US Olympic Trials 2012: 1st-Timers Clary, Bailey and Mikulak Will Blow Up
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With the Olympic trials already underway, it's time to take a look at some of the first time Olympians who will explode in London. Through different events there are first timers who are already gearing up to make themselves out to be Olympic stars, a task which is not easy to do.
Here are three competitors ready to put it all on the line this summer.
Tyler Clary- 200-meter butterfly
It hasn't been easy for Tyler Clary to get to the Olympics. When it comes to USA and swimming in the Olympics, two dominate names automatically come to mind: Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
So When Tyler Clary tried out for the 200-meter butterfly, he was going up against some big odds. At the start of the trial, Ryan Lochte was not in the pool, but Clary was still going up against Phelps. While the trial was going on, however, Clary found himself in fourth place at one point, behind Phelps, Davis Tarwater and Bobby Bollier.
Clary kicked it into high gear and catch up with Tarwater first, and then he passed Bollier in the last few meters.
While he would not catch up to Phelps, Clary would finish 1.47 seconds behind him, enough to get Clary onto his first Olympic team.
Clary will also compete in the 200 backstroke against Phelps and Lochte on Friday, an event where he received the bronze medal last year's world championships.
In a sport that has been dominated so much by Phelps and Lochte look for Clary to add to the US team and dominate in the 200-meter butterfly.
Ryan Bailey- 100-meter (Track)
Ryan Bailey will explode at the London Olympics in more than one way.
His story is one of perseverance and how he was able to go from a troubled life, one filled with anger and gangs, to become a track star who was able to find guidance from the help of a social studies teacher and track coach.
When Bailey entered his senior year of high school he would become the state 100-meter and 200-meter champion. He would go on to break his high school and state records that summer.
Bailey would eventually land a Nike sponsor in 2009, which would help him in turning pro.
At age 23 Bailey has a personal best time in the 100-meter of 9.88 and his 9.93 trials final is 8th in the world.
Bailey may also be participating in the 4x100 relay team, as well as the 100-meter at the London Olympics.
Standing at 6ft, 4in and weighing 215 pounds, look for Bailey to break out with his performance at the Olympics, as well as his story of overcoming the odds.
Sam Mikulak- Gymnastics
While the gymnastics trials might not be over yet, Sam Mikulak has already begun dominating. The 19-year-old from Michigan finished with the best overall score on Thursday and is third in overall standings heading into Saturday's final rotations.
His performance has put him in a pretty good position to end up on the Olympic team.
While the top two all-around finishers receive automatic berths on the team, the final three spots are chosen by a selection committee.
What makes Mikulak so impressive, however, is not just how well he has done at the trials so far, but how well he performed at a meet last August.
Back in August at a meet in Puerto Rico Mikulak would break both of his ankles, but would still continue his rotations, landing on two broken ankles.
Mikulak was aiming for a 2016 Olympic performance but was able to heal up in time to give it a shot at the 2012 Olympics.
While he is still behind Leyva and Orozco in standings, he was able to close the gap a little more moving into Saturday's standings. Mikulak was able to show a cool and collective state when performing at the trials on Thursday, all the more reason to believe he is ready to dominate in the Olympics.
If breaking both ankles and still finishing your rotations while landing on those broken ankles isn't enough to prove your mentally ready for the Olympics than what is?
Look for all three of these competitors to take full advantage of the opportunity they were given to perform in the summer Olympics. While not as well known as some of the other competitors in their sports, don't be surprised to see these Olympic rookies explode in London.
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