Dec 30, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT
As it does every year, August brought a lot of hope and excitement back to campus, as teams kicked off training camp.
The Irish football team held its first practice on Aug. 4, while both soccer teams opened practice hoping to rebound from disappointing 2011 seasons.
About halfway through camp, the football team spent an afternoon at nearby Diamond Lake, enjoying a little time in the shade, on the water and at the golf course.
On football media day, Notre Dame and adidas unveiled the Shamrock Series uniforms for the game against Miami at Soldier Field.
In London, five current or former Notre Dame athletes earned medals. Shannon Boxx (’99) picked up her third gold as a member of the United States women’s national soccer team, thanks in part to a memorable victory against Canada and fellow Irish alums Candace Chapman (’05) and Melissa Tancredi (’04) on Aug. 6.
Three times, the Canadian national team took the lead. Three times the Americans stormed back.
Ninety minutes was not enough. Neither was 120. A penalty shootout looked certain.
That was until the game clock read 122:22.
A cross from Heather O’Reilly, a header from Alex Morgan, and a 4-3 American victory, sending team U.S.A. to its fifth consecutive gold medal match.
Heartbreak for Canada. Jubilation for the United States.
An incredible finish and an opposite wave of emotions for the three Irish alumnae involved in the contest.
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While Chapman and Tancredi fell short of their dream for the gold, they did earn a bronze medal, Canada’s first Olympic medal in a traditional team sport since 1936.
On Aug. 27, Fighting Irish Digital Media launched the project celebrating 125 years of Notre Dame Football, releasing “Strong and True” moments on 125.nd.edu throughout the 2012 season.
On Wednesday of that same week, the Notre Dame football team departed for Dublin in preparation for the season opener Emerald Isle Classic against Navy. While the focus was on the game, the trip also included a good dose of Irish culture.
Following practice, the team went to Taylors Three Rock where the players and coaches enjoyed a meal, as well as traditional Irish music and dancing. At the end of the performance, the dancers dragged Jordan Cowart, Romeo Okwara, Troy Niklas and sports nutritionist Erika Whitman up on stage to join in the finale. It was entertaining, to say the least.
Between players and coaches singing and clapping along, and the musicians and dancers demonstrating incredible passion for their work, it was impossible not to be moved by the performance. For me, there was at least one moment during the dance routine that was truly goosebump-inducing. I’m not sure if it was the performers’ talent that struck me, or if it was the realization that I’m in Dublin. Probably a combination of both.
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