Our second installment of 2012 Olympic portraits features a pair of promising gymnasts, two hungry boxers (one up-and-coming, another looking for Olympic redemption), a few icons of track and field while another in basketball seeks to enhance his Olympic legend. All seeking gold medal glory in London this summer…
JOHN OROZCO, GYMNASTICS – USA
This 19-year old Bronx, NY native won gold as the 2012 Visa National Champion after a stellar junior campaign in which he accumulated 14 gold medals in various performance events between 2007-2009. Nicknamed Kung Fu Panda for his urge to eat snacks before competing, Orozco put off college to participate in the London Olympics. He may yet achieve the rare feat of starting college with a snack in one hand and an Olympic gold medal in the other.
USAIN BOLT, TRACK & FIELD – JAMAICA
The Jamaican Sensation is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and reigning Olympic record holder in the 100-and 200-meters as well as the 4×100 meters relay. The 25-year old sprinter looks to become the first sprinter in history to win the 100- and 200-meter sprints at consecutive Olympic Games while garnering more gold than Fort Knox. Look for that trend to continue in London.
GABRIELLE DOUGLAS, GYMNASTICS – USA
This Virgina Beach native hopes to be able to help reverse the recent Olympic trend for U.S. women’s gymnastics of entering the Games favored to win gold only to finish with silver. With a gold medal finish in the uneven bars event at the Pacific Rim Championships in March, Douglas will put her best leg forward in attempting to bring America its first Olympic gymnastics championship since 1996.
ALLYSON FELIX, TRACK & FIELD – USA
The gold medal winner in the 4 x 400 meters relay in Beijing in 2008, Felix seeks her first Olympic gold medal at individual competition in the 100- and 200-meters this summer. Having achieved a personal best of 21.69 in the 200 meters at the trials, Felix is primed for a gold medal run in London. Lord knows she can go the distance.
CHRIS PAUL, BASKETBALL – USA
This five-time NBA All-Star and 2008 Olympic gold medalist in Beijing looks to repeat the feat with Team USA in London. Paul’s leadership, raw competitiveness and unbridled leadership at the international level will serve the Americans well, especially with their lack of size upfront. CP3‘s ability to get the world’s greatest athletes involved early and often will bring Lob City to London.
ALEX MORGAN, SOCCER – USA
This California girl prides herself on being a speedy striker, having scored goals off the bench in the semis and final rounds of the 2011 FIFA World Cup as a virtual unknown, the youngest player on the American national team. Now a starter, Morgan seeks to help heavily favored Team USA bring home the gold in London and make amends for their silver medal World Cup finals loss.
JOSEPH DIAZ, JR, BOXING – USA
This El Monte, California native comes into his first Olympic competition as the two-time reigning national champion at bantamweight. The five-foot-five southpaw has his sights set on Olympic gold, turning pro and being a world champion. Lofty goals for a kid who only got into boxing after being bullied. But since bashing his attacker with a bloody nose, boxing has been Jo-Jo’s thing. It may now be his calling.
SANYA RICHARDS-ROSS, TRACK & FIELD – USA
Arguably Team USA’s top female runner in London this summer, Richards-Ross hopes to top the bronze medal she earned at the 400-meter event at the 2008 Games in Beijing. The American of Jamaican descent is the reigning 2012 World Indoor Champion in the 400-meters and is married to two-time Super Bowl champion cornerback Aaron Ross, formerly of the NY Giants. It is that kind of championship pedigree that has Richards-Ross a gold medal favorite this summer.
RAU’SHEE WARREN, BOXING – USA
This 25-year old Cincinnati, OH native is hoping the third time is the charm. On the verge of making history as the first U.S. boxer to compete in three Olympics, the 114-pound flyweight looks to finally take home a medal in London after first round defeats in Athens in 2004 and a controversial bout in 2008 in Beijing. Warren says he has put those setbacks behind him and vows to give the world a view of who he really is in the ring. No better time than the present.
VERONICA CAMPBELL-BROWN, TRACK & FIELD – JAMAICA
This five-time Olympic medalist is the reigning World and Olympic 200-meters champion. Representing Team Jamaica, Campbell-Brown is going after her third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 200-meters, having initially captured gold in Athens in 2004. As one of the fastest women in the world, Campbell-Brown looks to make London green, black and especially gold this summer.