Floridan OlympiansWednesday, August 1st, 2012
“A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.”
- Jesse Owens, 1936 Summer Olympics
In addition to this year, London has hosted the Olympics twice, in 1908 and 1948. For what promises to be a thrilling and competitive Summer Games, the U.S. team has selected its representatives for the events. Florida in particular is heavily represented in the U.S. team; the below Olympians are originally from the state, currently call Florida their home or went to school in Florida:
Originally from Saunderstown, Rhode Island, Beisel now resides in Gainesville, where she attends University of Florida on athletic scholarship for swimming. When she was still in high school, she competed in the 2008 Olympics in Bejing and was the youngest member of the U.S. swimming team at 15 years old. She placed fourth in the 400m individual medley and fifth in the 200m backstroke in the 2008 Games. Beisel will now compete in London after qualifying first in the women’s 400m individual medley trials.
Lochte will be competing in men’s swimming at the Games. Currently residing in Gainesville, this will be his third consecutive Olympics representing the U.S. He has broken six world records, still holds three of them to this day and is currently sponsored by Speedo, Nissan and Gatorade. After beating Michael Phelps by over half a second in the trials, the race between the two athletes in London will be one you can’t miss.
Kemper is a triathlete from Longwood, who currently lives in Colorado Springs. He is the only American male triathlete to compete at the top of the world rankings. He also competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Games. Although he sustained a broken elbow injury last October, he qualified in trials and will be competing on the U.S. team for the 2012 Games. Hunter attributes much of his success to Clay Parnell, who was his swim coach at Lake Brantley High School.
Another Florida Gator, this UF graduate competed in this year’s trials but was 0.09 of a second behind the second qualifier; the career that began at her hometown Los Angeles Games in 1984 finally comes to a close. She has won 12 Olympic medals, became the first American to swim in five Olympics and is the oldest female swimmer in the world to compete at the Games. She will watch the 2012 Games from the comfort of her home in Parkland, Florida, with her 6-year-old daughter, Tessa.
Let the games begin!
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