August 2021 Candygrams

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Friday, August 27, 2021---Season Opener for Women of Troy Volleyball

Trojan Candy is back in the Galen Center! I haven’t been here since Saturday, February 2, 2020, when my friend Jonah Mathews beat the Bruins in basketball with a three point shot he made in the last second! You can read my blog article and see my video of his winning shot. It is so great to be back!

Tonight is the opening of the Women of Troy Volleyball 2021 season. Their opponent is Denver. The Galen Center is bursting with enthusiasm. The majority of attendees are USC students. One thousand t-shirts were given away. D.J. Mal-Ski provided enthusiasm and music. What a season opener atmosphere!

Trojan Candy walked over to the tunnel as soon as I saw our team appear.

Some of the team saw my camera and smiled. Naturally, I took their picture!
Then, Athletic Director Mike Bohn walked into the tunnel and spoke with the team. Check out my video of his visit and “high fives!” with the team.
Here is the 2021 Women of Troy Volleyball Team running onto the court.
Here is the team warming up.
Video of the team warming up.
Because of COVID-19, the modified Spirit of Troy is also “in the house!” The percussions are lively and upbeat. The rest of the band sat below the percussions without any instruments.
This is what our modified Spirit of Troy sounded like. Still fabulous!
Now it is time to meet the team. Our team lined up for their introductions.
Here is my video of their introductions.

Next, the Starters were introduced.

This is my video of the Starters and the beginning of the match shown on the Galen Center big screen.
Unfortunately, we lost the first set, but we won the second set. Click the thumbnail to see our second set victory.
Here is one of our team huddles.
Down 2 sets to 1, we won the fourth set to force a fifth set. Here is my video of our 4th set victory.

Our Women of Troy played hard but lost the fifth set to Denver 15-11.

We will continue to play hard against Campbell and CSUN tomorrow!

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Volleyball!

Monday, August 9, 2021---Meet USC 2020 Olympians Up Close

Trojan Candy has been so fortunate to meet, take pictures and videos of, and interview many USC Olympians over the years. Click on "Candygrams" to go to archived Candygrams. My first Olympic blog was posted in 8/8/2008 and was titled "Welcome Back to Heritage Hall." My second blog was posted on 8/12/2012 and was titled "Congratulations to my 2012 Olympic Friends." The third story was posted on 7/23/2016 and was titled "Our Trojans in the 2016 Rio Olympics." Now, I am writing my fourth blog about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I am going to post pictures, videos and/or interviews of our USC Olympians.

Two Trojans competed in Basketball.

Amy Okonkwo (11/2/2014) competed for the French Woman's Team.

Chimezie Metu (8/28/2015) played on the Nigerian Men's Team.

FIGHT ON, Amy! FIGHT ON, Chimezie!

In Beach Volleyball there were four Trojans.

Tri Bourne (11/18/2010) partnered with fellow American Jake Gibb just a few days before the Olympics started. They beat Switzerland but were eliminated by Germany.

There were three Women of Troy Beach Volleyball players.

Kelly Claes (3/2/2017) partnered with Sarah Sponcil.

Tina Graudina (2/22/2018) represented Latvia. She partnered with Anastasija Kravcenoka. They made it to the Bronze medal round.

April Ross's (5/19/2018) accomplishments were shown in this video. April, with partner Alix Klineman, won the Gold Medal. She now has three Olympic medals. They are Gold, Silver and Bronze.

FIGHT ON, Tri! FIGHT ON, Kelly! FIGHT On, Tina! FIGHT ON, April!

We had two Olympic golfers. They were Tiffany Chan (5/11/2012)

and Sophia Popov (5/15/2014)

FIGHT ON, Tiffany! FIGHT ON, Sophia!

There were two USC Marathon Swimmers in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Haley Anderson (3/16/2013) swam in her third Olympics. She had won a Silver Medal in the 2012 London Olympics. Haley finished 6th in Japan.

Ous Mellouli (11/18/2020) , who swam for Tunisia, is our second Marathon Swimmer. Ous has competed in six Olympics, starting in 2000.


Trojan Candy was lucky to have met USC Rower Chloe Brew (7/30/2020) in a Rowing Zoom Call with Coach Josh Adam. Chloe rowed for Great Britain. FIGHT ON, Chloe!

Swimming is the next Olympic sport. Louise Hansson (5/14/2020) won the Trojaneer Diamond Award for Most Fame and Distinction to the University at the 2020 Zoom Senior Awards.

Katinka Hosszu (7/23/2016) who swam in the 100m and 200m back, 200m and 400m IM and 200 fly in the 2016 Rio Olympics, swan for Sweden in Japan.

FIGHT ON, Louise! FIGHT ON, Katinka!

There were many Trojan Track and Field athletes who represented USC at the 2020 Olympics. Trojan Candy has met, taken pictures and/or videos of, and interviewed five of our Women of Troy athletes.

Anna Cockrell (5/19/2019) delivered her commencement speech in this video.

After receiving her diploma, she smiled for Trojan Candy at the end of the ramp.

Anna made it to the finals of the Women’s 400m Hurdles in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The second Olympian is Kyra Constantine (5/4/2020) who was awarded the Gimbel Award for the Most Competitive Athlete for the USC Class of 2020. Kyra ran in the 400m and 4x400m for Canada in Japan.

I interviewed Kendall Ellis (5/19/2018), the third Track Olympian. In Tokyo, Kendall won a Bronze medal in the Mixed 4x400n relay and a Gold medal in the 4x400m relay.

The fourth Women of Troy Olympian is Allyson Felix (10/14/2020).

I recorded the video when Allyson led the USC Football out of the tunnel in October 1, 2016. In Japan Allyson won the Bronze medal in the 400m and the Gold medal in the 4x400m Relay.

The fifth USC Olympian whom I have met is Dalilah Muhammad (12/3/2000). Dalilah won the Gold medal in the 400m in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In Japan, she won a Silver medal with the World Record time of 51.58 and the Gold medal in the 4x400m relay.

FIGHT ON, Anna! FIGHT ON, Kyra! FIGHT ON, Kendall! FIGHT ON, Allyson! FIGHT ON, Dalilah!

As for the men, Trojan Candy has met, taken pictures of, and interviewed five Trojan Olympians.

The first USC Olympian I interviewed was Rai Benjamin (4/28/2019). Rai won a Silver medal in the 400m hurdles beating the WR by more than half a second, and a Gold medal as the anchor of the 4x400m in his split time of 43.41.

Trojan Candy has known the second Trojan Olympian Aaron Brown since 9/8/2011. Aaron, who is Canadian, has competed in three Olympics. In Japan, Aaron competed in the 200m and won his second Bronze medal in the 4x100m relay.

Andre DeGrasse (5/11/2017) is the third Olympian Trojan Candy has met. Andre earned the Silver medal in the 200m in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In Japan he won three medals...a Bronze medal in the 100m, a Gold medal in the 200m, and a Bronze in the 4x100m relay.

I met my fourth USC Olympian Isaiah Jewett (5/14/2020) when he spoke via Zoom at the 2020 USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration.

I took a picture of Isaiah and his mom Venus (5/16/2021) a year later when I volunteered at the 2021 Pac-12 Championships. In Japan Isaiah ran in the 800m and unfortunately was tripped. Isaiah was touted internationally for his “Good Sportsmanship!”

My fifth USC Olympian is Michael Norman (4/28/2019). Trojan Candy actually interviewed Michael and Rai Benjamin at the same track event. In Japan Michael ran in the 400m and won a Gold Medal running the second leg in 44.03 in the 4x400m relay.

FIGHT ON, Rai! FIGHT ON, Aaron! FIGHT ON, Andre! FIGHT ON, Isaiah! FIGHT ON, Michael!

Micah Christenson (5/14/2015) competed in Volleyball in the 2016 Rio Olympics and in the 2020 Japan Olympics. FIGHT ON, Micah!

Trojan Candy has met, taken pictures and/or videos of, and interviewed six USC Men Water Polo Olympians.

The first Water Polo Olympian is Hannes Daube scoring a goal for USC against Stanford in the video. In the Tokyo Olympics Hannes played for Team USA.

The second Trojan Olympian is Australian Joel Dennerley (12/9/2011). Trojan Candy interviewed Joel in Heritage Hall in 2011 when I was volunteering in the lobby there. I watched Joel play as the outstanding Goalie on our “Four Peat NCAA National Champion Team!” Joel has played in the 2012 London Olympics, the 2016 Rio Olympics, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!

The third Water Polo Olympian is Australian Blake Edwards (#1 9/17/2016). Trojan Candy took two pictures of Blake. The first was with my grandson Zane, who is now playing water polo at Sacred Heart High School in Northern California. The second was of Blake and his dad at Blake’s Senior Celebration (10/28/2017).

Blake’s younger brother Lachlan Edwards took off the 2020 and 2021 USC Water Polo seasons to play on the Australian Olympic Team in Japan. Trojan Candy took this picture of Lachlan with his dad at the USC Senior Celebration on 10/28/2017.

The fifth USC Olympian that Trojan Candy met is Kostas Genidounias (4/14/2012) from Greece. He posed with my friend Mace Rapsey in 2012.

My sixth USC Water Polo Olympian is Marko Vavic (10/26/2018). Marko posed for Trojan Candy with four of his teammates at a USC Water Polo Fund Raiser.

FIGHT ON, Hannes! FIGHT ON, Joel! FIGHT ON, Blake! FIGHT ON, Lachlan! FIGHT ON, Kostas! FIGHT ON, Marko!

The last sport of the 2020 Olympics in Japan that I am writing about is Women’s Water Polo. Trojan Candy has met, taken pictures or videos of, and interviewed seven Women of Troy Olympians.

The first USC Olympian is Maud Megens (10/26/2018), who is from Greece. She posed for this picture at a USC Water Polo Fund Raiser.
Next is Hannel Buckling (5/15/2014), from Australia. Hannel also played in the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is her graduation picture.
The third Olympian was Tilly Kearns who played water polo for South Africa. In the video she scored the first goal against San Jose State.

The next four Women of Troy Olympians played together for Team USA and won the Gold medal!

The first teammate is Kaleigh Gilchrist (5/15/2014). Trojan Candy took this graduation picture of Kaleigh.
Next is Stephania Haralabidis (5/3/2014). Stephania posed with her sister Ioanna at a USC Water Polo banquet.
You can view two videos that Trojan Candy shot of Paige Hauschild (3/8/2019) winning the first sprint against San Jose State, and then of Paige scoring her second goal in the same match.

The fourth Team USA teammate is Amanda Longan. Here is the picture that I took of Amanda as the Goalie versus San Jose State.

Congratulations on your Gold Medal, my Team USA Women's Water Polo Trojans!

FIGHT ON, Maud! FIGHT ON, Hannel! FIGHT ON, Tilly! FIGHT ON, Kaleigh! FIGHT ON, Stephania! FIGHT ON, Paige! FIGHT ON, Amanda!

Our USC Trojans won 11 Gold, 5 Silver and 5 Bronze Medals in the 2020 Olympics in Japan!