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San Francisco Bay Area Athletes at the 2012 Olympics

Athletes from the Bay Area Representing the U.S. in London


San Francisco Bay Area Athletes at the 2012 Olympics

Swimmer Natalie Coughlin holds her gold medal for the women's 100-meter backstroke at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.

The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team participating in the London Olympic Games is 529-athletes strong, with more than 125 of them hailing from California, according to the United States Olympic Committee. Several dozen of the athletes consider home to be San Francisco and the Bay Area or have important ties here; below is a partial list of the Team USA members who were born or raised here, went to Stanford, Berkeley or another local school, and/or live here now--along with their medal wins in London.

Interestingly, the San Francisco Bay Area Olympians seem to flock to water like ducks--an unscientific examination shows that most of them are rowers, swimmers, water polo players or other water-sports athletes. Although gymnastics is one of most popular summer Olympic sports (at least from the audience perspective), there's only one London Olympics gymnast from the Bay Area: Stanford undergrad Kristina Vaculik, who is representing her native Canada.

Howard Bach
Born in Saigon in 1979, raised in San Francisco, and now lives in Orange County, CA. At age 7, Bach began playing badminton at the Golden Gate YMCA in the Tenderloin, where his father played. Bach and Tony Gunawan won the gold in men's doubles at the World Badminton Championships in 2005--the first US badminton players to ever score a medal in a world championship competition. Badminton is one of the few Olympic sports in which the U.S. has never won a medal.
Kristian Ipsen
Age 19. From Clayton, CA; now a Stanford student. During the summer, Ipsen works at his family’s restaurants, Skipolini’s Pizza. He began diving in 1998. Won silver medals at the 2009 World Championships and the 2010 World Cup in synchronized 3-meter springboard diving. Bronze: Synchronized 3m springboard.

Cassidy Krug
Age 27. The Stanford alumnus works for the Stanford Alumni Association. Her parents are both diving coaches in Pittsburgh. Krug has won the championship in ten national diving competitions since 2007.
Alexander Massialas
Age 18; a San Francisco native. Massialas, who will enter Stanford this fall, picked up fencing from his father, who competed in the Olympics twice. Greg Massialas runs a fencing club in San Francisco’s Mission District and is coaching the U.S. men’s foil team for the London Games.
Marti Malloy
Born in 1986 in Washington State. Malloy is a senior at San Jose State University, majoring in journalism. At age 16, in her first senior-ranking international competition, she won a gold medal. Bronze: Women's Lightweight (57kg/125 lbs).
Erin Cafaro
Age 29. Born in Modesto; graduated in political science from University of California-Berkeley in 2006. Cafaro was on the gold-medal winning women’s eight team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She and the rest of her family are loyal San Francisco Giants fans. Gold: Rowing Women's Eight.

Scott Gault
Born in Berkeley in 1983; lives in Piedmont. Gault began rowing in 1999 with the Oakland Strokes. He now trains at the California Rowing Club when he’s not working as an aviation insurance broker. Bronze: Rowing Men's Four.

Julie Nichols
Age 34; lives in Oakland. Grew up in Livermore. Nichols began rowing in 1996, as a chemical-engineering major at UC-Berkeley. She and Kristin Hedstrom, who also lives in Oakland, won the 2011 Overall Rowing World Cup in the lightweight double sculls.

Wes Piermarini
Born in 1982. Lives in Alameda, works as a draftsman at the city’s MBH Architects, and wants to complete his master’s in architecture. Piermarini’s pre-competition ritual is to eat oatmeal, and he says the hardest thing about rowing is staving off hunger. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 2008.

Mary Whipple
Born in Sacramento in 1980. She and twin sister Sarah both started sculling lessons the summer before entering high school, and went on to row in college (Mary at the University of Washington, and Sarah at the University of California-Davis). Mary Whipple coxed the U.S. women’s eight to gold at the 2008 Beijing Games and silver at the 2004 Athens Games. She has been coaching in person and via her website 9th Seat. Gold: Rowing Women's Eight.

Other rowers:
David Banks (Stanford alumnus)
Jake Cornelius (Stanford alumnus)
Anthony Fahden (from Lafayette)
Nicole Barnhart (Stanford alumnus). Gold: Women's Soccer.
Rachel Buehler (Stanford alumnus).Gold: Women's Soccer.
Alex Morgan (UC-Berkeley alumnus).Gold: Women's Soccer.
Kelley O’Hara (Stanford alumnus). Gold: Women's Soccer.
Natalie Coughlin
Born in 1982 in Vallejo; started swimming at age 6. Graduated from UC-Berkeley and continues to train there, while living in Lafayette. Coughlin has earned 11 Olympic medals in all, and is just one medal away from joining swimmers Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres as the most decorated women in U.S. Olympic history. She is the first woman to ever earn gold medals in the same event in consecutive Olympics (the 100-meter backstroke in 2004 and 2008). In 2008, she became the first American woman to win six medals at one Olympics. Her on-land training consists of pilates and dancing; she appeared on ABC's “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009. Bronze: Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay.

Dana Vollmer
Age 24. Vollmer is a UC-Berkeley alumnus who now lives in Vallejo. At age 12, she was the youngest competitor at the 2000 Olympic trials. She swims about 12 kilometers a day. Several times each year, she trains in the ocean. Gold: 100m Butterfly; 4x200m Freestyle Relay; 4x100m Medley Relay.
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