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When the Olympics came to Pepperdine: Today’s featured digital object

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As the 2012 Summer Olympic Games open in London, we look back to 1984 when the Olympics came to Los Angeles and the Malibu campus of Pepperdine University. Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool served as the site for all of the water polo matches, bringing international attention to Pepperdine University. At a poolside press conference in February 1982, Olympic organizers made it clear that the selection of Pepperdine for the events owed in part to the great beauty of its surroundings.

Players and coaches rally during an Olympic water polo match at Pepperdine, 1984

Pepperdine did not disappoint. Runnels Memorial Pool was temporarily transformed into a first rate Olympic venue, complete with grandstands, souvenir shops, and vistas of the Pacific. The US National Team, featuring Pepperdine alumnus Terry Schroeder, played hard, beating out ten other teams to win the silver medal. Schroeder went on to play in several Olympic games and is now head coach of the Pepperdine men’s water polo team.

In the photo to the right, from the University Archives Photograph Collection, the drama of the match is captured in the excitement of the players and coaches cheering their teammates on from the pool’s edge. Schroeder is on the far left and head coach Monte Nitzkowski is center, left.

As you cheer on the US teams in this year’s Summer Olympics, take a moment to look back at photographic highlights from Pepperdine’s moment in the Olympic sun.

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