Being a large public university, sports are a big part of our college experience. At Berkeley especially, sports bring a big sense of pride as we go by “California” within the athletic sphere, allowing us to represent our great state. Now, I know what you may be thinking, Berkeley is an academics-focused school, their sports are all bad. To that I respond, you could not be more wrong. Berkeley is a member of the Pac-12 Conference, a sports conference for Western schools, which plays in Division I. Our athletics are all top-tier and we play with pride. In this blog, I’ll take you through some of our athletics programs and highlight how amazing they all are.
College football is a massive industry and probably the most popular college sport in the nation. Schools with football teams look at the sport with a sense of pride and many rivalries were started because of football. Here at Berkeley, our football program, currently, is not the best in the Pac-12 but that does not mean we cannot have incredible feats. In 1982, the Golden Bears secured one of the best and most iconic plays in college football history with the Play. The Play was a final push in the closing seconds of the Big Game (the annual rivalry football game between Berkeley and Stanford) where the losing Golden Bears rushed to the end zone and trampled members of the Stanford Band in order to win the game and the Stanford Axe. Football is still a massive hit and gamedays bring about a sense of school spirit and camaraderie. Finally, football is where we can win the Stanford Axe, the trophy of the annual Big Game against Stanford – we also currently have possession of the Axe!
Swim, Dive, Crew and Water Polo (the water sports)
These sports are by far our best competitively. Berkeley’s aquatics programs are all the very best in the nation, winning multiple national titles every year. Last year, our men’s teams earned a triple crown, winning national championships in swim & dive, crew and water polo. Currently, our men’s swimming team has been competing at the national championships and has already won multiple titles. And if you’re still not convinced of the caliber of our swim program, we are proud to say that we have many student athletes who are olympians or alumni who have gone on to win olympic medals.
This is a personal favorite of mine, so of course I had to include them in this blog. Our women’s gymnastics team is a powerhouse in NCAA gymnastics with a current ranking of #7 in the nation. This team faces off against olympic gold medalists and still hold their own; just this season, our women’s gymnastics team tied UCLA (who has Olympic silver-medalist Jordan Chiles). Even more recently, EmJae Frazier earned a perfect 10 on the floor routine, a feat that has never happened before in school history. Overall, I love gymnastics and our team makes the sport even more enjoyable with their remarkable skill.