Virgen's View: Athletes will carry the flag

The City of Costa Mesa will show its pride for Olympians who hail from its town.

A banner for Olympians Misty-May Treanor, April Ross and Sharon Day will be on display near City Hall during the Olympics, which begin Friday.

"Costa Mesa is proud of Sharon Day, April Ross,Misty May-Treanor," are the words at the top of the banner. At the bottom, it reads "Bring home the Gold."

Photos of each athlete are placed within three of the five Olympic rings.

A British flag is colored in the middle with "London 2012" on it.

Day, the former Costa Mesa High standout, will compete in the heptathlon. Day was living and training in San Luis Obispo before leaving for London, but her background and childhood were based in Costa Mesa, where her family continues to live.

May-Treanor and Ross, both competing in women's beach volleyball with different partners, grew up in Costa Mesa and starred at Newport Harbor High. May-Treanor, seeking her third straight gold medal with partner Kerri Walsh, recently resided in Long Beach. Her father, Butch, a former Olympian, still lives in Costa Mesa.

Ross, who plays with Jennifer Kessy, resides in Costa Mesa.

"Costa Mesa takes tremendous pride in its hometown athletes, and this is especially true during the Olympics when the eyes of the world are on them," said Tom Hatch, the city's CEO.

One of the most helpful websites for schedules of sports and events at the Olympics can be found at

Also a great way to follow the local Olympic athletes is on Twitter. Day, Ross and May-Treanor have Twitter accounts.

Charlie Buckingham, a former Newport Harbor High sailing standout, is not competing at the Olympics, but he is involved as a coach in London.

Buckingham, who starred at Georgetown University, is also on Twitter and he has a blog at

One of his more recent posts was titled, "Switching sides …" It details his position as coach for Lasers sailor Cy Thompson from the Virgin Islands.

Buckingham and Thompson had been training together prior to the Olympics and Buckingham stayed on as his coach as they went to London.

Buckingham's time as a sailor in the Olympics will most likely come in 2016 in Brazil.

USC senior star quarterback Matt Barkley (Newport Beach), the Trojans' first three-time captain, is expected to be a Heisman Trophy candidate in his final season. Barkley and the Trojans are ready with a hi-tech campaign.

A mobile application called "Project Tro7an," will be available to download for fans and media starting in mid-August, as reported by Chris Hutson of The app will be free for Android or iPhone users and will allow media and postseason awards voters to follow Barkley, as well as other Trojans honors candidates by providing statistics, biographical information and highlight videos.

"It's the 21st century. It's 2012," Barkley told Hutson. "Everyone has a smart phone or mobile device. Instead of a blog or website, we wanted to put everything at people's fingertips."

Barkley had input into formatting the app, as did two teammates.

The Mendes Bros. Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy in Costa Mesa presents, "Jiu Jitsu Family Day," on Saturday.

There will be a free anti-bully class 9-10 a.m. and a free women's self-defense session from 10 to 11 a.m.

Afterward there will be an introduction to the De La Riva Guard, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., that will cost $60.

Twitter: @SteveVirgen

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