Kirani James, Alabama’s Hero in the 2012 London Olympics

Kirani James (GRN) takes a victory lap with a flag after winning the men’s 400m in a national record 43.94 during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Former University of Alabama track star Kirani James seized the opportunity to represent his home country, and the Alabama Crimson Tide, on the world’s biggest stage at the 2012 Olympics. James won the gold medal in the men’s 400-meter, earning his home country of Grenada its first medal since the country began competing in the Olympics in 1984.

Although he attended college in the United States, James ended Team USA’s seven-time winning streak in the 400-meter. Past U.S. 400-meter champions include greats LaShawn Merritt and Michael Johnson.

James recorded a time of 43.94 seconds, only .76 seconds slower than Michael Johnson’s 400-meter record that stands at 43.18.

Kirani also helped boost the total medal count for Southeastern Conference athletes. SEC athletes won 25 gold, 14 silver and 19 bronze medals in the 2012 London Olympics. If the SEC had not contributed, Team USA would have returned home with 46 medals.

If the SEC were a country competing in the Olympics, it would rank 5th among all countries in medals with 58 total. Among gold medals, the SEC’s 25 would put them in 4th, pushing them ahead of Russia.

Congratulations Kirani from Bama Nation!

Keep Rollin’ >> Five Key Questions Facing The Alabama Crimson Tide in 2012