2012 LONDON OLYMPICS: Asian American Medal Winners
By: By Sam Prasad Jillella
Olympic Games happen once every four years, and the thirtieth Olympiad held in London was an extravagant event. The world’s greatest sporting event came to a close on Sunday August 12, after 17 days of recording-breaking performances that left the world buzzing.
The 2012 Olympiad was well represented by participants from 205 countries which included 43 countries from the Asian continent.
Coming to the Asian dominance, China proved as a genuine Olympic super-power, Japan and South Korea were also impressive. All three teams finished in the top 10, with China totaling 88 medals, followed by Japan with 38, and then South Korean with 28.
India finished with two silver medals and four bronze - their highest individual total. Hong Kong celebrated a silver in cycling, and Singapore won its first individual medal in 52 years. Thailand won 3 medals, Mongolia 5 medals, Indonesia, 2, Malaysia 2, Afghanistan won 1.
More than a dozen Asian and Pacific Islander Americans represented Team USA at the London Olympics, and several more served as back-ups or replacements. The Asian American medal winners are:
Nathan Adrian – Swimming
· Silver Medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones and Ryan Lochte
· Gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle final
· Gold medal in the 4x100-meter medley relay
Adrian, 24, from Bremerton, Wash., began swimming at the age of 5, after seeing his brother and sister take up the sport. Adrian’s mother, born in Hong Kong, is a nurse for the Bremerton School District and his father is a retired nuclear engineer. Adrian holds a pre-med degree from the University of California, Berkeley and hopes to one day become a doctor.
Lindsey Berg – Volleyball
· Silver medal
Lindsey Berg – Volleyball – Berg began honing her volleyball skills on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where she grew up. In 1998, Berg graduated from Punahou High School in Honolulu. She went on to play volleyball for the University of Minnesota. The volleyball star has a mixed heritage. Her mother is Hawaiian-Chinese-Portuguese, and her father is Lithuanian.
Clarissa Chun – Wrestling
· Bronze medal in the 48 Kg Category
Clarissa Chun – Wrestling – Chun made her second Olympics appearance. Standing at 4’11?, she is a force to be reckoned with. In addition to wrestling, Chun enjoys water polo, swimming, gymnastics, judo, and bowling. She is of half Chinese and half Japanese heritage and is currently studying communications at the University of Colorado.
Paige McPherson – Taekwondo
· Bronze medal in the women's 67-kilogram division
Paige McPherson – Taekwondo – McPherson was born in Abilene, Texas and adopted when she was just four days old. She graduated from Black Hills Classical Christian Academy in 2009 and currently attends Miami-Dade College in Florida. McPherson is one of four American taekwondo athletes who competed in the 2012 Olympics. The 21-year-old, who has earned the nickname “McFierce,” is half Filipino and half African American.
Tamari Miyashiro – Volleyball
· Silver Medal
Tamari Miyashiro – Volleyball – Miyashiro competed in her first Olympic games in London this summer. Miyashiro is of Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Irish, and German descent and comes from a family of athletes. Miyashiro attended the University of Washington in Seattle. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in interdisciplinary visual arts.
6) Kyla Ross – Gymnastics
· Gold medal – US Team Event
Kyla Ross, 15, is the youngest person on Team USA’s gymnastics roster. She was born in Honolulu and currently lives in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Ross earned the second-highest scores on the uneven bars at the 2012 Olympic trials. Her father is Japanese and Black, and her mother is of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent.
The London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony included the march of all of the Athletes together, with no divisions along the lines of nationality, bringing all the athletes together as one world nation. Concluding the ceremony, London handed over the Olympic Flag to the mayor Eduardo Paes of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the host nation of the 2016 Summer Olympics.