Turns out, Michigan has more than a few athletes who will represent the state at the Olympic games in July and August. That's right, whether the athletes were born, raised or trained in the state, we are claiming them as our own on the list of 2012 Detroit and Michigan Olympic Athletes who will compete at the Summer 2012 London Olympics. Root and cheer accordingly.
Note: Check out the Olympic schedule and medal standing of each athlete profiled below.
Michigan Connection: Claressa Shields was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, where she lives to this day.
Claim to Fame: Shields was relatively new on the scene when she competed at the 2012 Women's Olympic Trials. She won four bouts in a row, including one against former National Champion Franchon Crews, to become the U.S. Olympic Trials Champion and Outstanding Boxer. She was also the 2011 National PAL Champion.
Personal Information: Shields will be 17 when she competes in the 2012 London Olympics. She currently lives with her aunt and is still in highschool. She started boxing in 2006.
There are a couple of Olympic gymnasts with connections to Detroit and/or Michigan, including:
Michigan Connection: Four-time Olympian Daryl Szarenski was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan.
Claim to Fame: Szarenski won the gold in 10m air pistol at the 2011 Pan American Games and in free pistol at the 2010 World Cup Final. Despite being a veteran of three olympics games, Szarenski has not yet won an Olympic medal. He will compete in the 10m air pistol event and the 50m free piston at the 2012 Summer Olympic games.
Personal Information: Szarenski is an Army Sergeant 1st Class in the U.S. Army's World Class Athlete Program. He started shooting in 1979. His father, brother and wife are all accomplished in shooting events. He will be 44 when competing at the 2012 London Olympics.
Websites: AfterAction segment of the Military Times; Profile posted on Hunting.about.com; Profile on USAShooting.org
There are several swimmers who may compete at the 2012 London Olympics, including:
Michigan Connection: Desiree Davila was born and raised in California but currently resides in Rochester Hills, MI.
Claim to Fame: Davila is known for her battle against Caroline Kilel in the last stretch of the 2011 Boston Marathon. She ended up finishing second behind Kilel but still managed to set a record for the fastest American woman ever to compete in the event. Davila also finished second at the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon and third in the 10,000m event in the 2010 USA Championships.
Personal Information: She will be 29 when she competes in the 2012 London Olympics.
Notable Injuries: Davila had a strees injury to the fifth metatarsal on her left foot in April of 2012.
Websites: Profile on USA Track & Field website
Michigan Connection: Goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, although she currently resides in California. She also attended Huron High School (2001) and the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree in Classical Literature in 2005.
Olympic History: Armstrong's U.S. Team took Silver in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Claim to Fame: Armstrong logged 28 saves, and the U.S. Team earned a gold medal at the 2011 Pan-American Games. She also received the University of Michigan Athletic Academic Achievement Award in 2002 and 2005.
Personal Information: Armstrong's oldest sister also plays water polo. She is 6'1” and will be 29 when competing in the 2012 London Olympics.
Websites: Biography posted on USA Water Polo website
Michigan Connection: Although Jake Herbert currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he was born and raised in Pennsylvania.
Claim to Fame: Herbert came in first at the 2012 U.S. Wrestling Team Trials and won a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships. While at Northwestern University, Herbert won the Hodge Trophy and was a four-time All-American.
Personal Information: Herbert will be 27 when he competes in the 2012 London Olympics.
Websites: Biography posted on TheMat.com; JakeHerbert.com