Auburn University’s 2016 Summer Olympics contingent will include two athletes and one coach with Harbert College of Business ties.
David Marsh, a 1981 business alum, will serve as head coach of the U.S. Olympic women’s swimming team, while pre-business majors Peter Holoda and Ziv Kalontarov will compete for their respective men’s national teams in swimming.
The opening ceremony for the Rio Games will take place Friday, August 5, with swimming events getting under way the following day.
Marsh, a veteran of three previous Olympics as an assistant coach, guided the Auburn men’s and women’s teams to a combined 12 national championships in his 17 seasons at the school. In 2007, he accepted an offer to become CEO and coach of the U.S. Olympic Committee Center of Excellence with the SwimMAC club near Charlotte, N.C. While at Auburn, he coached 47 Olympians from 19 different countries.
Holoda, a sophomore, will compete for Hungary’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay team. He had a breakout season for Auburn this past year, taking second place in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing third in the 100-meter freestyle, and leading the 400 free relay team to a first place finish at the SEC Championships. He helped Auburn to an eighth place finish in the team standings at the NCAA Championships. Holoda also earned the Stanley Louis Sugar Memorial Scholar Award, which honors Auburn swimmers for academic and athletic excellence.
Hungary ranked 10th among all nations at the 2012 Summer Games in London with 159 medals. Its swimming program boasts a proud history, having earned 66 Olympic medals.
Kalontarov, who enrolled at Auburn mid-year, will compete for the Israeli national team, which has yet to earn an Olympic medal in swimming. He may represent its best hope, having earned a gold medals in the 50-meter freestyle at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, and the International School Sport Federation Swimming World Schools Championship in Poland in 2015. His time of 22.16 at the European Games set a new Israeli record in the event.
UPDATE: Holoda swam the anchor leg for Hungary in the 4 x 100 relay, finishing with a 48.91-second split time in the preliminaries. Hungary finished in 12th place with a time of 3:15.21.
Kalontarov missed qualifying for the semifinals in the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly.