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2012 Detroit and Michigan Olympic Athletes in Swimming

Michigan and Motor City Connections

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Turns out, Michigan athletes do more than get their feet wet when it comes to swimming. In fact, there are several Detroit and Michigan athletes who will compete in swimming events at the Summer 2012 London Olympics.

Note: If you are interested in athletes in sports beyond swimming, check out the biographies and/or schedules/medal standings of the 2012 Olympic Athletes from Michigan as listed by sport.

Michael Phelps

Gold medal receipients Michael Phelps (L), Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens and Peter Vanderkaay (8/13/08)
Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images
Michigan Connection: Phelps came to the University of Michigan after the Athens Olympics to enroll at the school and train under Bob Bowman. When Bowman moved to Baltimore (Phelps' hometown) in 2008, Phelps followed him. Michael Phelps may no longer live or train in Michigan, but we still claim him as one of our own.

Olympic History: These days, the three-time Olympian Michael Phelps is training for the 2012 London Olympics, which will mark his fourth appearance. He already has 16 Olympic medals -- 14 gold and two bronze.

Claim to Fame: Phelps earned eight of his gold medals in eight events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is just three medals away from earning the most medals in Olympic history.

Personal Information: Phelps birthday is on June 30th, which will make him 27 when he competes at the 2012 London Olympics. He is known for his longer-than-average wingspan and big feet that help to propel him through the water.

Allison Schmitt

Katie Hoff (L); Allison Schmitt (R) at 2008 Olympic Trials
Photo by Donald Miralle / Getty Images
Michigan Connection: Allison Schmitt was raised in Canton, Michigan, where she attended Canton High School. She trained under Bob Bowman at Club Wolverine in 2008.

These Days: Schmitt attends the University of Georgia and trains under Jack Bauerle. In the summers, she heads back to Bowman, who now resides in Baltimore.

Olympic History: Schmitt came in ninth at the Beijing Olympics in the 200m freestyle. She also won a bronze medal (along with Katie Hoff, Natalie Coughlin and Caroline Burckle) in the 4x200m relay.

Claim to Fame: Schmitt exceeded expectations when she qualified at the 2008 Olympic Trials for the 200m freestyle event and went on to finish ninth in the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She also won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships.

Personal Information: Schmitt was born on June 7th and will be 22 when she competes at the 2012 London Olympics. She is known as something of a jokster and comes from a very athletic family. She is one of five, sports-playing children in the family. While she followed her older brother and sister into swimming, she also played soccer, basketball, softball and ballet.

Peter Vanderkaay

Peter Vanderkaay at the 2008 Olympic Trials
Photo by Donald Miralle / Getty Images Sports
Michigan Connection: Vanderkaay was born in Royal Oak, Michigan and raised in Rochester, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan starting in 2002 and graduated in 2006. He was part of Club Wolverine, where he stayed to train for eight years with John urbanchek (2002-2004), Bob Bowman (2004-2008), and Mike Bottom (2008-2010).

These days: Vanderkaay moved to Gainesville, Florida in 2010 to train with Gregg Troy.

Olympic History: The 2012 London Olympics will be Vanderkaay's third. He won a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay and a bronze medal in 200m freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He also won a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Claim to Fame: Vanderkaay won a gold medal (and set a world record) as part of the 4x200m freestyle relay team in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He has since won a gold medal in the 800m freestyle at the 2011 World Championships.

Personal Information: Vanderkaay (nickname "PVK") will be 28 when he competes in the 2012 London Olympics. He has three brothers who also swim. He was diagnosed with asthma as a child.
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