London 2012 Olympics: Six South Florida Athletes To Keep Tabs On During the Games
But who's got time to watch every skeet shooting match and synchronized swimming showdown trying to find a hometown hero? We've got your back: Here are the five locals most likely to bag a medal in the next two weeks. We've rated their chances of winning gold on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.
Danell Leyva, Men's Gymnastics
This Homestead resident emigrated from Cuba in 1993 when he was one-and-half. Two years, later, when he decided he wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, his mom and former Cuban national team gymnastics champion Maria Gonzalez didn't think Leyva had the physique and coordination to excel in one of the most watched events during the summer Olympics. Over the past three years, Leyva has made a believer out of his mom and thousands of gymnastics fans across the country. At 17, he became the youngest member of Team USA's senior men's squad. Last year, he won the first gold medal for the American team in eight years during the World Championships in Tokyo. He was also the 2011 U.S. National all-around gold medalist. He took the top spot during the trials in San Jose last month and leads the most talented group of gymnasts since the 1984 squad that won the team gold.
Shot at a gold medal: 4.5
Venus and Serena Williams, Women's Tennis
While the Williams' sisters are California natives, they have called South Florida home for quite some time. Venus resides in Coral Gables and Serena kicks it in Palm Beach Gardens. The sibling tennis stars are also part owners of the Miami Dolphins. They enter the 2012 games as two-time defending doubles champs. Both will also be competing in singles competition, where Venus captured gold in 2000. With the tennis matches being held at the All England club, which hosts Wimbledon each sumer, the Williams' sisters should kick ass. Serena won the singles title at the storied tennis tournament in early July before teaming up with Venus to win the doubles crown. Each has won five individual titles on Wimbledon's grass court.
Shot at a gold medal: 4.9