Local Athletes Representing in the Rio Games
Written By: Susan Krupa 20 Orange County Olympians
With the Olympics around the corner, the athletes are getting ready to head to Brazil. Many are taking last minute trips around the US to meet fans (in fact they were in Los Angeles July 23rd-24th) while others are just, well, dancing with excitement (click here, because you know you’re curious). The qualifying process isn’t even all the way over, some athletes for the paralympics have yet to qualify for their spot on Team USA. But, as always, Orange County represents with these 20 athletes from the OC headed to Rio this summer.
Who to Watch From Orange County:
Maggie Hogan, Canoe Kayak- Huntington Beach
Winner of the first medal in 20 years by a US athlete at the 2015 World Championships, Maggie has a serious opportunity to medal at the Olympics.
April Ross, Volleyball – Costa Mesa
With a long list of accolades, we can expect to see awesome court play from her these games. She was a silver medalist in 2012, but will she rise to gold in Rio?
Rachel Fattal, Water Polo – Seal Beach
A former volleyball player turned water polo player, she helped her team earn gold at the 2015 World Championships and was the MVP with 18 goals. She’s sure to bring some action to the water.
David Higgins, Shooting – San Clemente
A surfer and a shooter, David attends the Air Force Academy. This will be his first Olympics.
McQuin Baron, Water Polo – Tustin
If he had any superpower, McQuin would choose the ability to transport himself anywhere. Hopefully he will find and use this power to transport his team to the medal stand in Rio.
Aria & Makenzie Fischer, Water Polo – Laguna Beach
Double trouble with these sisters in the water. And with a father who was an Olympian in water polo in 1992, the Olympics clearly run in this family’s blood.
Josh Samuels, Water Polo – Villa Park
A UCLA graduate in political science, look for Joshua to navigate the tumultuous waters of the pool to be a key scorer for Team USA. During his time at UCLA, he scored over 100 goals, so he can definitely bring it.
Phillip Chew, Badminton – Orange
With a very, very long list of medals, Phillip has a great opportunity to find himself with another in 2016.
Sam Mikulak, Gymnastics – Newport Beach
In addition to being a gymnast, Sam is an entrepreneur. Along with some of his gymnastics buddies, he founded a company called Maté Bros. With maté leaves in the tea coming from South America, that’s a guarantee for good energy for when he heads down south for the games later this summer.
Other OC Athletes to Look for in Rio:
- Sattawat Pongnairat, Badminton – Orange
- Howard Shu, Badminton – Anaheim
- Jamie Subandhi, Badminton – Westminster
- Logan Dooley, Gymnastics – Lake Forest
- Charlie Buckingham, Sailing – Newport Beach
- Bret Bonanni, Water Polo – Huntington Beach
- Kaleigh Gilchrist, Water Polo – Newport Beach
- John Mann, Water Polo – Newport Beach
- Courtney Mathewson, Water Polo – Anaheim
- Maddie Musselman, Water Polo – Newport Beach
Check Out 20 SoCal Natives Representing at Rio 2016
An Ohio native, Susan drove out to California on a whim and never left. A surfer, diver, tri-athlete, and general lover of all outdoor sports, Susan’s passion lies in adventure travel. Never one to miss an opportunity, she has sailed around the world twice, worked at a teppanyaki restaurant in Japan, rollerbladed through wine country in Spain, rode camels in the Sahara, crashed a Bollywood set in India, and even did some work in the White House. Now a Huntington Beach local, when she is not out and about, she can be found in her kitchen cooking food to feed her friends.