Over 500 athletes will represent the United States at London 2012, and there are sure to be more than a few glasses raised in New York, in particular, as the Empire State is responsible for no less than 37 of them.
Among them will be five-time U.S Soccer Athlete of the Year, and Olympics 2012 athletics betting favourite, Abby Wambach, who has been chosen to carry the national flag at the opening ceremony.
The New York-born-and-bred sportwoman is already a national hero, having secured the gold medal for the U.S Women’s Soccer team at Athens 2004 with a trademark header in extra-time against Brazil that clinched a 2-1 victory.
Her luck ran out though in the final match before the start of the Beijing Olympics, as she broke her left leg in a collision with a Brazilian defender.
However, Wambach not only recovered, but went on to create more history in helping the U.S win the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final against Japan. Her headed goal saw her become the all-time leading scorer in the competition with 13 goals.
Now at the age of 32, more glory beckons before she eventually calls it a day, as she is currently not attached to a club side, but may return to coaching, having had a spell in that sphere in 2011 when player-coach with magicJack.
New York’s other Olympic representatives hail from sports right across the spectrum, with six athletes in track and field, five in fencing, and four in rowing.
The Big Apple also has three each in equestrian, sailing, and swimming, two in boxing, judo, and women’s basketball, and one each in men’s volleyball, women’s soccer, archery, field hockey, shooting, cycling and gymnastics. New York is second only to California in providing Olympic athletes.
In addition to contributing to any silverware won, success on the soccer pitch in London would also provide a shot in the arm for the women’s game in the U.S.A, as their league folded in May.
Global recognition therefore can only serve to reignite interest in the game, and if Abby Wambach has anything to do with it, the gold medal is the least they can expect from their trip to London 2012.
Broaden your sporting horizons, this summer, by visiting the Betfair Boxing website, and picking a winner from the many pugilists on offer at London 2012.