Jul 25, 2012; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Tower Bridge sports the Olympic rings and is lit up with blue light in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games opening ceremony Friday. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE
The 2012 Summer Olympics begin Friday in London. I have been an avid Olympic spectator since February 22, 1980. I even once competed in the AWANA Olympics. There are 21 Dawgs representing 4 countries. USA, Canada, Great Britian and Norway. 12 athletes are competing in rowing. By now everyone knows and has seen the photos of Hope Solo, but this post will be more about the other 20 athletes representing their respective countries. Who has the best chance at Olympic Gold? I will try to disect that as well some other things I think we should be looking for in this years Olympics.
Track and Field is my favorite event. But for the next few weeks I will watch many events. Many that I only watch every 4 years. But since Al Gore invented the internet is easier to track the althletes from you favorite school and for people like me to discuss it. Join me after the jump.
As I stated there are 12 Huskies rowing in the olympics. That is twice the number any other school has rowing in the Olympics. Here is the rowing schedule. http://www.london2012.com/rowing/schedule-and-results/
Megan Kalmoe @megankalmoe
First up is Megan Kalmoe. Megan, from Wisconson walked on at the University of Washington after enrolling in 2003. She was the captain of the rowing team and All-American in 2006. She will compete in Quadruple skulls with UW teammate Adrienne Martelli. Megan writes often and hopes to write an Academy award winning screenplay after ending her rowing career. She also enjoy traveling and macaroni and cheese.
Adrienne Martelli @hammermartelli
Adrienne was the captain of the basketball team at Curtis HS. She is 2010 graduate of UW. She too was captain of the rowing team her senior year. Adrienne along with Megan Kalmoe, was a part of the quadruple skull team that took silver in the 2011 world Championship. She was a national champion in the Varsity Four in 2008, going undefeated. Adrienne has a degree in biology and would like to pursue a career in sports medicine.
Mary Whipple @9thseat
Mary is a three-time national champion coxswain on the American women's team. She joins Adrienne and Megan on the US Womens Team. The 32-year-old Whipple won a gold medal as the coxswain of the U.S. eight at the 2008 Beijing Games and silver leading the American eight boat in 2004 in Athens. Megan's accomplishments in rowing are numerous including 2008 female rower of the year. Megan likes to snowboard, and hike. She has a twin sister who is a assistant rowing coach at Cal.
Guiseppe Lanzone @guiseppelanzone
Guiseppe is 2005 graduate of UW. He joins 2 other teammates from the 2005 rowing team. Born in Peru, Guiseppe grew up in Virginia. He was the 2010 male rowing athlete of the year and finished 4th 2011 World Championship, competing in the four. He will compete in the 8 in London. For those that care he was named to the top 20 sexiest althetes at the Olympics by Shape Magazine.
Scott Gault @scottHgault
Scott will compete in the Mens Four in London. Scott competed in the 2008 Beijing games in the quadruple skulls. He enjoys flying and golfing and would like to be a professional in both.
Brett from Riverton Wyoming is competing in his second Olympic Games. I really dont understand how someone from Riverton Wyoming would get into rowing. Evidently he didnt start rowing until his Freshman year at Michigan State, before transferring to UW. His sister is a profressional basketball player in Turkey and a Stanford graduate. She came close to making the Turkish Olympic team. Brett has stated that this is his last Olympics and will get married in September. Brett will compete in the 8 after competing in the 4 in Beijing.
Ty Otto @tyotto
Ty rounds out the Huskies competing for the US team in rowing. Ty, from Tacoma, was the 2010 team captain and member of the 2011 National Championship. Ty is an alternate on the team but we should expect him to be competing in the 2016 games. He won the 8 at the U23 world championship in 2008.
There are 5 huskies on the Canadian rowing team. Conlin McCabe, Rob Gibson, Will Crothers, Anthony Jacob and Dave Calder. Conlin, a recent graduate was part of the back to back national title teams. For more info on the Canadians, look it up. This is the Olympics and we will be focusing on the USA. In all seriousness if the US is out of the event, I wouldnt mind seeing these Dawgs win a Gold for Canada. But I will not sing O'Canada.
All in all there seem to be more than one rower with a chance at earning a medal in London. I will be looking forward to seeing some of these events.
There are three former huskies competing in Volleyball in London. Two competing for the US and one for Great Britian.
Tamari, from Hawaii was a 3 time all-conference player and an all-american as a senior. Her position is libero. I used to play quite a bit of Volleyball during my college days and I had no idea what a libero was. Libero evidently is that one player on the court that has a different colored jersey. I have seen this player. The libero is a defensive specialist. They are not allowed to attack, serve, or block a shot (there has to be a joke there). I am unable to tell how much time she will play. She is number 5 and will be wearing a different colored jersey.
Courtney Thompson @cthompsonvball
Courtney is a setter and wears number 17. She was a member of UW 2005 National Championship team, which to date is her favorite sports moment. It appears she gets more playing time than Tamari, and has been a big part of some key wins for the team. Her college career was just ok:
Thompson, a three-time AVCA All-America First-Team selection playing for the University of Washington, set the Pacific-10 Conference record with 6,552 assists for third best in NCAA Division I history…Set the NCAA record for career assists per game with 14.56…Concluded her career with a school-best 450 starts leading to three appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament national semifinals and one regional final…Added 1,059-career digs for sixth-best in school history…As a junior, she earned the Honda Sports Award for best volleyball player after leading the Huskies to their first national championship…Received a ESPY Top Female College Athlete nomination in 2005…As a senior, she again was a finalist for the Honda Sports Award as she set the Huskies to a .281 team attack percentage on 14.50 assists per game…Thompson is a three-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.
Courtney graduated from Kentlake HS in Kent, where she was valedictorian, State player of the year and all-state basketball.
The US team has a good shot at winning the gold and should be fun to watch.
Janine Sandell Great Britian
Janine only played one year UW after transferring from UCSB. She was born in England and moved to the US when she was 11. Great Britian may not win a game let alone a match in London. But they are the host team and get an automatic bid.
Track and Field
Aretha Thurmond Discus @arethathrows
Aretha is on her 4th Olympic team. Her first was 1996 She has been the top discus thrower in the US for basically 10 years. She was ranked 11th in the world in 2011. She took to track and field in HS based on a lost bet. Aretha was born in Seattle and graduated from Renton HS. She is on the latter part of her career.
Brad Walker Pole Vault @SkyWalkerPV
Brad is a 4 time US Champion. Walker, who lives in Mountlake Terrace, set the American record of 19-9 ¾ at the Prefontaine Classic in 2008. The Skywalker attended University HS in Spokane (what university is in Spokane?) Brad live in Montlake Terrace and has an outside shot at reaching the podium in London. I will certainly try and catch this event.
Ingvill Makestad Bovim 1500m Norway
Ingvill is the Norwegian record holder in the 800 meters, which I guess is not fast enough to compete in London. She finished 6th in the World Championship in 2011. This is a fun event and actually could see an American wearing gold. The finals are set for August 10.
Jennie Jones Reed @jenniejonesreed
Jennie lives in Kirkland and is a former US and World Champion in the track cycling. In 2008 she became the first American woman to win a world championship in the keirin. She is a 1996 graduate of Issaquah HS. A former sprinter she will be competing in the team pursuit in London. This is her third Olympics and finished 7th in China.
Ariana Kukors 200IM @arianakukors
Ariana was part of the now defunct UW swimming team. She is the World Record holder in the 200IM. She took second in the Olympic trials. Ariana attended HS in Auburn and comes from an Athletic family
Hope Solo Goalie @hopesolo
Last but not least we have the sometimes controversial Hope Solo. She is the only athlete listed that I was already following on Twitter. Besides the only one I could pick out of a police lineup. Hope comes from Richland, WA. Part of the Tri-Cities that I onced called home. Hope had a tough upbringing that I wont elaborate on, but I am sure that helped make her the the tough if not cocky woman she is now. She was kicked of the national team in 2007 for calling her coach out for benching her. By the way I think she right. They lost the game to Brazil 4-1 ending a 51 game unbeaten streak, the coach was fired, she earned back her starting position and the US Women's team became Olympic Champion. She is the face of Women's Soccer. Not just in the US. Hope was a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Leading up to these Olympics she was warned about using a banned substance (I think Vitamin C is on that list).
Solo played forward at Richland HS, where she scored 109 goals, leading her team to three consecutive league titles from 1996–1998 and a state championship in her senior year. She was twice named a Parade All American. At the UW she switched to the goalkeeper position and is the teams all-time leader in shutouts, saves, and goals-against average. She was a four-time All-Conference selection and a three-time All-American. The US Womens soccer team started play today and won 4-2 over France. Ok one picture of Hope.
Solo played forward at Richland HS, where she scored 109 goals, leading her team to three consecutive league titles from 1996–1998 and a state championship in her senior year. She was twice named a Parade All American. At the UW she switched to the goalkeeper position and is the teams all-time leader in shutouts, saves, and goals-against average. She was a four-time All-Conference selection and a three-time All-American.
The US Womens soccer team started play today and won 4-2 over France. Ok one picture of Hope.
What else to look forward to in the 2012 Olympic Games:
The US Team should win the gold. Anything else would feel like 1988. But no this team would not be the Dream Team
One of my favorite Olympics events. 10 seconds of pure adrenaline.
Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte. Should be exciting. But look out for 17 year old Missy Franklin. She is from Centennial, Colorado and attends Regis HS, which is about a mile from my house. She is the first US woman to qualify for 7 events. She will be the star and darling of these Olympics.
There is always some 4'10" young lady that gets every American talking about her.
What other events and athlets are you looking forward to watching?