Lauren Cheney is ready for the Olympics. Are you? Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
Do you feel the excitement in the air? It's almost time for the OLYMPICS! Every year, I'm cheering on Team USA in every sport possible, and ever since I became a Bruin, I cheer louder for Bruins on the Olympic team. If you'd like to see the Olympic schedule, click here.
The Olympics start this Friday officially, but Women's Soccer starts this Wednesday with early round games. Representing the USA and UCLA will be National Team members Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux. Former UCLA Coach Jillian Ellis will be with Cheney and Leroux as an assistant coach. The US Women's Soccer Team is the defending gold medalists, and they will look to shake off their recent World Cup loss with another gold medal in London. Chelsea Stewart (Canada) and Rosie White (New Zealand) will also compete.
Many Bruins will also be deeply invested in basketball, as they defend their gold medal with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love. The USA will have a challenge, with teams such as Spain and Argentina lurking with the talent to take on the USA. This may be the final Olympics with professional NBA players, so it enjoy it while you can.
More UCLA Olympians, after the jump.
Track and field will have several UCLA representatives, led by Meb Keflezighi, whom we previously profiled in our Olympics memories, in the marathon. On the men's side, Yoo Kim will be competing for Korea in pole vault, and Julian Wruck will compete in the discus for Australia.
In Women's Track and Field, the team is led by five time Olympian Amy Acuff in high jump. Acuff believes she'll be even better at this year's Olympics, after giving birth to her daughter. Also competing for the USA is Brittany Borman (Javelin), Jessica Cosby (Hammer), and Dawn Harper (100m Hurdles). Tori Pena will compete for Ireland in Pole Vault.
Michael Sealy and new UCLA Men's Volleyball coach John Speraw will be working with the Men's Volleyball team as coaches. Karch Kiraly will join the coaching delegation on the women's side. The men's team will work on defending their Olympic gold medal, while the women look to improve on their silver. Former coach Bob Alejo will coach in beach volleyball, working with Dallhauser and Rogers, the defending gold medalists, while Al Lau is the team leader for beach volleyball.
In Women's Gymnastics, Anna Li (USA) and Danusia Francis (Great Britain) are in London as alternates for their teams. If an injury were to occur, they may be the next gymnast added to the team, and both are enjoying their time in London. Incoming Bruin Peng Peng Lee is in London as the honorary captain for the Canadian team, as a knee injury is keeping her out of competition.
Heading over to the pool, the Bruins are well represented on the men and women's side. Both teams earned a silver in 2008, and will look for the gold this summer. Chay Lapin (goalkeeper) and Adam Wright (attacker) will compete for the men for the USA. Courtney Mathewson (attacker) and Kelly Rulon (attacker) will represent the USA on the women's side, with former UCLA head coach Adam Kirkorian leading the team.
As for the racquet sports, Rena Wang will be competing for the USA in badminton. The USA has never won a medal in badminton, but Rena has medaled in a few competitions, so best of luck to her. In men's tennis, Marcin Matkowski will represent Poland in the men's doubles tournament, and he could possibly meet up against fellow Bruin Jean-Julien Rojer from the Netherlands in doubles.
In total, 32 Bruins will be representing their home countries at the Olympics. Go Bruins.