Mammoth Lakes, CA: The town that builds Olympians.
This tiny resort town of 8,000 in the Eastern Sierras may just have more gold-medal athletes per capita than anywhere else in the West.
The combination of high and low altitude—plus big-time eye candy—is a training paradise for distance runners. Popped off the Olympian assembly line: Meb Keflezighi (marathon), Morgan Uceny (1,500 meters), and Amy Hastings (10,000 meters), all headed to London this summer.
Mammoth is also a part-time home to marathoners Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, and Mara Yamauchi, and other long-distance runners who come to whip their bodies into lean, mean running machines.
Guess this means nearly every Mammoth-ite watching the opening ceremonies on Friday can say they know an Olympian.