

Here is the full breakdown of USC's medals at Rio 2016:

GOLD
Katinka Hosszu (swimming): 100m backstroke, 200m IM, 400m IM
Allyson Felix (track & field): 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay
Dalilah Muhammad (track & field): 400 IM hurdles
DeMar DeRozan: Men's basketball
Kaleigh Gilchrist: Women's water polo
Kami Craig: Women's water polo

SILVER
Katinka Hosszu (swimming): 200m backstroke
Allyson Felix (track & field): 400m
Andre De Grasse (track & field): 200m
Nia Ali (track & field): 100m high hurdles
Amanda Weir (swimming): 400m free relay

BRONZE
Aaron Brown (track & field): 4x100m relay
Andre De Grasse (track & field): 100m, 4x100m relay
Steve Johnson (tennis): Men's doubles
April Ross: Beach volleyball
Micah Christensen: Men's volleyball
Murphy Troy: Men's volleyball

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Seven More for SC

Allyson.jpgUSC athletes added seven more Olympic medals to their tally over the weekend, bringing the Trojans' total count at Rio 2016 to 21.

Allyson Felix bolstered her place among the best track and field athletes of all-time by winning two medals on Friday and Saturday evening. Felix won gold in both the 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay in addition to her silver medal in the 400m last week. Felix's nine total Olympic medals ties Merlene Ottey (Jamaica & Slovenia) for most medals all-time by a female Olympic track and field athlete.

Trojan track stars Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse, representing Canada, also medaled in the 4x100 relay on Friday evening. Team Canada finished the race in fourth, but upon Team USA's disqualification, Brown and De Grasse were awarded bronze medals. It was Brown's first-ever Olympic medal and De Grasse's third, having won bronze in the 100m and silver in the 200m earlier in the week.

On Sunday, three more Trojans brought home medals.

Micah Christensen and Murphy Troy, playing volleyball for Team USA, earned bronze medals in a five-set win over Russia. They came back from two sets down, mirroring their fight throughout the whole Olympics --- Team USA lost its first two matches, but went on a winning streak against No. 1 Brazil, No. 11 France, No. 26 Mexico and No. 2 Poland before losing to No. 4 Italy to end up in the bronze medal match.

DeMar DeRozan capped off a successful Olympics for USC by earning a gold medal in men's basketball. Team USA topped Serbia, 96-66, thanks in part to DeRozan's six points, two rebounds, two assists and a block.

USC now boasts 309 Olympic medals, including 144 golds.

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Water Polo Winners

Kami Craig and Kaleigh Gilchrist, two USC water polo alums, won gold at Rio 2016 today in Team USA's 12-5 win over Italy.

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Craig, who won an NCAA championship at USC in 2010, scored one goal in the final, and five total goals throughout the tournament. Gilchrist, a 2013 NCAA champ with USC, also scored five goals in Rio.

USC now boasts 14 medals at Rio 2016 (six gold, five silver, three bronze), and 302 medals all-time (141 gold, 93 silver, 68 bronze).

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Trojan Track Stars Shine in Rio

dalilah.jpgUSC added two more medals to its Olympic tally on Thursday evening thanks to Dalilah Muhammad and Andre De Grasse.

Muhammad won a gold medal in the 400m hurdles with a time of 53.13, finishing 0.47 seconds ahead of the next competitor. In doing so, she became the first American woman to ever win the event and just the second Trojan to medal in the event.

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Soon after, Andre De Grasse earned a silver medal in the 200m. While Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won with a time of 19.78, De Grasse finished in 20.02 (-0.5). It's De Grasse's second medal in his Olympic debut, having grabbed a bronze in the 100m.

USC now boasts 12 medals at Rio 2016 (four gold, five silver, three bronze), and 300 all-time medals.

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De Grasse's Dreams

USC alum Andre De Grasse won a bronze medal on Sunday in the 100m, but says the upcoming 200m (tonight at 6:30 p.m. PT) is his best event. Watch De Grasse discuss his Olympic goals and his time at USC:

Throwback Thursday: Quincy Watts

Let USC track & field legend/coach Quincy Watts take you through his magical 400m run at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.


Trojans Add Two More

april.jpgThanks to April Ross and Nia Ali, USC is adding two more medals to its all-time Olympic tally.

Ross, a three-time All-American with USC's indoor women's volleyball team, bounced back from her surprising loss in the semifinals to win a bronze medal in beach volleyball with partner Kerri Walsh Jennings on Wednesday. Ross and Walsh Jennings dropped the first set to Brazil's Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Rocha, but the pair came back to win the last two sets to secure a medal. It's Ross' second medal in as many trips to the Olympics, having won a silver at London 2012 with fellow Trojan Jennifer Kessy.

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Ali, meanwhile, placed second in the women's 100m hurdles to secure USC's first ever medal in the event. Ali, with a time of 12.59 (+0.0) finished in between fellow Americans Brianna Rollins and Kristi Catlin, giving the U.S.A. its first ever sweep in that event, which garnered the praise of the First Lady of the United States.

USC now boasts 10 medals at Rio 2016 (three gold, four silver, three bronze).

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Silver for Our Sprinter

On Monday evening, USC alum Allyson Felix took second place in one of the most dramatic races of Rio 2016 so far. Her silver medal in the 400m made Felix the most decorated female Olympic track athlete in U.S. history.

Click here for the full story.

Felix cruised down the stretch and looked like she had caught up to the leader of the pack --- the Bahamas' Shaunae Miller --- but Miller stumbled and fell across the finish line, besting Felix by .07 seconds.

The silver is Felix's seventh Olympic medal, breaking her tie with Jackie Joyner-Kersee for most track & field medals ever by an American woman. Her medal brings USC's medal count to eight (three gold, three silver, two bronze) at Rio 2016.

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Next up for Felix: the 4x400 relay heats on Friday at 4:40 p.m. PT.

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Eyeing an Olympic Record

medaltracker.jpgAllyson Felix, one of USC's most decorated Olympians, is gearing up to add more medals to her collection at Rio 2016.

The six-time Olympic medalist finished first in the 400m prelims and semifinals and will compete in the finals at 6:45 p.m. PT tonight.

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Felix, who will also compete in the 4x400 relay, has the chance to surpass Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the most decorated female track & field athlete in American history if she medals in either of her events.

Watch Felix discuss that record and the influence that Joyner-Kersee has had on her during her Olympic career.

De Grasse Gets a Bronze

Recent USC alum Andre De Grasse took home the bronze medal in the 100m dash on Sunday, bringing USC's medal count at Rio 2016 to seven (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze).

Click here for the full story.

De Grasse, who won the NCAA championship in the 100m dash in his final year at USC, finished with a wind-legal personal best time of 9.91 (+0.2). Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won gold with a 9.81, while American Justin Gatlin finished second with a 9.89.

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By winning the bronze, De Grasse became the first Trojan since 1976 to medal in the 100m dash. He joined Charles Paddock (gold in 1920), Ralph Metcalfe (silver in 1932 and 1936), Lennox Miller (silver in 1968 and bronze in 1972) and Don Quarrie (silver in 1976) as the only Trojans to ever medal in the event.

Next up for De Grasse is the 200m prelims on Tuesday. Should he advance, the finals are on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. PT. He will also compete in the 4x100 relay beginning Thursday.

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Trojans Take Home Two More

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Trojan athletes collected two more medals at Rio 2016 today, bringing USC's all-time Olympic medal count to 294.


Katinka Hosszu, who took Rio by storm by winning three golds in her first three events, just barely missed out on a fourth in the 200m backstroke. Hosszu finished in 2:06.05, good for a silver medal behind American swimmer Maya DiRado. Hosszu's four individual medals are the most any Trojan has ever collected in a single Olympics and the most overall medals a Trojan has earned since swimmer John Naber netted five (three individually, two on relays) in 1976.

Steve Johnson started the day with a close loss to defending Olympic gold-medalist Andy Murray in singles, but bounced back to win a bronze medal in doubles with partner Jack Sock later in the day. Johnson and Sock defeated the Canadian pair of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil, 6-2, 6-4. In his Olympic debut, Johnson became the first Trojan tennis player to bring home an Olympic medal since 1968.

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Growing the Legacy

If you've been following Rio 2016, chances are you've watched a Trojan compete in one event or another.

USC sent 44 athletes to Rio this year -- more than any other American university. USC also entered the games with more all-time Olympians (423), gold medals (135) and total medals (288) than any other U.S. school.

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Thanks to swimmers Katinka Hosszu (three gold medals) and Amanda Weir (one silver medal), USC now owns four more medals, with many more potentially on the horizon at Rio 2016.

Hosszu's first-place finishes also helped USC extend its streak of winning at least one gold medal in every summer Olympics since 1912.

Click here to watch NBC's video on USC's unparalleled Olympic success.

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Ross in Rio

After earning a silver medal in beach volleyball at the 2012 London Olympics, USC's two-time All-American April Ross is going for gold in Rio -- this time, with a new partner.

Ross is now teaming up with Kerri Walsh Jennings, who along with Misty May Treanor, bested Ross and her former partner (Trojan alum Jennifer Kessy) in the finals of London 2012. 


Ross, who won national championships with USC's indoor volleyball team in 2002 and 2003, and Walsh Jennings, who prepped at Stanford, have been unstoppable so far. In pool play, they topped teams from Australia and China in straight sets, and beat their Swiss opponents 2-1 on Wednesday evening.

On Friday, the pair will compete in the Round of 16.

Watch Ross and Walsh Jennings discuss their partnership and how their college experiences prepared them for the Olympics:

Make it Three for the Iron Lady

Former USC Honda Award winner Katinka Hosszu continued her dominance at Rio 2016 on Tuesday night, taking home the gold in the 200m IM. It's her third gold medal in three events, having also won the 400m IM and the 100m backstroke. 


The Hungarian-born swimmer set a new Olympic record in the 200m IM with a 2:06.58, besting runner-up Siobhan-Marie O'Connor (GBR) by 0.30. 

Hosszu and American swimmer Michael Phelps are the only athletes with three gold medals thus far at this year's games. Hosszu, Phelps and American swimmer Katie Ledecky are the only athletes with three overall medals. 


With her victory on Tuesday, The Iron Lady became the sixth Trojan to win three gold medals in a single Olympics. Should she prevail in the upcoming 200m back, she has a chance to join Olympic Hall of Famer John Naber as the only other Trojan to ever win four golds in a single Olympics. Hosszu's three individual golds ties Janet Evans in the USC record books. 

The 200m back prelims and semis will take place Thursday, and the final will air at 6 p.m. on Friday. She is also competing in the 4x200m free relay today.


The Iron Lady Nets Another Gold

USC legend Katinka Hosszu captured a second gold medal on Monday night, coming from behind to win the 100m backstroke.

Click here for the full story.

Hosszu, who also won gold in world-record-breaking fashion in the 400m IM on Sunday, was in sixth place at the halfway point of Monday's race, but rallied with a strong final sprint to finish in 58.45, edging American Kathleen Baker by 0.30.

Tonight, the Hungarian-born swimmer will compete in the 200m IM final, looking to make it three golds in three events.

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Thanks to Hosszu's two first-place finishes, USC now boasts 137 gold medals all-time -- more than any other American university can claim. Trojan alum Amanda Weir also brought home a silver in the 4x100m free relay, so USC's total medal count now stands at 291 -- also a record for American schools.


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