Get Ready to Cheer on These Native Athletes at the 2012 London Olympics
And so it begins. The 2012 Olympic Games in London officially start today with the opening ceremony (two events, however, have already started, archery and football [soccer for the uninitiated] have already gotten underway).
We'll be following three athletes very closer throughout these games:
Mary Killman, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, who we interviewed before she left for London. Killman's competing in the Synchronized Duet Technical Swimming Event for Team USA, which begins on Saturday, August 4th.
“I took to the water like a fish,” Killman told us in early June. “I originally wanted to go to the Olympics as a swimmer. It’s a different sport now but I’m still living the dream.”
Killman and her partner Mariya Koroleva will be the only American representatives in the sport at the London Games. The duet competition will feature 24 entrants and countries that did qualify for this category can only send one duets team. The Americans were not one of the eight clubs that qualified for the team event.
Mary Spencer, First Nation Ojibway, who we have interviewed and covered in the past. Spencer's competing in the 75-kilogram middleweight boxing event for Team Canada. Spencer's first fight will be on Sunday, August 5th. Spencer, of the Cape Croker Ojibwe First Nation in Ontario, is Canada’s powerhouse pugilist. She’s an eight-time national champion, five-time Pan-American Games champion, and three-time world champion.
Tumua Anae, Native Hawaiian, who is competing as the goalie for Team USA's water polo team. Anae went to college at the University of Southern California (USC), where she was a finalist for the 2012 Peter J. Cutino Award, presented annually to the top American male and female polo player in the NCAA. She was a member of the 2010 NCAA Championship team at USC as well as being named 1st Team All American for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons.
We'll have more on these athletes as the games get underway. For now, we wish them luck, although we know luck had nothing to do with getting them where they are today.