Courtesy of nataliecoughlin.com
With the London Olympics a little over a week away, athletes and fans are gearing up for the most prestigious sporting event in the world. This time around, a number of Asian Americans will be representing the United States in various events.
This Olympics, the U.S. has two Asian American swimmers hitting the pool. Natalie Coughlin (she’s a quarter Filipina) and Nathan Adrian (he’s half Chinese) will be competing in London.
- Natalie Coughlin is no stranger to the Games—she has eleven Olympic medals but that’s not stopping her from heading to London to try for one more. You may recognize Natalie Coughlin as a celebrity rather than a swimmer. She was a contestant on Dancing With the Stars and has appeared on Iron Chef. She modeled for Sports Illustrated and was named one of their hottest athletes. But there’s way more to Coughlin than her pretty face and rocking body. Coughlin left Beijing with the most medals out of any female athlete at the Games, just as she did four years earlier in Athens. She made history when she became the first woman ever to win back-to-back gold medals in the 100m backstroke. This time around, she’s only racing in one event, the 4x100m freestyle relay, but don’t expect her to slack off one bit.
- On the other hand, newcomer Nathan Adrian will be trying for his first individual medal. He garnered a gold medal in Beijing as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay, although he did not swim in the finals. Adrian made a splash earlier this year when he beat Michael Phelps in the 100m freestyle at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, even after splitting his speedo. Adrian, who’s nickname is Bok Choi, will be racing in this event in London. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Adrian hopes to pursue a career in medicine after his swimming days are over but he has no plans of leaving the pool anytime soon.
- Kyla Ross is the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team. At the tender age of 15, Ross is a medal contender that will give the Chinese and Russian gymnasts, as well as her fellow American teammates, a run for their money. Her strengths include the uneven bars and the balance beam, as well as her overall graceful style. Although she is young, Ross is known to be a fierce competitor who consistently rises to the occasion.
The entire U.S. Olympic table tennis team consists of Asian Americans. On the women’s team are Ariel Hsing, Lily Zhang, and Erica Wu, whom we had a chance to interview. All of these girls are teenagers, balancing school and training. Timothy Wang is the sole member of the U.S. men’s team.
Likewise, all the members of the U.S. Olympic badminton team are Asian. Rena Wang, who we interviewed about the upcoming Games, will be representing the U.S. in womens’ singles. Olympic veteran Howard Bach will be heading to his third Games with mens’ doubles partner Tony Gunawan, who won the gold medal for Indonesia at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney with doubles partner Candra Wijaya. Pick up our latest print issue of Audrey to read our exclusive interview with Howard Bach!