Better Know A Local Olympian

Think you know everything about your favorite local Olympic athlete? From leisurely skeet-shooting to looking up to TV mogul Oprah Winfrey, check out various fun facts our local Olympic athletes shared on their Facebook pages, Teamusa.org profiles and their personal websites.

28 photos
1/28
AP
Ellis Coleman performs a back flip after defeating Joe Betterman in their 60-kilogram Greco-Roman finals match at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, Sunday, April 22, 2012, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
2/28
Getty Images
Think you know everything about your favorite local Olympic athlete? From leisurely skeet-shooting to looking up to TV mogul Oprah Winfrey, check out various fun facts our local Olympic athletes shared on their Facebook pages, Teamusa.org profiles and their personal websites.
3/28
Getty Images
Candace Parker's off-the-court-inspiration: The 2012 Olympic Women's Basketball Team qualifier from Naperville looks up to Oprah Winfrey as she strives to become a television broadcaster.
4/28
Bob Willis Midwest bragging rights: The Chicago native is the first Olympic Windsurfer who does not come from a coast.
5/28
Getty Images
Sylvia Fowles' nickname: The 2012 Olympic women's basketball player has been dubbed "Baby Shaq" for her intense game play and lovable off-court character.
6/28
Getty Images
Kelci Bryant's competition tunes: The U.S. Olympic diver and Springfield native listens to rap music during competition.
7/28
Getty Images
Ross and Grant James' land-loving hobby: The 2012 Olympic rowing team members from DeKalb are rifle shooters in their spare time and were both high-power rifle marksmanship national champions in 2006.
8/28
Getty Images
Christina Loukas' North Side tendency: The U.S. diving team member is a big fan of the Chicago Cubs. Her family even owns the Cubby Bear across the street from Wrigley Field.
9/28
Getty Images/AP
Melissa Seidemann's favorite actor: The U.S. water polo team member and Hoffman Estates native favors "Crazy, Stupid, Love" star Ryan Gosling as her favorite leading man.
10/28
Wallace Spearmon Jr.'s busted myth: The U.S. Olympic runner used his Olympic qualifying speed to attempt "walking on water" on the Discovery Channel show "MythBusters."
11/28
Evan Jager's Bear essentials: The U.S. Olympic men's 3000 steeplechase runner and Algonquin native's favorite football team is easily the Chicago Bears.
12/28
Getty Images
Lance Brooks' shoe size: Brooks, 2012 Olympic discus thrower wears a shoe size of 17. He said he was so large at birth, his foot could barely fit on his birth certificate.
13/28
Dawn Harper's off-track pastime: The 2012 Olympic 100m hurdles runner said she loves to play poker when she's not competing in track.
14/28
Getty Images for USOC
Anna Li's Olympic roots: The 2012 Olympic gymnastics alternate has a history of Olympians in her family. Both her mother and father represented the China gymnastics team in the 1984 Olympics.
15/28
Sarah Zelenka's inspiration: Zelenka, 2012 U.S. Olympic team rower said her go-to inspiration is Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never."
16/28
AP
Ellis Coleman's community support: Supporters of Coleman, 2012 U.S. Olympic wresting team member known as the "Flying Squirrel," raised upwards of $14,000 to send the wrestler's mom and siblings to London to see him compete for the gold.
17/28
Matt Grevers' World of Warcraft: The U.S. Olympic team swimmer enjoys playing World of Warcraft and has even been given the nickname Nu, his character's name in Warcraft.
18/28
AP
Swin Cash broadcasting highlight: The U.S. Olympic team member and Chicago Sky forward was an Olympic broadcaster for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
19/28
Getty Images
How Tamika Catchings overcame adversity: The U.S. Olympic basketball team member and Indiana Fever small forward was born with a hearing deficiency in both ears. She currently is a spokesperson for overcoming hearing impairment.
20/28
Kayla Bashore-Smedley bookworm moment: Bashore-Smedley, 2012 U.S. Olympic field hockey team member received a degree in both biology and chemistry when she graduated from Indiana University.
21/28
Getty Images
Molly Huddle's running routine: The 2012 U.S. Olympic track-and-field runner paints her nails a different color the night before each race.
22/28
Gwen Jorgensen's triathlete feats: The 2012 U.S. Olympic triathlete qualified for the 2012 Olympics in only her 2nd year racing triathlons.
23/28
Kristen Hedstrom's community involvement: The U.S. Olympic rower is a youth coach and community mentor in Madison, Wis.
24/28
AP
David Boudia mentoring efforts: Boudia, 2012 U.S. Olympic diver became a representative for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in 2012 to be a positive role model for kids.
25/28
Getty Images
Tom Peszek's out-of-water hobby: The 2012 U.S. Olympic rower takes up skeet-shooting when he isn't competing.
26/28
Getty Images
Claressa Shields boxing inspiration: The 2012 U.S. Olympic boxer said she began boxing in 2006 when her father told her a story about undefeated female boxer Laila Ali.
27/28
Jordyn Wieber's volunteering efforts: The 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnast volunteers at St. Jude's Children's Research Center among other community activities.
28/28
Getty Images
Kara Patterson's hobbies: The 2012 U.S. Olympic javelin thrower enjoys glass blowing and spontaneous travel when she's not competing.
Contact Us