The Summer Olympics are so close!! As my family is gearing up for the opening ceremonies, I started to do a bit of research on the US athletes participating in the games this summer. The USA team consists of 530 athletes, with 45 states being represented. The states that are not represented include New Hampshire (home to my undergraduate Alma mater), New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Our Tots2Tweens area is well represented with 12 medal contenders from Maryland, 15 from Virginia and 35 from Pennsylvania. Here are some favorite athletes to follow:
Glenn Ochal (Philadelphia, PA) will be competing in the Men’s Four Rowing event. He rowed in high school and then at Princeton. During his time at Princeton, he competed in the Eastern Sprint Championship and a year later captured the Ladies Challenge Plate at the Royal Henley Regatta.
Kobe Bryant (Philadelphia, PA), the 14-time NBA All-Star player, five-time NBA champion, 2008 NBA MVP, and two-time NBA scoring champion, will be competing for a gold medal with the USA Team Basketball team. In 2008, he helped the men’s team win the gold medal with impressive skills where he averaged 15 points per game.
Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Maryland) will be attempting to become the most decorated Olympian should he win seven medals at the London Games. He currently has 14 gold medals and 2 broze medals.
Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Maryland) is completing in the Women’s 800 Freestyle Event, in which she qualified for at age 15, by winning the 800m freestyle at U.S. Trials in Omaha with the second fastest time in the world.
Carmelo Anthony (Baltimore, Maryland) and Kevin Durant (Rockville, MD) are basketball teammates who hope to bring home the gold as part of Team USA’s men’s basketball team.
Matt Chrabot (VA Beach), will be battling for a medal in the Triathalon. His weekly training routine includes 9 hours in the pool, 60 miles of running, and 150-220 miles on the bike. I am tired just thinking about that workout.
Matthew McClean (Sterling, VA) will be in the pool competing in the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay. He is a UVA graduate and a volunteer for the Special Olympics.
Gabby Douglas (Virginia Beach, VA), team member of the USA gymnastics team, is known for her height on release moves on the uneven bars.
Terrence Jennings (Alexandria, VA) is heading to London after a victory over legendary Taekwondo player Mark Lopez during the 2012 Trials. Terrence began martial arts at the age of 12 because of his love of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As a Taekwondo black belt myself, I can’t wait to follow his Olympic Games journey.
I admit after researching these athletes I’m now following many of them on twitter and created a local Olympic Athletes twitter feed list. Follow along with me as they represent our country with pride and spirit. You can search through the Olympic Twitter Tracker by event to locate your favorite Olympians. Also check out Sports Illustrated 50 Twitter Feeds You Need to Follow during the games.
Go Team USA!