The 2016 Rio Olympics are officially underway and as the games begin to heat up, we turn our attention towards our very own Anaheim/Orange County Olympians who were born or have trained in Anaheim and Orange County. While a couple of teams are headquartered here (USA Volleyball, badminton, water polo), plenty of other athletes will represent the O.C. and the U.S. as they make their quest for the gold. Here are a few athletes to keep in mind and root extra harder for:
After training in the American Sports Centers-Anaheim (largest indoor court facility in the world) for the last two sets of Olympics, both the men’s and women’s USA National teams head to RIO in search for Gold. The women’s team earned a silver medal in the FIVB World Grand Prix final in July, and they will undoubtedly be playing with a chip on their shoulder.
April Ross (Costa Mesa) – Partnering with Kerri Walsh Jennings in this year's Olympics, April Ross is a silver medalist with a huge reputation out of Costa Mesa. A high school standout at Newport Harbor High and holder of NCAA records at USC, Ross will be on everyone’s radar during this year's games. Read more about Ross’s hi-profile career here.
Russell Holmes (Fountain Valley) – A Fountain Valley High graduate, Holmes brings a lot to the table for the men’s indoor volleyball team as the 2012 Olympic Team leading blocker. Holmes was also a member of the team that brought home a championship at the 2105 FIVB World Cup.
Women's USA National Volleyball Team at the American Sports Centers-Anaheim during a special "send-off" lunch.
Howard Shu (Anaheim) – After a bronze-medal finish in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Shu looks to bring Gold back to Anaheim currently ranked as the No. 62 player in the world rankings as of July 21.
Jamie Subandhi (Westminster)– A gold medal winner in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Jamie Subanhi of Westminster will be representing the United States in mixed doubles badminton alongside Phillip Chew.
Sattawat Pongnairat (Orange) –A first-time Olympian, Pongnairat will look to pick up his second gold medal (First Olympic Gold) after a victory in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. He and his partner Phillip Chew are currently No. 35 in the world rankings as of July 21.
Eva Lee (Diamond Bar; UC Irvine) – Another UCI representative and an experienced Olympian from the 2008 Bejing Games, Lee is back for more after taking home gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Lee and her doubles partner, Paula Lynn Obanana, are currently No. 26 in the world rankings as of July 21.
Logan Dooley (Lake Forest ) - A 28-year-old who was an alternate in the 2008 Bejing Olympics and in London in 2012, Dooley will look to bring home his first ever Olympic Medal in the Men’s Trampoline event.
Klay Thompson (Rancho Santa Margarita) – If you have to ask who Klay is— we’ll give you a second to head to the Google search bar. A two-time NBA All-Star and 2015 NBA Champion of the Golden State Warriors, Klay will be representing the U.S. Men’s National Basketball Team (a.ka. "The Dream Team") this year and undoubtedly will be looking for gold.
Other OC Athletes in 2016 Rio Olympics
• Maggie Hogan (Huntington Beach)
Charlie Buckingham – Newport Beach
• Tom Shields – Huntington Beach
• Steve Johnson – Orange
Track and Field
• Chris Bernard - Tustin
• Charles Jock - U. C. Irvine
• McQuin Baron - North Tustin
• Bret Bonanni - Huntington Beach
• Rachel Fattal - Seal Beach/Los Alamitos
• Aria Fischer - Laguna Beach
• Mackenzie Fischer - Laguna Beach
• Kaleigh Gilchrist - Newport Beach
• John Mann - Newport Beach
• Courtney Mathewson - Anaheim Hills
• Maddie Musselman - Newport Beach
• Josh Samuela - Villa Park
• Helen Marculis - Huntington Beach
Make sure to stop by the Honda Center on Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. for a free outdoor watch party with the local gymnastics community to cheer on the US Women's Gymnastics team! The party will consist of 25-foot megascreens, complete with food trucks, face painting, and a patriotic sign making station! Click on the link above for more info. FYI - Anaheim will host the 2017 P&G Gymnastics Championships.