Californians will be a force to be reckoned with at the London Olympics this year -- and quite a few of them hail from this here Bay Area.

Of the 530 American athletes gearing up for the opening ceremony Friday, a whopping 128 of them call California home. In fact, Californians make up the entirety of the badminton team, and 24 of the 26 water polo players. And 71 one of them have Bay Area ties.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)

"The Bay Area is the perfect combination of climate and outdoor space," Heather Petri, a water polo player from Orinda, told Mercury News. "It invigorates you to try sports. People flock here because of the opportunities."

Kerri Walsh of Santa Clara comprises half of what has been hailed "the greatest beach volleyball team of all time." She's a four-time Olympian with two gold medals to her name, and she has yet to lose a single match in the past two Olympics. Can she do it again?

Howard Bach, a San Francisco native, is one of the three members of the U.S. badminton team. Bach made history in 2005 for being part of the first U.S. badminton team to ever medal at a World Championships. In Beijing, he advanced further than any U.S. Badminton athlete in history.

Vallejo's Natalie Coughlin, a graduate of the U.C. Berkeley swim team, has won a medal in every Olympic race she has entered--a total of 11 medals in two Olympics. We can't wait to see her at it again.

Take a look at our favorite Golden State athletes in the slideshow below:

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  • Anthony Ervin

    <strong>Name: </strong><a href="http://www2.teamusa.org/Athletes/ER/Anthony-Ervin.aspx" target="_hplink">Anthony Ervin</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 31 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Valencia, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Swimming <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Ervin auctioned off his 2000 Olympic gold medal to aid survivors of the 2004 tsunami. <strong><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/london/swimming/story/2012-06-27/anthony-ervin-no-regrets-olympic-trials/55868484/1" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On leaving and then returning to swimming: "I really didn't think I'd be in this position again. So, in a lot of ways, I'm very much surprised at the vicissitudes of life."

  • Landon Donovan

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.ussoccer.com/Teams/MNT/D/Landon-Donovan.aspx" target="_hplink">Landon Donovan</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 30 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Redlands <strong>Event</strong>: Soccer <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: His Manhattan Beach home was featured on MTV's "Cribs" in 2006. <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/grant_wahl/05/23/landon.donovan/index.html" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong></a>: "My mindset now is I want to be successful, and I realize now that as I'm getting older I'm not going to be the guy who's scoring goals every game or making a great impact all the time. I'm going to do it as much as I can in that way. But if I can be a part of the team and help lead it to successful times, then that's what I want to do."

  • Shannon Rowbury

    <strong>Name: </strong><a href="http://www2.teamusa.org/Athletes/RO/Shannon-Rowbury.aspx" target="_hplink">Shannon Rowbury</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 26 <strong>Hometown:</strong> San Francisco, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Track & Field: 1,500 m <strong><a href="http://www.shannonrowbury.com/" target="_hplink">Fun Fact</a></strong>: Rowbury graduated magna cum laude from Duke, and loves Irish dancing. <strong><a href="http://www.garycohenrunning.com/Interviews/Rowbury.aspx" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On making the Olympic team: "To make the Olympic team is going to be very challenging and those who do so will have to be very fit, stay on their feet, get to the final and race well tactically. A faster race is good for me and I'll always take a faster race when I can, but I am working on my speed to prepare myself for any situation. It will be a challenge, but for me I am glad I have all of these years under my belt - at the championship level, it isn't just about fitness, but about mental toughness."

  • Heather Petri (Left)

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usawaterpolo.org/NationalTeams/PlayerBio.aspx?ID=29 " target="_hplink">Heather Petri</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 34 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Orinda <strong>Event</strong>: Water polo <strong><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBElRtq730E" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: In response to being told to play with the boys: "Yeah, right!" <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Petri played on the boys' water polo team in high school, and helped start the girls' team.

  • Jennifer Kessy

    <strong>Name</strong>: Jennifer Kessy <strong>Age</strong>: 35 <strong>Hometown</strong>: San Juan Capistrano <strong>Event</strong>: Volleyball <strong><a href="http://www.fivbheroes.com/2011/06/interview-with-jennifer-anne-kessy-at-the-myslowice-open-2011/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "It's my attitude and my perseverance that got me here." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Kessy graduated from USC with a degree in history.

  • Carlos Bocanegra

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.ussoccer.com/Teams/MNT/B/Carlos-Bocanegra.aspx" target="_hplink">Carlos Bocanegra </a> <strong>Age</strong>: 33 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Alta Loma <strong>Event</strong>: Soccer <strong><a href="http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/exclusive-interview-carlos-bocanegra-rangers-well-travelled-defender-on-rabbie-burns-positivity-and-and-how-footb" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On moving to different countries for his career: "I ask myself: how do these people live? I want to learn about their culture, the way they think. I do not want to be fighting against the culture." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Bocanegra was named one of E! Entertainment Television's ten sexiest sports stars.

  • McKayla Maroney

    <strong>Name</strong>: McKayla Maroney <strong>Age</strong>: 16 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Long Beach <strong>Event</strong>: Artistic gymnastics <strong>Quotable Quote</strong>: "My mom put me in gymnastics because i had so much energy and I was always running around, so she thought gymnastics might take away some of the insane amounts of energy." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Like most 16-year-olds, Maroney loves Drake, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry.

  • Steve Cherundolo (Left)

    <strong>Name</strong>: Steve Cherundolo <strong>Age</strong>: 33 <strong>Hometown</strong>: San Diego <strong>Event</strong>: Soccer <strong><a href="http://goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/in-germany-cherundolos-hannover-surprises/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "As long as my legs will carry me, I love playing." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Cherundolo has spent time playing soccer in Germany, and now speaks fluent German.

  • Alex Morgan

    <strong>Name</strong>: Alex Morgan <strong>Age</strong>: 23 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Diamond Bar <strong>Event</strong>: Soccer <strong><a href="http://www.allwhitekit.com/?p=5469" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "My dad and I have always played card games and kept score so when he won, he would sort of taunt me. I think that's part of where I got my competitive edge." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Her boyfriend, Servando Carrasco, plays soccer professionally with the Seattle Sounders.

  • Russell Westbrook

    <strong>Name</strong>: Russell Westbrook <strong>Age</strong>: 24 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Long Beach <strong>Event</strong>: Basketball <strong><a href="http://ballislife.com/russell-westbrook-interview-glasses-style-defining-a-point-guard/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "My job is to be aggressive." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Westbrook is famous for wearing fake glasses; he owns about 25 pairs.

  • Amy Rodriguez

    <strong>Name</strong>: Amy Rodriguez <strong>Age</strong>: 25 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Lake Forest <strong>Event</strong>: Soccer <strong><a href="http://soccerreviews.com/news/soccer-reviews-amy-rodriguez-interview/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "I never thought that I would one day be where I am. I worked really hard as a teenager and always loved playing soccer." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Rodriguez says that her favorite pet is her little sister.

  • Alexander Massialas

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://usfencing.org/athletes/alexander-massialas" target="_hplink">Alexander Massialas</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 18 <strong>Hometown</strong>: San Francisco <strong>Event</strong>: Fencing <strong><a href="http://www.sfexaminer.com/sports/2011/06/massialas-follows-steps-father-olympic-pursuit" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On the thrill of competition: "It's impossible to explain how you focus, you just do; you just can't freeze up in the moment. You train your whole life for those experiences." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Massialas speaks Chinese and his father is a three-time Olympian.

  • Chloe Sutton

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1453&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&biosid=35a480c5-26c9-4135-807a-084bb6394d06" target="_hplink">Chloe Sutton</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 20 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Mission Viejo <strong>Event</strong>: Swimming <strong><a href="http://doublegsports.com/2012/03/15/womens-history-month-chloe-sutton-swimming/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "When I was six years old and I first joined a swim team, from the moment I dove in the pool, I knew that I was going to the Olympics when I was 16. I told boys that I couldn't have a boyfriend until after I won my gold medal. Everybody knew me as the swimmer." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Sutton aspires to be a journalist.

  • Jimmy Watkins

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usacycling.org/jimmy-watkins.htm" target="_hplink">Jimmy Watkins</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 29 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Bakersfield <strong>Event</strong>: Track cycling <strong><a href="http://www.trackcyclingnews.com/olympics12watkins.html" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On being named to the Olympic team: "It really hasn't sunk in yet." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Watkins is a career firefighter.

  • Jessica Hardy

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.jessicahardy.net/" target="_hplink">Jessica Hardy</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 25 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Long Beach <strong>Event</strong>: Swimming <strong><a href="http://www.jessicahardy.net/news/i-cant-believe-im-an-olympian-espnw-blog/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: After winning the 100 freestyle in trials: "I absolutely couldn't believe it. The 100 free is my weakest event and I swam my best time ever. At 25, I didn't see that coming! I was honestly thinking, 'Just place in the top six,' so that I could have a relay spot on the team...To get first, no way! I was the one least likely to win. It was the night of my life." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Hardy is engaged to Swiss Olympian Dominik Meichtry.

  • Scott Weltz

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopModules/BioViewManaged.aspx?personid=01027a5b-2b59-47df-8f3b-b3e817ad7654&TabId=1453&Mid=10312" target="_hplink">Scott Weltz</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 25 <strong>Hometown</strong>: San Jose <strong>Event</strong>: Swimming <strong><a href="http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/swimming/story/_/id/8114055/scott-weltz-upsets-brendan-hansen-eric-shanteau-200-breast" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On his experience during the trials: "My whole body was kind of tingling and I was like, 'I'm feeling it and something is different, this is the time.' " <strong><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/sports/olympics/scott-weltz-adds-to-upsets-at-olympic-swimming-trials.html" target="_hplink">Fun Fact</a></strong>: Weltz surprised everyone at the Olympic trials, beating out medalists after having placed outside the top 35 in 2008.

  • Nathan Adrian

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1453&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&biosid=df1f8d94-c89f-4032-ba40-a4ad20818348" target="_hplink">Nathan Adrian</a> <strong>Age:</strong> 23 <strong>Residence: </strong>Berkeley, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Swimming <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/blog=the-medley/post/nathan-adrian-and-his-big-hips.html" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong></a>: On taking dance lessons: "I'm not a hip wiggler. I do have big hips, but they're not meant for wiggling." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Nathan is currently a pre-med student at the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Jason Lezak

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1453&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&biosid=614353d8-9dbd-4f8f-9766-0b90730d9ce7" target="_hplink">Jason Lezak</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 37 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Irvine, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Swimming <a href="http://www.zimbio.com/Jason+Lezak/notes/1/Jason+Lezak+Quote" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong></a>: After winning gold in the relay at the 2008 Olympics: "People always step up and do things out of the ordinary at the Olympics". <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> Jason Lezak was an All-American in water polo.

  • Carmelita Jeter

    <strong>Name:</strong><a href="http://carmelitajeter.com/bio" target="_hplink"> Carmelita Jeter</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 32 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Torrance, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Track & Field <a href="http://news.daylife.com/topic/Carmelita_Jeter?__site=daylife" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong></a>: "I'm good at staying focused... I think I'll be OK. I'm not even at London yet, but this definitely feels pretty good." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Jeter is the second-fastest woman in history, and is recognized as the fastest woman in the world.

  • Kerri Walsh

    <strong>Name</strong>:<a href="http://www.kerriwalsh.com/profile/" target="_hplink"> Kerri Walsh</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 34 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Santa Clara <strong>Event:</strong> Beach Volleyball <a href="http://www.volleyballadvisors.com/kerri-walsh-volleyball-quotes.html" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong></a>: About her several endorsements and TV commercial appearances: "I wish we had action figures. Maybe next time". <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: In 2006, Kerri became the fourth American woman to surpass $1 million in career earnings.

  • Scott Gault

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/ScottGault.aspx" target="_hplink">Scott Gault</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 29 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Piedmont, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Rowing <strong>Fun Fact:</strong> After rowing, Scott sees himself as a professional golfer.

  • Michelle Carter

    <strong>Name:</strong><a href="http://www.usatf.org/Athlete-Bios/Michelle-Carter.aspx" target="_hplink"> Michelle Carter</a> <strong>Age:</strong> 27 <strong>Birthplace</strong>: San Jose, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Track & FIeld <strong><a href="http://news.daylife.com/topic/Michelle_Carter?__site=daylife" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong>:</a></strong> "It was pretty rough today ... The goal was to make the team and now we can focus on getting ready for London." <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> Her father played for the San Francisco 49ers

  • Natalie Coughlin

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://nataliecoughlin.com/Bio" target="_hplink">Natalie Coughlin</a> <strong>Age:</strong> 30 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Vallejo, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Swimming <strong><a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics/story/brendan-hansen-dara-torres-natalie-coughlin-stars-cant-amaze-us-anymore-122211" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong>: </a></strong>Concerning steroids in Olympic athletes: "The people who have cheated have ruined it for everybody. That is just the way it is." <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> Natalie has won a medal in every single Olympic event she's ever entered.

  • Kristin Hedstrom

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/KristinHedstrom.aspx" target="_hplink">Kristin Hedstrom</a> <strong>Age: </strong>26 <strong>Residence: </strong>Oakland, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Rowing <strong><a href="http://in-the-arena-kristin.blogspot.com/" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong></a>:</strong> On athletes who did not make the Olympics: "We might now be in two separate groups - those who have made it and those who have not - but we all still have the same dream: to win gold for the USA." <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> Kristin participates in In The Arena, a program to connect youth with professional athletes to cultivate character and community.

  • Kibwe Johnson

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usatf.org/Athlete-Bios/Kibwe-Johnson.aspx" target="_hplink">Kibwe Johnson</a> <strong>Age:</strong> 31 <strong>Birthplace:</strong> San Francisco, CA <strong>Event: </strong>Track & Field <strong><a href="http://evergreenathletic.org/kibwe/" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong>: </a></strong> "There's a reason they say the United States Olympic team is the hardest team to make. It isn't just the competition. It's also the sheer amount of physical and mental stress. Both in preparation, and the competition itself. Whether acknowledged or not, it's there." <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> His wife, Crystal Johnson-Smith, is also a thrower.

  • Julie Nichols

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/JulieNichols.aspx" target="_hplink">Julie Nichols</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 34 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Livermore, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Rowing <strong><a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/rowing/nichols-and-hedstrom-row-to-london.html" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong>:</a></strong> On her fourth place finish to qualify for the Olympics: "We had no idea it was that close. But we'll take it." <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> Julie is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at UCLA

  • Jessica Steffens

    <strong>Name:</strong><a href="http://www.usawaterpolo.org/NationalTeams/PlayerBio.aspx?ID=30" target="_hplink"> Jessica Steffens</a> <strong>Age:</strong> 25 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Danville, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Water Polo <strong><a href="http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_20994970/united-states-routs-hungary-17-8-water-polo?source=rss" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong>:</a></strong> Describing the victory over Hungary before the Olympics: "It's a huge help. You kind of get a sense of what it will be like." <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> Jessica's sister, Maggie, is a member of the Senior National Team for water polo.

  • Maggie Steffens (Left)

    <strong>Name: </strong><a href="http://www.usawaterpolo.org/NationalTeams/PlayerBio.aspx?ID=47" target="_hplink">Maggie Steffens</a> <strong>Age: </strong>19 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Danville, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Waterpolo <strong><a href="http://www.sportstarsonline.com/content/sportstars-female-athlete-fall-maggie-steffens" target="_hplink"><strong>Quotable Quote</strong>:</a> </strong> "I can envision myself (in London), but it's kind of just in my own mind. It's a lot of work to get there, and there are a lot of great girls on that team. (But) you get a taste of something, you just want it so much more." <strong>Fun Fact:</strong> Of Maggie's 45 cousins, most are successful athletes.

  • Peter Varellas

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.usawaterpolo.org/NationalTeams/PlayerBio.aspx?ID=18" target="_hplink">Peter Varelles</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 27 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Moraga, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Water Polo <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> Peter is the only left-handed returning Olympian on the team.

  • Misty May-Treanor

    <strong>Name</strong>: Misty May-Treanor <strong>Age</strong>: 34 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Los Angeles <strong>Event</strong>: Volleyball <strong><a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/misty-may-treanors-workout/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On her workout routine: "You'd be surprised. I think people think we do a tremendous amount of exercises that are completely different from what the general population can do. It's not true. I think athletes in general have to be a little more disciplined and get our work in." <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: May-Treanor and her teammate, Kerry Walsh, have won gold medals in 2004 and 2008.

  • Ronda Rousey

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.rondamma.com/" target="_hplink">Ronda Rousey</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 25 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Riverside, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Mixed Martial Arts <strong>Fun Fact: </strong> Rousey only started mixed martial arts two years ago, in 2010. <strong><a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-07-22/sports/bal-mma-champion-ronda-rousey-is-not-a-fan-of-michael-phelps-20120722_1_ronda-rousey-michael-phelps-strikeforce" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On her relationships with fellow Olympians: "Michael Phelps kind of annoyed me."

  • Anthony Fahden (Right)

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/AnthonyFahden.aspx" target="_hplink">Anthony Fahden</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 26 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Lafayette, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Rowing <strong><a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=anthony-fahden/index.html" target="_hplink">Fun Fact</a>:</strong> Fahden's favorite song is "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. <strong><a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/AnthonyFahden.aspx" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On the Olympic qualifying race: "They call it the Regatta of Death for a reason."

  • Kara Kohler (Second To Left)

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/KaraKohler.aspx" target="_hplink">Kara Kohler</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 21 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Clayton, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Rowing <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Kohler swam competitively throughout high school. <strong><a href="http://www.row2k.com/features/features.cfm?action=read&ID=471#.UA2T7jHLzH0" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></a></strong>: On her favorite part of the sport: "Having so many people holding each other accountable to do our best for the benefit of the team."

  • Alex Osborne

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/AlexOsborne.aspx" target="_hplink">Alex Osborne</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 25 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Sherman Oaks, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Rowing <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Osborne hopes to have career in technology and internet startups, with a focus on mobile gaming.

  • Mary Whipple

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/MaryWhipple.aspx" target="_hplink">Mary Whipple</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 32 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Orangevale, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Rowing <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Whipple was named the 2008 World Rowing Female Crew of the Year by FISA, following her Olympic gold medal win. <strong><a href="http://www.worldrowing.com/athletes/mary-whipple" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: Describing her style in one word: "Supportive."

  • Esther Lofgren

    <strong>Name:</strong> <a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/EstherLofgren.aspx" target="_hplink">Esther Lofgren</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 27 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Newport Beach, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Rowing <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Lofgren is an impressive 6'2" tall, and attended Harvard University. <strong><a href="http://estherlofgren.blogspot.com/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "At our Olympic Ambassador training several months ago, we were asked to write a letter to ourselves, one that we'd open if we made it to the Olympics. I had completely forgotten about it, and opened the letter to find a huge reminder of the work that we've put in as a team over the last four years and the tons of support that are beaming over here from everyone we know in the USA. It was so moving and it really sunk in--this is it. I'm here. At the Olympics."

  • Erin Cafaro (Right)

    <strong>Name: </strong><a href="http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/AthleteBios/ErinCafaro.aspx" target="_hplink">Erin Cafaro</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 29 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Modesto, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Rowing <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Cafaro says that she is fairly superstitious, and adds 22 seconds to any workout or warm-up. <strong><a href="http://shivspix.com/2010/02/08/interviews/erin-cafaro-interview/" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "You can have a lot of things to think about that aren't going right or maybe physically you aren't as gifted as the next girl, but that's no excuse. Rowing is a very mental sport, so just find your mental weakness and make it your strength."

  • Howard Bach

    <strong>Name: </strong><a href="http://www.teamusa.org/Athletes/BA/Howard-Bach.aspx" target="_hplink">Howard Bach</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 27 <strong>Hometown:</strong> San Francisco, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Badminton <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Bach lists fishing, bowling, basketball, skiing, river rafting, playing the guitar, playing video games, driving really fast, remote control cars, and flying kites as his hobbies. <strong><a href="http://www.2008.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=826/qa/index.html" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On being one of <em>People</em>'s most eligible bachelors, despite being in a relationship: "It was a good experience. We got to showcase the sport. When my girlfriend found it, she was like, 'Oh, that's great.' It was kind of funny. I explained to her it was to promote the sport. She understood. ... Maybe they can do a '50 Hottest Engaged Men' this year." [Note: Bach is now married.]

  • Rena Wang

    <strong>Name: </strong><a href="http://www.teamusa.org/Athletes/WA/Rena-Wang.aspx" target="_hplink">Rena Wang</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 21 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Arcadia, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Badminton <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Wang is majoring in biology at UCLA. <strong><a href="http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Badminton/Features/2012/June/12/Frequent-Flyer-Rena-Wang-Books-Trip-to-London.aspx" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On the hectic international tournament schedule: "I wouldn't have been able to do it without my parents' support. We don't get a lot of funding so I'm really happy that they're really supportive, both financially and emotionally. It's like a family affair."

  • Tony Gunawan

    <strong>Name: </strong><a href="http://www.teamusa.org/Athletes/GU/Tony-Gunawan.aspx" target="_hplink">Tony Gunawan</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 37 <strong>Hometown:</strong> Orange, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Badminton <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Gunawan is originally from Indonesia, and won a gold medal for his home country in 2000. <strong><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20061021043207/http://news.asianweek.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=e2220997cf387b079d5341d865c36e5c" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On emigrating and playing for the USA: "It's like a dream come true to come to the United States to try to promote this sport."

  • Amber Neben

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/Athletes/NE/Amber-Neben.aspx#profile" target="_hplink">Amber Neben</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 37 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Irvine, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Road Cycling <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Neben is a survivor of spinal meningitis; doctors initially told her family that if she didn't die, she would be deaf and suffer from brain damage. <strong><a href="http://espn.go.com/espnw/journeys-victories/7831945/cyclist-amber-neben-turns-challenges-opportunities" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "I'm never satisfied unless I win, so that's what I'm always shooting for. Any time you face adversity, you have to decide, are you going to stay down or get back up? I've always chosen to let that obstacle become an opportunity."

  • Sarah Hammer

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usacycling.org/sarah-hammer.htm" target="_hplink">Sarah Hammer</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 28 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Redondo Beach, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Track Cycling <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Hammer retired from track cycling in 2003, only to return to the sport in 2004. <strong><a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/05/sports/la-sp-oly-cycling-hammer-20120506" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On recovering after a bad show at the Beijing games: "I really enjoyed training with the young riders. That was one of the biggest things that helped re-motivate me after Beijing. They gave me a new, fresh perspective. They looked up to me and my accomplishments. It was just a great experience being around people from all over the world."

  • Kate Anderson

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="https://www.teamusa.org/Athletes/AN/Kate-Anderson.aspx#profile" target="_hplink">Kate Anderson</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 29 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Sacramento, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Archery <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Anderson studied linguistics at UCLA.

  • Steffen Peters

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/Athletes/PE/Steffen-Peters.aspx" target="_hplink">Steffen Peters</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 48 <strong>Hometown</strong>: San Diego, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Equestrian <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Peters was born in Germany and has been a US citizen since 1985. <strong><a href="http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=15042" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "I get up every day on a beautiful farm in Southern California. There are many days where I poke myself and say, 'This is amazing.'"

  • Tiana Coudray

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://tianacoudrayeventing.com/" target="_hplink">Tiana Coudray</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 21 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Santa Barbara, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Equestrian <strong><a href="http://tianacoudrayeventing.com/about/" target="_hplink">Fun Fact</a></strong>: Coudray spent 10 years as a Irish Dancer and competed in five Irish Dancing World Championships, in which she had a career high of finishing 8th in the world. <strong><a href="http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/three-days-three-ways-interviews-tiana-coudray" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: "I am very competitive. And very motivated and driven. I do my best to temper that! I would like to think that I'm sympathetic to my horses, and that I can temper my competitive side with the best interests of the horse. That's a juggling act that you constantly face at competitions."

  • Mariya Koroleva (Left)

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usasynchro.org/National_Teams/nt1/koroleva.htm" target="_hplink">Mariya Koroleva</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 22 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Concord, CA <strong>Event:</strong> Synchronized Swimming <strong>Fun Fact</strong>: Koroleva has dual Russian citizenship, and cites her biggest hardship as waiting for her American papers to process in order to compete. <strong><a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/synchronized-swimming/getting-to-know-maria-koroleva.html" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On starting synchronized swimming: "I just said, 'Why not?'"

  • Morgan Fuller

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usasynchro.org/National_Teams/nt1/fuller.htm?" target="_hplink">Morgan Fuller</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 22 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Sunnyvale, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Synchronized Swimming <strong>Fun Fact</a></strong>: Fuller enjoys big game hunting.

  • Michelle Theriault

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.usasynchro.org/National_Teams/nt1/theriault.htm?" target="_hplink">Michelle Theriault</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 24 <strong>Hometown</strong>: North Hills, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Synchronized Swimming <strong>Fun Fact</a></strong>: Theriault attends Ohio State University and is majoring in early childhood development.

  • Bryshon Nellum

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/blog=the-rundown/post/bryshon-nellum-makes-courageous-run-to-london.html" target="_hplink">Bryshon Nellum</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 23 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Long Beach, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Track <strong>Fun Fact</a></strong>: Nellum has overcome many obstacles to get to London; in 2008, he was the <a href="http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/07/bryshon_nellum_usc_shot_london_olympics.php" target="_hplink">victim of a drive-by gang violence</a> and was shot in both his legs. <strong><a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/25/sports/la-sp-oly-track-trials-20120625" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On overcoming the odds to reach the Olympics: "I'm here, I have the medal around my neck, I've got team processing papers, got an American flag, got my flowers, so I guess it's true."

  • Mike Bryan

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www2.teamusa.org/Athletes/BR/Mike-Bryan.aspx" target="_hplink">Mike Bryan</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 34 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Camarillo, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Tennis <strong>Fun Fact</a></strong>: Bryan drums in The Bryan Brothers Band with his brother and fellow tennis champ, Bob, and their father, Wayne. <strong><a href="http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Finals-2008/Bryans-Dynamic-Duo.aspx" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On playing doubles with his brother: "Doubles is a game where there are so many facets, so many shots you have to learn, so much strategy that it takes a long time to develop into a great doubles player. We've been working on doubles - not just singles - since such a young age and have developed a lot of skills that you need to be great doubles players. Overall our games really complement each other."

  • Bob Bryan

    <strong>Name</strong>: <a href="http://www2.teamusa.org/Athletes/BR/Bob-Bryan.aspx" target="_hplink">Bob Bryan</a> <strong>Age</strong>: 34 <strong>Hometown</strong>: Camarillo, CA <strong>Event</strong>: Tennis <strong>Fun Fact</a></strong>: Bryan volunteers for several charities including WECANN for abused and neglected children, Andrea Jaeger's Silver Lining Foundation, and Elton John's AIDS Foundation. <strong><a href="http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-May-2010/Bryans-Twitter.aspx" target="_hplink">Quotable Quote</a></strong>: On his Twitter presence: "When you've got 15,000 people following you, it can be hard to post a tweet that won't offend someone in that group. I once tweeted that I went to see 'New Moon' and I copped a lot of flak over that. I didn't realise there were so many 'New Moon' haters."