5 Western hopefuls for the 2012 Olympics

The West has a knack for producing Olympians. Here are five athletes we think will head to London for the 2012 Games

Natalie Coughlin, swimmer

Natalie Coughlin, swimmer

Events: 100-meter butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle

Hails from: Vallejo, CA

Western inspiration: “Because we lived in California and had a pool in our backyard, I started swimming lessons at a very young age and have been swimming ever since.”

All (green) thumbs: At home in Lafayette, Natalie tends seven terraced gardens and her five chickens – she even makes her own compost tea. “I love spending time in the garden - it’s a good way for me to get my mind off the pool and off the training and just be in the moment.”

Best day trip: “I love to drive down to Tomales Bay and go to one of the oyster farms. Hog Island is a favorite, it’s beautiful and right on the water. You shuck your own oysters and get some cheese and a beer or glass of wine.”


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