With the opening ceremony of the 2012 summer games just hours away, London Olympic hysteria is reaching a fever pitch. Will Michael Phelps continue his out-of-this-world winning streak? Will the U.S. women’s gymnastics team bring home the gold after coming so close in Beijing? Are the Spice Girls reuniting for a performance at the closing ceremony? (okay, maybe that last one is just us )
Now, there are even more reasons for Bucks County residents to show the London games some love:
1.) Bucks County dominates in field hockey! Not 1, but 3 members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Field Hockey Team are from Bucks County, including the captain!
Lauren Crandall of Doylestown, US Women’s Field Hockey Captain: Crandall is a 2003 graduate of CB East High School and a key player on defense for Team USA. With a captain’s band over her shin guard and her experience in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Team under her belt, U.S. Women’s National Team Defender Crandall is leading the U.S. Squad to the Olympic matches in London. The U.S. Captain became a permanent name on the National Team roseter in 2005. Crandall, a Doylestown, PA native and a 2007 Wake Forest University Graduate, holds 177 caps including the Cinderella story upset against then No. 1 Argentina in the Pan American Games. The win in Guadalajara, Mexico earned the U.S. their spot in the London Olympics. Follow Lauren on Twitter at @laurencrandall.
Julia Reinprecht of Perkasie: Although Reinprecht’s life-long vision of becoming part of the U.S. Olympic Roster has come to fruition, her sight has not always been the clearest. As a one year old, the Perkasie, Pa. native had a cataract removed from her left eye resulting her vision coming predominately from her right eye. Joining the National Squad in 2010, Reinprecht is the youngest and least capped athlete on the team. As a U.S. Women’s National Team defender and as a sister, Reinprecht has midfielder Katie Reinprect’s back. Not only do both sisters compete for the U.S. National team but they compete together for Princeton University as well. Follow Julie on Twitter at @jreinpre.
Katie Reinprecht of Perkasie: In Reinprecht’s first venture to the Olympics, the Perkasie, Pa. native won’t only get have family support in the stadium but on London’s blue and pink pitch as well. Reinprecht will be competing for the Gold along side her sister, Julia. Reinprecht, a midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team, took a year off from college and competing with her fellow Princeton University Tigers to train full time with the National Team in Chula Vista, CA. Follow Katie on Twitter at @kreinp
Follow these amazing athletes from Bucks County throughout the games. The U.S. will open Pool B play at the Olympic Games with a face-off against Germany on Sunday, July 29. From there, the U.S. will advance to their next opponents in the tournament – Argentina, then Australia, New Zealand and close the preliminary rounds with South Africa on Monday, August 6. The women’s first semi-final will take place on Wednesday, August 8. The gold-medal round commences on Friday, August 10.
2) Former Bucks County resident kicks butt in Judo! Kyle Vashkulat, formerly of Langhorne, will compete in judo in London. Kyle moved out of Langhorne to upstate New York with the intention of training at the Jason Morris Judo Center in Glenville. Already a bronze medal winner from the 2010 Pan American Judo Championships, Kyle is fighting for the United States first-ever gold medal in Olympic judo on August 2nd.
3.) Feeling inspired? Train with the Olympic & World-class competitors in Bucks County:
The Transcend Boxing Club in Newtown is home to Olympic bronze-medalists boxer Terrance “The Heat” Cauthen, who offers a workout like none other. He leads basic combos to controlled sparring using heavy bags, body shields, hand pads, and more. The Transcend Boxing Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday night from 6:30-7:30.
Maestro Holbrow of the Bucks County Academy of Fencing was a member of the US team that competed in the World Fencing Masters Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Although he considers epee to be his favorite competition weapon, he was on the three-man team who took the bronze medal for the US in sabre. In May of 2001, Maestro Holbrow was invited to the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to take part in the US Fencing Association’s new “Black Star” elite coaches training program. Coaches having students in the top 32 of the US national point standings were invited to participate in this program. Maestro Holbrow was one of 12 coaches from across the United States who took part in this program.
After you tune into the 2012 Olympic games on TV, you can also personally experience many of the sports of the summer Olympics in and around Bucks County. Check out the links below for some fun options:
Archery in Bucks County
Fencing with the Bucks County Academy of Fencing
Sailing at Peace Valley Park
Tennis with the nominees of the 2012 Happening List