A quartet of former Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Award winners led by standout swimmer Ryan Lochte combined to win 10 medals four of them gold for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.
Lochte, a Daytona Beach native who attended Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange and went on to a stellar career at the University of Florida, won five medals in all. The 2001 FDF Mr. Swimming won gold medals in in the 400-meter individual medley and as part of the 4x200 freestyle relay squad. He won silver in the 200-meter individual medley and in the 4x100 freestyle relay, and he won a bronze medal in the 200-meter backstroke. This was the third Olympics for Lochte, who has now won 11 medals.
Sprinters Sanya Richards-Ross and Justin Gatlin also were multiple medal winners.
Richards-Ross, the 2000 and 2002 Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Track from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, won individual gold in the women's 400 meters and as part of the 4x400 relay squad. The former University of Texas star was appearing in her third Olympics.
Gatlin, the 2000 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Track, also picked up a pair of medals: Bronze in the 100-meter dash, where he was top finisher for Team USA; and silver as part of the 4x100 relay squad. The former prep star at Pensacola Woodham High School, he went on to a standout college career at Auburn University.
Foluke Akinradewo, the 2004 Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Volleyball from St. Thomas Aquinas who had an outstanding career at Stanford University, won a silver medal with Team USA women's volleyball squad.
Had the former Florida Dairy Farmers winners represented a country of their own, their 10 medals (four gold, four silver, two bronze) would have tied them at 24th with three countries of the 205 competing nations. Those countries are the Czech Republic, Azerbaijan and Poland.
The Florida Dairy Farmers Sports Awards program exemplifies Florida Dairy Farmers' commitment to the state's youth. This year represents the 20th anniversary of these unique awards, and we will be honoring the state's top athletes and coaches in an all-time high 30 sanctioned and recognized FHSAA sports. The program also emphasizes to young people the importance of keeping dairy products a primary part of their diet in their overall nutrition plan.