New York’s athletes are blowing up the Olympic medal count so far

17-year-old Fort Greene resident Lia Neal (far left) scored a bronze medal on Saturday night.
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Some say that the Olympics are a time of national pride and unity, but here at Metro New York, we’re all about local pride. New Yorkers aren’t a humble bunch, so how does that New York state of mind translate on the Olympic playing field against the world’s best athletes?

Pretty well: Three of Team USA’s eleven medals so far have been won by four Empire State athletes. Coincidentally, all of them are swimmers.

Everyone’s favorite Vogue cover model and gold-medal winner, Ryan Lochte, is a Rochester native, and teammate Cullen Jones hails from the Bronx. The pair competed in the 400 meter free relay, winning the Silver medal for Team USA.

Syracuse-born swimmer Dana Vollmer is New York’s comeback kid, scoring the gold medal in the Women’s 100m butterfly race and setting an Olympic and world record with a time of 55.96 seconds. Vollmer made a splash eight years ago by winning a gold medal at 16, but she failed to qualify for the Beijing games in 2008. Vollmer will compete again in the free relay starting on Wednesday August 1st.

17-year-old Fort Greene-resident Lia Neal scored a bronze medal on Saturday night — we’re betting she’ll be the only Olympian at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan, where she’ll be a senior this fall.

And while not all the medals have been awarded, but New York athletes are making headlines in the qualifying rounds, too.

Rochester’s Abby Wambach was sucker-punched mid-game, but still went on to score in the second-half and break the U.S. women’s team Olympic record with six goals.

Brooklynite and New York Knick Carmelo Anthony, 28, scored nine points and had nine rebounds, aiding the US Men’s Basketball team trump the French 98-71. Anthony’s former college coach, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, is coaching in London this summer, too.

Syosset’s Sue Bird scored two points in the opening-round women’s basketball contest against Croatia, while Queens-born Tina Charles, 23, scored 14 points in the match.

Matt Anderson, a Western New York native, helped U.S. Men’s Volleyball beat Serbia in the first London game.

Other New Yorkers to watch out for:

The Bronx’s John Orozco (whose mother’s adorable covering of her face in her hands during the qualifying rounds is reason enough to actually watch Taxi TV this week) helped his team secure the top spot in the qualifying rounds, and could lead U.S. Men’s Gymnastics to a medal for the first time since 1984.

Fencer Daryl Homer of the Bronx, the youngest member of the men’s fencing team, advanced to the quarterfinals in the men’s saber competition.

Amanda Clark was the youngest women to qualify for the U.S. sailing nearly a decade years ago; this year Clark, a Long Island native, and her partner Sarah Lihan will compete on August 3rd. (We hear she has a taste for revenge.)


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