Top Five Summer Olympians from Florida

Yahoo Contributor Network

Athletes from all over the country gather and compete at the Olympic Trials in hopes of representing the United States of America at the Olympic Games. From swimmers to track and field participants, Florida has been and continues to be well represented at the greatest collection of world athletes in present and past Games of the Summer Olympics. Not surprising, with time the bar continues to move higher and higher with athletes working harder to be among the elite competing at the Games, therefore the 2012 Olympics hosted in London has witness the greatest Florida has to offer.

Here are five of the best Summer Olympic athletes from Florida:

1. Ryan Lochte: University of Florida graduate and swimmer Ryan Lochte was introduced worldwide during the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he won two gold and two bronze medals. His hard work paid off during the 2012 Olympic Games in London where he won two gold, two silver and one bronze medal. Racing against the likes of Michael Phelps, he has made a name for himself and a place in the hearts of not only Florida Gators but also Floridians everywhere.

2. Abby Wambach: Fellow graduate of the University of Florida Abby Wambach (formally known as Mary Abigail Wambach) won her first Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She is a member of the United States Womens National Team (USWNT), playing the forward position. While in London, she scored goals in matches against North Korea, New Zealand , Columbia and France, and has helped lead her team to the gold-medal match.

3. Darra Torres: Swimmer Dara Torres has won twelve Olympic medals in the Olympic Games dating from 1984 to 2008. These twelve medals consist of four gold, four silver and four bronze, five of which were earned when she was a part of the 2000 U.S. Olympic swim team, thus making her one of three women to possess the most swimming medals and the oldest member to have earned a place on the team. Along with Jenny Thompson, Angel Martino and Nicole Haislett, they would create a new world record while winning the gold medal for the women's 4x100 meter freestyle relay.

4. Nicole Haislett: Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, she learned to swim at the early age of 18 months. Later she would join the St. Pete Aquatics Club at the young age of 6 and swim competitively. During the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, Haislett won three gold medals in the women's 200 meters freestyle, women's 4x100 meters freestyle relay and the medley relay, all at the age of 19. Haislett was part of the team that set a new world record at the 1992 Summer Games.

5. Vince Carter: Winning the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Carter scored the memorable dunk against French center Frederic Weis known as the " Dunk of Death ." Carter has received the Florida Governor's Points of Light award due to his dedication to helping others in need.

Other notable athletes representing Florida in the 2012 Summer Olympics include: Elizabeth Beisel (2012 silver and bronze medalist in swimming), Phil Dalhausser (beach volleyball), Tyson Gay and Kellie Willis--both in track and field, Jake Kaminski (archery), Hunter Kemper (triathlon), Heather Mitts (soccer) and Brittany Viola (diving).

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