Knights Gear Up for Olympic Competition

Knights Gear Up for Olympic Competition

Olympian Phil Dalhausser graduated from UCF in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Photo credit: Mitchell Haaseth/ NBC Olympics

Two Knights will showcase their athletic talents on the world’s biggest stage—the Olympics.

University of Central Florida alumnus Phil Dalhausser and student Afia Charles are among the competitors vying for the gold this summer. Opening ceremonies for the London Olympics are Friday, July 27, and the games run through Aug. 12.

Dalhausser, who graduated from UCF in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, will compete in beach volleyball. The volleyball pro lives in Ventura, Calif. He and his volleyball doubles partner, Todd Rogers, won gold medals in beach volleyball at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Dalhausser was born in Switzerland and lived there for a year before moving to the United States.  He played basketball and tennis at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, and took up volleyball his senior year.

Dalhausser was a member of the Men’s Volleyball Club at UCF, which competes locally and nationally, and he has been named Beach Male Athlete of the Year by USA Volleyball for the past four years.

The preliminary phase of the beach volleyball Olympic tournament will be Saturday, July 28.

Rising junior Charles is UCF’s first track and field Olympian. Charles, who holds dual-citizenship with Antigua, will be competing for the island nation in the 400-meter dash. Charles has raced for Antigua since she first picked up running in high school.

Charles trained at UCF alongside U.S. Olympian DeeDee Trotter – a  already an Olympic bronze and gold medalist –  who is coached by UCF track and field head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. The women will compete in Round 1 on Friday, Aug. 3.

Dalhausser and Charles aren’t the only Knights representing UCF in London.

UCF soccer player A.J. Nelson won’t be competing in the games, but he will be in London working as a video logger for NBC Sports. The senior forward is spending more than 20 days in London watching events and cutting highlight tapes as part of a summer internship.

The Olympic spirit will be hitting the UCF campus, too. On-campus celebrations include:

  • The Creative School for Children, the early-education school for the children of UCF students, faculty, staff and the community, will host the Littlest KNIGHTS Olympic Games. They will kick off with an opening ceremony and torch lighting at the Reflecting Pond at 9 a.m. Friday. Creative School classes will compete in tug-of-wars, water-balloon throws and other games. Awards will be given out at the school at the end of the games next week.
  • The International Services Center will host viewings of the Olympics on five select days. The games will be played at the Barbara Ying Center near the Academic Village. Click here to see dates, times and games.