Sport-by-sport capsules: Maryland's Olympians in London

SportsMaryland TerrapinsBasketballCanoeing and KayakingAndrew ValmonRhythmic GymnasticsJulie Culley

Basketball

Carmelo Anthony

Age: 28

From: Baltimore

Schedule: Group A: vs. France, July 29; vs. Tunisia, July 31; vs. Nigeria, Aug. 2; vs. Lithuania, Aug. 4; vs. Argentina, Aug. 6

Olympic experience: This is Anthony's third Olympics appearance. He was a bench player on the U.S. team that won bronze in 2004, and played a key role on the gold-medal winning squad in 2008.

What to expect: Anthony should earn significant minutes in London. He'll likely score in bunches, and could play a critical role in the U.S.'s pursuit of a second-straight Olympic gold medal.

Quotable: "We're trying to make a statement with the game we have. What they did back in '92 will never be duplicated. We're just trying to start our own thing and hopefully continue our legacy."

Kevin Durant

Age: 23

From: Seat Pleasant

Schedule: Group A: vs. France, July 29; vs. Tunisia, July 31; vs. Nigeria, Aug. 2; vs. Lithuania, Aug. 4; vs. Argentina, Aug. 6

Olympic experience: After narrowly missing the cut for the 2008 Olympics, Durant emerged as the face of Team USA at the 2010 FIBA world championships. He averaged 22.8 points and 6.1 rebounds en route to the tournament's Most Valuable Player honors.

What to expect: Durant figures to play a key role on a U.S. team widely considered the favorite to win gold in London.

Quotable: "We've just got to fight through it. We've got to stick with it and we'll be fine."

Angel McCoughtry

Age: 25

From: Baltimore

Schedule: Group A: vs. Croatia, July 28; vs. Angola, July 30; vs. Turkey, Aug. 1; vs. Czech Republic, Aug. 3; vs. China, Aug. 5

Olympic experience: McCoughtry will make her Olympics debut in London. She has been involved with the U.S. national team since college, and she won a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

What to expect: McCoughtry will likely earn significant minutes off the bench for the U.S. in London. She'll add depth to a loaded roster that is the heavy favorite to win gold.

Quotable: "There's no pressure. We just have to take it game by game. We have to be patient. We've got the talent to win, and we'll take it a game at a time."

Cycling

Georgia Gould

Age: 32

From: Baltimore

Schedule: Women's cross-country: final, Aug. 11

Olympic experience: This is Gould's second appearance in the Olympics. She finished eighth in Beijing.

What to expect: Gould, a tall, athletic rider, should benefit from the London course's series of shorter climbs. She has a solid chance to medal.

Quotable: "The day that I arrived at the Olympic Village [in 2008], my first thought was just I'm so glad that I did not know how cool this is. Because I would've been way more concerned about qualifying."

Bobby Lea

Age: 29

From: Easton

Schedule: Men's sprint: qualification, Aug. 4; 1/16 final, Aug. 4; 1/16 final repechages

Olympic experience: This will be Lea's second appearance in the Olympics. He finished 16th in Beijing.

What to expect: If Lea can put together a solid ride, he should be able to finish in the top 10 in London. An Olympic medal is not out of the question.

Quotable: "I wasn't entirely satisfied with how the racing went [in Beijing]," Lea told The Philadelphia Enquirer. "So I'm really thrilled to have a chance to go to London and do it right."

Field hockey

Katie O'Donnell

Age: 23

From: Blue Bell, Pa.; Maryland graduate

Schedule: Group B: vs. Germany, July 29; vs. Argentina, July 31; vs. Australia, Aug. 2; vs. New Zealand, Aug. 4; vs. South Africa, Aug. 6

Olympic experience: O'Donnell is making her Olympic debut in London. She has started at center forward on the national team since 2009 and has already earned 112 international caps.

What to expect: O'Donnell has emerged as the face of a U.S. field hockey team that figures to have its best chance of medalling since claiming bronze in Los Angeles in 1984. The U.S. won the Pan American Games last October, and should benefit from a field that features no clear favorite.

Quotable: "To me, unity is such a big piece. And right now, we're working towards having a lot of unity. I think that'll take us very far into the Olympic games, and we have a very good possibility of medalling."

Keli Smith Puzo

Age: 33

From: Selinsgrove, Pa.; Maryland graduate

Schedule: Group B: vs. Germany, July 29; vs. Argentina, July 31; vs. Australia, Aug. 2; vs. New Zealand, Aug. 4; vs. South Africa, Aug. 6

Olympic experience: This is Smith Puzo's second Olympic appearance. She was a part of a U.S. team that finished last among the eight squads that competed in Beijing in 2008.

What to expect: Smith Puzo should start on the forward line alongside O'Donnell in London. She should have a chance at medalling in what will likely be her last Olympics.

Quotable: "I think that our biggest goal going into 2008 was first to qualify. And four years later in 2012, we expected to qualify. So the goal wasn't to qualify, the expectation was to qualify. Now our expectation is to hit the podium."

Kayaking

Scott Parsons

Age: 33

From: Bethesda

Schedule: Men's kayak: heats, July 29; semifinals, Aug. 1; final, Aug. 1

Olympic experience: This will be Parsons' third straight appearance in the Summer Olympics. He placed sixth in the men's K-1 slalom competition in 2004, and failed to qualify for the final in 2008.

What to expect: Parsons placed 11th at a world cup event in Cardiff, Wales, and has a solid chance to finish in the top 10 in London. However, in a sport Europeans still dominate, it may be difficult for him to earn a medal.

Quotable: "Especially in a race like the Olympics, it's good to be a little more experienced. Either totally naive and outrageously confident or experienced and knowing how to deal with the pressure. It can be on either end."

Caroline Queen

Age: 20

From: Darnestown

Schedule: Women's kayak: heats, July 30; semifinals, Aug. 2; final, Aug. 2

Olympic experience: Queen will be making her Olympic debut in London. She became the youngest woman in the history of the U.S. national team when she made the squad at 15 in 2007.

What to expect: The lone U.S. representative in the women's K-1 slalom competition, Queen may have a tough time becoming the first American to medal in kayaking since 2004. She finished 35th overall in women's kayak at a world cup event in June.

Quotable: Kayaking is "intriguing because it challenges a person to improve on one's own best, so it's a little different than a lot of U.S. sports that are more head-to-head. Coming from a team sports background, it was new and interesting to take on that challenge."

Pentathlon

Suzanne Stettinius

Age: 24

From: Parkton

Schedule: Women's modern pentathlon: equestrian, fencing, running, shooting and swimming, Aug. 12

Olympic experience: A recent graduate of McDaniel College, Stettinius is making her Olympics debut. She was one of two U.S. women to qualify for London in the modern pentathlon.

What to expect: Stettinius' most recent world ranking was 35th overall, and her latest world cup ranking was 48th overall. She will need a quality showing if she hopes to not finish near the bottom of the 36-woman field.

Quotable: "I don't know how other athletes stay fit with just one sport. I'm too ADHD for that."

Rhythmic gymnastics

Julie Zetlin

Age: 22

From: Bethesda

Schedule: Individual all-around: rotation 1, Aug. 9; rotation 2, Aug. 9; rotation 3, Aug. 10; rotation 4, Aug. 10; final, Aug. 11

Olympic experience: Although this will be Zetlin's first Olympics appearance, she is a veteran in international competition. She claimed three gold medals at the 2011 Pan American Games, and placed 23rd all-around at the 2010 World Rhythmic Championships.

What to expect: Zetlin doesn't expect to medal in London. She is the first U.S. rhythmic gymnast to compete at the Olympics since 2004, and understands the podium is usually reserved for gymnasts from Russia and eastern Europe.

Quotable: "I think I'm upping the game for U.S. rhythmic gymnastics," Zetlin told the Washington Post. "We've been stuck at a certain level for a while, and I think I'm kind of the one that's crossing the boundary line."

Rowing

David Banks

Age: 29

From: Potomac

Schedule: Men's eight: heats, July 28; repechages, July 30; final, Aug. 1

Olympic experience: Banks made his Olympic debut in Beijing when he finished ninth in the men's four.

What to expect: The U.S. men's eight was the last team to qualify for the London Olympics. Still, it hopes to follow up its bronze medal in Beijing with another trip to the podium.

Quotable: "When I started out, I was not the best guy in college," Banks said in an interview with The Gazette. "I was given the opportunity to train with the national team but I was cut three times before I made it. But the sport teaches you to persevere."

Swimming

Michael Phelps

Age: 27

From: Towson

Schedule: Men's 100m butterfly: heats, Aug. 2; semifinals, Aug. 2; final, Aug. 3 Men's 200m butterfly: heats, July 30; semifinals, July 30; final, July 31 Men's 200m individual medley: heats, Aug. 1; semifinals, Aug. 1; final, Aug. 2 Men's 400m individual medley: heats, July 28; final, July 28 Men's 4x100m freestyle relay: heats, July 29; final, July 29 Men's 4x200m freestyle relay: heats, July 31; final, July 31 Men's 4x100m medley relay: heats, Aug. 3; final, Aug. 4

Olympic experience: This is his fourth and final Olympics. Phelps did not medal in his first Olympics as a 15-year-old in Sydney, Australia, but could become the most-decorated Olympic athlete ever with four medals at the London Games. He has 14 golds, including a record eight in Beijing, and two bronze medals.

What to expect: He's scheduled to swim in seven events (four individual and three relays), and with a little help in the relays, could win seven golds. It's not out of the question.

Quotable: "This isn't another Beijing. This is London."

Allison Schmitt

Age: 21

From: Canton, Mich. (swims at North Baltimore Aquatic Club)

Schedule: Women's 200m freestyle: heats, July 30; semifinals, July 30; final, July 31 Women's 400m freestyle: heats, July 29; final, July 29 Women's 4x100m freestyle relay: heats, July 28; final, July 28 Women's 4x200m freestyle relay: heats, Aug. 1; final, Aug. 1

Olympic experience: This is her second Olympics. She won a bronze medal in the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay in 2008, and broke her own American record in the 200-meter freestyle at the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. in June.

What to expect: She's scheduled to swim in four events (two individual and two relays), and has a chance to medal in all of them.

Quotable: "I can remember when I was in high school, coming in seventh and eighth at our state meet."

Katie Ledecky

Age: 15

From: Bethesda

Schedule: Women's 800m freestyle: heats, Aug. 2; final, Aug. 3

Olympic experience: A rising sophomore at Bethesda's Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Ledecky is the youngest member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. She placed first in the 800-meter freestyle at the Olympic trials, beating second-place finisher Kate Ziegler by more than two seconds.

What to expect: If Ledecky can replicate her Olympic trials performance in London, she could have a chance to reach the podium.

Quotable: "Four years ago I never knew how to qualify for an Olympics trials."

Bob Bowman (assistant coach)

Age: 46

From: Columbia, S.C.

Olympic experience: Bowman, CEO of North Baltimore Aquatic Club, has coached Phelps in the past three Olympics. This will be his second Olympics as an official staff member with the U.S. team.

What to expect: Bowman will work primarily with Phelps, who could win seven gold medals in London.

Quotable: "Michael is focused on his preparation for London. His performance record over his career speaks for itself."

Track and field

Matthew Centrowitz

Age: 22

From: Arnold

Schedule: Men's 1,500m: round 1, Aug. 3; semifinals, Aug. 5; final, Aug. 7

Olympic experience: This is Centrowitz's first Olympics. He was a seven-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 champion in the 1,500-meter race at Oregon.

What to expect: Centrowitz could become the first American to earn a medal in the 1,500 since Jim Ryun claimed silver in 1968. He earned bronze at the 2011 world championships.

Quotable: "This is my first Olympic team, so I'm very excited to represent the United States in the Olympics on the biggest stage for track and field."

Julie Culley

Age: 30

From: Lebanon, N.J.; former Loyola track coach

Schedule: Women's 5,000m: round 1, Aug. 7; final, Aug. 10

Olympic experience: This will be Culley's first Olympics. She won the 5,000-meter event at the Olympic trials with a personal-best 15:13.77.

What to expect: Culley, an assistant coach at Loyola, should have a legitimate shot at claiming a medal. That would be a major boon for a women's team that didn't have a single member finish in the top eight in the 5,000 in Beijing.

Quotable: "You can't overbuild it, and that was the biggest thing I had really to keep in mind going into the Olympic trials," Culley told The (Lehigh Valley, Pa.) Express-Times. "If you think too hard about how big that stage is, it starts to become overwhelming."

Andrew Valmon (coach)

Age: 47

From: Brooklyn, N.Y.; Maryland coach

Olympic experience: This is Valmon's first time coaching the U.S. men's track and field team in the Olympics. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Valmon served as a Team USA assistant at the 2009 world outdoor championships in Berlin. He was also the head coach for the 2010 world indoor championships team in Doha, Qatar.

What to expect: Valmon, whose Maryland women's track and field team was recently cut, hopes to help a U.S. men's team rebound from a disappointing 2008 Olympics. The U.S. track program has a decent chance to achieve its goal of 30 medals -- seven more than it claimed in Beijing.

Quotable: "Any time you get the opportunity to coach Team USA, you're not going to turn it down," Valmon told The Diamondback. "There's really no better reward for someone in my position."

Windsurfing

Farrah Hall

Age: 30

From: Cape St. Claire

Schedule: Women's RS-X: race 1, July 31; race 2, July 31; race 3, Aug. 1; race 4, Aug. 1; race 5, Aug. 2; race 6, Aug. 2; race 7, Aug. 4; race 8, Aug. 4; race 9, Aug. 5; race 10, Aug. 5; medal race, Aug. 7

Olympic experience: After narrowly missing the Summer Games four years ago, Hall earned a trip to London when she finished 40th overall at worlds last March.

What to expect: Hall doesn't expect to win a medal in London, and is hoping for a top-10 finish. Asian and European countries tend to dominate windsurfing at the Olympics.

Quotable: "This a sport that you have to make a commitment to for almost a decade to sort of get anywhere. It's taken me six years to build a program, to make mistakes and correct mistakes, and have something I am happy with."

Foreign athletes with Maryland ties

Ekene Ibekwe, Nigeria

Age: 27

From: Los Angeles

Sport: Basketball

So what: Former Terps forward who became fourth player in school history to tally 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 blocked shots.

Tony Skinn, Nigeria

Age: 29

From: Takoma Park

Sport: Basketball

So what: Former George Mason guard will join Nigeria's backcourt as it makes its first Olympic appearance.

Jesse Kirkland, Bermuda

From: Warwick, Bermuda

Sport: Sailing

So what: 2010 St. Mary's College graduate will race as a two-man team with his brother, Zander, in the Skiff-49er division.

Nataly Arias, Colombia

From: Alexandria, Va.

Sport: Soccer

So what: Former Maryland midfielder will play right-side defender for Colombia.

Mohamed Hussein, Egypt

From: Cairo, Egypt

Sport: Swimming

So what: UMBC senior is the first Egyptian swimmer to make Olympics in two events (100-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley).

Allison Randall, Jamaica

From: Reisterstown

Sport: Track and Field

So what: Morgan State alum will compete for Jamaica in discus.

Sources: www.london2012.com www.baltimoresun.com www.nbcolympics.com

TV: Every event will be shown live, online, at NBCOlympics.com. Live and taped events will also be seen on the NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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