Three Olympic Stars You Must Know for 2012 Summer Games in London
These three stars, who will all be representing Team USA at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London next month, all have one thing in common.
They have serious "ups."
No, they don't wear brown and deliver packages for UPS or sing for the "man-band" Big Ups from the film The Goods (Google them).
All of these three athletes will be wearing the red, white, and blue in London and they can really jump—perhaps better than anyone else in the world.
The US Olympic Track Trials are in high gear right now, as many of these athletes are just now working to earn their spots in London.
There have been plenty of surprises both negative and positive, but here are three American jumping stars that should be making the trip across the pond this summer.
The first, Jesse Williams, nearly missed qualifying (Via: AP writer Pat Graham from ESPN.com) for this summer's games, as he finished at a tie for fourth place in the high jump finals on Monday night, with the top three earning bids for London. But none of the top four finishers cleared the 7'7" mark, which is considered the Olympic A-Standard.
However, the third place finisher, Nick Ross, hadn't cleared the 7'7" mark at all during the year, which disqualified him from selection for the Olympics. As a result, Williams, the reigning high jump world champion, was let in and will be making the trip to London.
Williams currently jumps out of Eugene, Oregon and, despite failing to qualify for the high jump finals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, he is no stranger to winning at his craft. In high school, he set the North Carolina indoor and outdoor high jump state records, was a three-time NCAA champion while at USC and took home the gold at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
As for that Olympic A-Standard, Williams should have no problem in London, barring any external factors like the rain that slowed him in Eugene at the Trials. His personal best: 2.37 meters, or 7 feet, 9.25 inches.
Look for him to be a serious gold medal-threat in London.
If you're a college football fan like I am, you may already be familiar with this next name.
Perhaps one of the biggest stories to come out of the Trials last week was the qualification by Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (Via TexasSports.com) in the long jump. Goodwin's jump of 8.33 meters or 27 feet, 4 inches tied his personal best mark from 2011 when he won the USA Outdoor title.
So, if need be, Goodwin can launch himself into the end zone from about the nine-yard line. On the football field, the Rowlett, Texas native has just less than 2,000 all-purpose yards for his career to go with four receiving and one kickoff return touchdown.
In 2008 in Beijing, Goodwin's personal best jump would have earned Goodwin the silver medal, as the first place finisher, Irving Saladino of Panama, reached the 8.34-meter mark.
If Goodwin is able to match that personal best mark, you can expect to see him on the podium.
Texas head coach Mack Brown certainly knows how good Goodwin is, and you should too:
Congrats to Marquise Goodwin on reaching a life dream, making the Olympic Team. What a terrific day for UT, he and his family. #soproudofhim— Mack Brown (@UT_MackBrown) June 24, 2012
The third jumper you should know before the 2012 Olympics hasn't yet qualified for a trip to London. But, as the American high jump record holder, she shouldn't have too much trouble doing so.
Chaunte Lowe, a Loganville, Georgia native, will jump in the preliminary round of the women's high jump on Thursday and if she performs as expected, she will jump again in the finals on Saturday. Again, if she performs near her potential, she'll do it all again in London in August.
At the 2008 Olympic Games, she finished sixth with a jump of 1.99 meters. Since then, the former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket has only improved, including a personal best jump of 2.05 meters to win her fourth USA Outdoor title.
She missed time in 2011 due to maternity, but she quickly regained her form this year, including winning an World Indoor title and finishing first at the Drake Relays, both with jumps of 1.98 meters and the USA Indoor title with a jump of 2.02 meters.
Her personal best mark would have tied her for the gold medal at the 2008 Games, so much like Goodwin and Williams, Lowe is one of Team USA's most serious medal threats.
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